“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” ~~Robin Sharma
“Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” ~~Unknown
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” ~~Amelia Earhart
#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
Recently, feelings of agitation have crept their way into some conversations. Upon discussion and internal investigation, applying Statement #3 was the solution. Holding certain expectations had led to an increase in frustration and since none of it was under my control, I could only change my response. Wanting to be happy instead of being right allowed me to let go of that frustration and reclaim feelings of ease and balance.
Before New Life it was easy to blame other people or circumstances for my unhappiness. Yet this removed my ability to move through whatever the situation was and brought about feelings of emptiness. By shifting focus and releasing blame, developing healthier habits began to take center stage. Much of it came about because of something simple, like kindness.
There are some life situations or occasions where happiness may feel difficult or impossible, much like when moving through deep grief or sudden sorrow. At these times it is helpful to adjust Statement #3 to fit your needs. Instead of “Happiness is a habit I am developing, I might focus on “Self-care is a habit I am developing or “Compassion is a habit.” By tailoring this Statement to fit our needs, we are acknowledging and validating our feelings while taking important actions toward balance.
Good Morning 4C Women,
I love the interchanging of words that Karen suggested for Statement #3. Goodness knows I certainly needed them this past week. I had to laugh when my first change in wording was, “Happiness is my family actually following through on my words of wisdom!” Of course, reality sets in and I have to accept that this thinking might be better suited for Statement #4 (problems) or #13 (responsible for myself), so back to happiness as I choose to create it.
What I so love about WFS is its flexibility in practicing the action part of the statements. While the first part is the belief – believing I am able and willing to develop the habit of happiness; the action part is for me to create and not wait on others or even situations to achieve those “moments” of happiness.
Jean Kirkpatrick described her awakening to knowing it was up to her to create happiness when she realized every sentence about happiness in her early recovery started with, “I’ll be happy if…” Just as I jokingly and honestly said “I’ll be happy when…” Think about how you approach creating happiness. Do you find yourself consistently saying “if” and “when” or have you been able to embrace the action part of Statement #3 to I “am” creating, not waiting for? While Jean understood that material things we saved or planned for could bring joy, a sense of achievement, I know that Jean wanted each of us to dig deeper, to go beyond the material belongings. One of the greatest joys, achievements, for me was becoming sober, experiencing authentic happiness. No pretending, just feeling it.
Do you recall the first time in sobriety that you found yourself giggling, laughing hard and loud, experiencing pure joyfulness and even questioning how this could be happening sober? That’s the beginning and as we keep moving forward, it’s amazing to discover it wasn’t a fluke, that we really felt genuine happiness. It opens us up to discovering new activities, new adventures, possibly returning to former fun activities to find out if they still bring the joy we once had and creating healthy relationships because we are being open and true to our source of happiness – ourselves! In all the changes WFS offers to us, one of the greatest rewards is how we view ourselves. I know with each passing day, month and year, I became happy with the woman I was becoming. I learned the coping tools for when the negative thoughts came in – you remember Ed, my inner critic from last Monday’s message – well, without WFS, how would I have researched and discovered that I had the ability to name and tell my inner critic that he was not welcomed to lie about me anymore? How could I search for my happiness without tips from WFS on how to start and continue on that path?
Friends absolutely add to my happiness, but they are not the sole source of it as it was in the past. I was completely dependent on others to provide my happiness and that became quite a burden for them and a huge disappointment for me if they didn’t live up to my expectations of them. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by supportive women in my life. It truly adds to the happiness factor. I also appreciate that when I am feeling sad, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed, that it’s perfectly fine and healthy to acknowledge those feelings. In fact, expressing my feelings has helped me to understand myself a bit better as I work on the “why” of those feelings. I do not ignore or run from them or use substances to numb and bury them. These feelings are not wrong or bad, words I do not ever use because WFS helped me realize that these feelings are an authentic reaction to life.
It’s also a huge gift knowing it’s safe to express and acknowledge ALL feelings and that in itself creates balance in my life. It’s not all negative as I use to believe, and I am not waiting for someone else to fill the empty space of unhappiness. That is my responsibility. As a friend said, “I’m the captain of my ship.” So, where I choose to go sailing in this life and how I respond to all of it is up to me. My journey is sprinkled with the reality of life’s events/situations, and I am in a much better place to handle it as best I can. Well, I can especially handle the happy moments! As Jean said, “We can change our thinking, which will change our behavior.”
Bonded in creating happiness, joy in our recovery and believing that we deserve it, Dee
WFS is Hiring for a Volunteer Coordinator Position!
Click here if interested to apply by July 14th