“When it rains it pours.” “That’s just my luck.” “Why do things always have to happen to me?” Do you or someone you know say any of these things when something goes wrong in life? Although statements like these may seem harmless, studies show that speaking negatively can actually help perpetuate negative events in our lives. Studies also show that not only should we be careful with what we say, but more importantly what we think. Our thoughts are more powerful than you might imagine, and when we think and speak negatively, it can lead to a very problematic life.
It took a few years in my sobriety before I started changing my thoughts to more positive ones, and it was well worth the effort. Today, I have very few problems in my life, and even when I do, I use them as a chance to grow.
I’ve learned that stopping negative thoughts as quickly as I can and watching what I say helps me live a happier and more useful life. Not a perfect one, but a better one than when I was drinking. That life, while not always miserable, sure seemed that way because of my negative thinking.
I thought I’d share something that I read in the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous years ago about having fears. It basically states that we are afraid we won’t get something we want or will lose something we already have. I like this because it gives a simple reason for why we can feel fearful from time to time.
One of the things that helps me with my fear is trying to believe that there is something (rather than nothing) that created life and the universe for a reason.
I try to believe as hard as I can that there is something more than just this world, but I also try to believe in myself. I find that when my belief in a creator and myself are strong, I’m less fearful and more joyful in life.
Whenever I think about the question posed in the title of this post, two answers always come to mind; at least for me. Happiness comes from trying to be a better person than we were before. And from loving ourselves.
Now I admit it took time for me to become a better person than I was before, and I’ll confess that I’m not always the best person I can be. However, I try not to beat myself about it. I know it’s not who I am and not only do I love myself today, but I do so unconditionally—a strong foundation for feeling good ourselves.
How can you not feel good about yourself when you try as best you can to be a more loving person than you were before? And how can you not feel good about yourself if you try to show more kindness toward others than before? Also, how can you not feel good about yourself if you try to be more understanding of people who behave in ways that upset you, or at least try to practice tolerance towards them?
Being happy was all I ever wanted to be in life, and I found out that by simply practicing love, kindness, understanding, and tolerance towards others and myself, I was able to achieve this. However, what I didn’t know was that it would someday lead to being happy with who I was.
One more thing comes to mind as to where happiness comes from; at least for me. Trying to believe that something created life and the universe for a reason.
Something that gave us the ability to create our own happiness by learning how to be happy with who we are.