Sunday, October 29, 2006

What It Takes To Be Happy

What it takes to be happy is: 1) Find a sense of purpose for our lives and 2) Reframe the filter through which we view people and the circumstances in our lives. I’ve said it before and know by experience that this is true. I KNOW that we have the power to change circumstances and how we are treated by others. How?

We change our circumstances and how we are treated by others when we change what WE say and do and how we see ourselves. We change these things when we ask ourselves new questions and take new actions. As they say: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get a different result.

Even when what we do does not work out the way we hoped or thought it would, something changes when we push ourselves outside our comfort zones and try new things. IF we choose to see what happens as information, we grow, we learn, we recognize new possibilities. If one set of actions did not work, perhaps another will. IF we make the choice to keep trying.

We alter relationships in our lives when we begin to ask about others, especially those who are thorns in our sides: What are THEIR hopes and dreams and fears?

The thing is that it’s in our hands, how we live our lives. The possibilities are there but we need to find a way to see them. I ABSOLUTELY KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE!

Over the past few years I have made a great many changes in my life. NOW I see possibilities I could not grasp even a year ago and far more I could not see 5 years ago. Only by taking action and being willing to face my fears and honestly look at the outcome, accepting my own responsibility for my life, could I LEARN to see these new possibilities. I had to be willing to challenge old assumptions I hadn’t known I was allowing to control my actions and reactions.

Why is a sense of purpose so important? Because it gives us something to focus on beyond our own fears and self-doubts and past hurts. It’s important because we feel better when we are closer to being the kind of person we believe we ought to be. It’s important because while we may not be able to find the courage to do the things we fear if it’s just for ourselves, odds are much better we will when we know we are doing so to achieve something we believe matters.

And make no mistake—there is no way past fear except to walk through it and do the very things we think we cannot do. What we gain is priceless. And we cannot fail. Either we succeed or we gain new knowledge and insight and information—even if it’s that we may want to try something a little different next time.

This week I did some new things. Gained some insight, some validation, learned some information that on the surface seems deeply distressing. And yet I know that even with the information I find distressing, inherent in the situation is a gift—the gift of new possibilities, new ways of looking at things—if I choose to accept it.

We have choices. We can stay exactly as we are and we will have exactly what we have now—until the universe comes along and yanks the rug out from under our feet! Or we can choose to go forward, embracing change and new possibilities.

I believe that we can use everything that happens to help us move toward a life that is rich and fulfilling and filled with a sense of purpose. It’s our choice. And once we choose, it’s up to us to take the steps to achieve that life we want to have.

What is your sense of purpose and what choices will you make this week to help you achieve it? How will you move forward toward creating the life you want to have? How will you embrace the power you already, in this very moment, have within you to do so?

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))))),



Marj aka Thriver said...

Yes, "Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway!" I big part of striving toward that for me is changing the negative self-talk in my head. Thanks for letting me use this for the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. (It's up now.) I appreciate your continued participation. :)

Holly Desimone said...

Hi everyone,
We do have choices, great post!
Take care

Therapy Doc said...

This No Pain No Gain philosophy is MUCH more courageous than you give yourself credit for having. You have no idea how cool you are.

Well done, April. Go from strength to strength.

Tracie said...

What a great post!!

Thanks for adding my link. I am looking forward to coming back and reading more of your posts!

jumpinginpuddles said...

what youve said is so right now applying it is the hard thing

April_optimist said...

Marj, Holly, Therapy Doc, Tracie, and Jumping Puddles,

So glad you liked the post. The great thing is that when we take these steps and things begin to get better, we find ourselves eager to take more steps. We start to have faith that what we are doing WILL work. And then we start to embrace making changes rather than fearing it.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post...what you describe here - that is sort of the purpose of my blog, to alter the way that I see things in order to create happiness in my life. I see it as a spiritual practice - something that I have to work on every day.

April_optimist said...

Thanks, Karma. And how great that you are consciously working to alter the filter through which you see life. Good for you!!!