Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday's Message ~ Statement #3



“Happiness comes from our attitudes.  We must create it for ourselves.”
-Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., WFS Program Booklet

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
-Marcus Aurelius
Statement #3, “Happiness is a habit I will develop.”
Happiness is created, not waited for.

+ Karen’s Perspective +
        Growing up, I learned that happiness was a goal to strive for; one that seemed akin to that carrot on a stick, just dangling out of reach.  When it did arrive, it was short-lived or was quickly replaced by negativity or drama.  Additionally, feelings of guilt and shame left no room for joy to flourish and I turned to alcohol for relief.  The false sense of happiness that I felt created a cyclical groove of sadness and short-lived ease, which over time became a deeply entrenched addiction.
        Sobriety and recovery provide the opportunity to discover what brings out happiness and joy.  It takes time to experience what authentic joy feels like, and I recall a time when I faked feeling happy.  My mind was whirling, wondering why I did not feel happy, even though I was doing something off of my bucket list.  I remember feeling flat, emotionless and thought something was wrong with me.  There was nothing wrong.  I was just learning to experience life without an alcohol crutch.  I felt unsteady at first, then felt more stable and balanced with each new day.  It is an ongoing journey; I am learning, experiencing life and discovering unexpected joys.
        Statement #3 takes daily practice and is effective in creating moments of happiness that form a base of contentment which is supportive even during the most difficult of times.  Today I can move through times of unbalance knowing that my thoughts and attitude either add or subtract to the situation.  Although math was not my strong suit, I am better able to formulate feelings of joy thanks to practicing this very empowering Statement.
Did you know that today is International Happiness Day?
What will you do to add to these festivities?
Hugzzz, Karen

+  Member Insights  +
Hi 4C Women,
        It is an amazing journey to discover what brings us joy and happiness.  I learned that I continually looked only to the past to figure out what brought me joy, not taking into account my lifestyle changes, my emotional growth and even my physical health.  Using the past, as my only guide, left me disappointed and closed many new opportunities because I was stuck.  I am learning from the women in my group just how much is available to explore, new adventures to uncover and the best part is that if it isn’t what you thought, you can actually do something else!  No guilt in trying and not liking, feeling awful because you spent time exploring options.  That alone is worth discovering new ways to find joy.  I, too, see joy as the foundation to be able to face the difficult challenges that will come.  When I am feeling sad, disappointed, angry or hurt, I know these are reactions to a situation and will not last forever.  I know that allowing these feelings into my heart is the fastest way to heal them and let joy come back in.  Happiness is created by us, yet it is not meant to deny our authentic feelings.  Happiness/joy to me is the rock I stand on to keep me balanced and to face the fears that come and go.  The difference is making a decision to have a foundation of joy, peace, contentment or a life filled only with fears, living in the past, crumbling your self-worth.  It may sound foolish to ask such a question, yet I have lived that life and when I look back, I am surprised yet grateful for the guidance of WFS in creating the New Life I needed.
Questions to ask yourself:
·         I am happy when...
·         When I am happy, I...
·         I can make myself happy by...
·         I like to make others happy by...
·         When I am happy, I want...
--WFS Member
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