By David Joel Miller
Most of us have some lies we tell ourselves every day. You may have been told these lies by others. Some are little ones and keep up hope. The big ones can make you miserable unless you face them.
Once X happens then I will be happy.
More money, a new relationship or finally reaching a goal all sounds like things that should make you happy. The truth is more like, if you are not happy while traveling to this place you will not be happy when you get there.
Learn to be happy while you are working to earn that money and then you can enjoy the happiness and the money. If you are miserable on the way to the money you will still be miserable when you arrive.
Once you become a success nothing bad will happen
One thing people in recovery learn is that life keeps happening. You work hard on your issues and then life gets better. But then something else happens and things get tough again. Successful people still get sick. Their families break up and their children get in trouble.
Plenty of highly successful people develop addictions or get arrested. There is no thing out there you can get that grantees permanent happiness unless maybe that thing is a proper attitude towards life.
Life is fair or someone should make it fair.
Life is not always fair. Bad things happen to good people. No one can make life be fair. What you can do is learn the skills to get through hard times and how to keep a positive attitude when things look darkest.
There is something you can do to guarantee safety
You can be constantly on the lookout for danger and still it can overtake you. It is reasonable to take precautions and watch out for danger, but do not fall into the trap of thinking that there are things you can do that will assure your safety. Insurance does not stop accidents it just pays you money to compensate for your losses. Excessive work about what might happen robes you of the happy moment now.
Not taking chances will keep you safe
Everything in life requires a measure of risk. Apply for a job and you may not get it. Avoid falling in love and you will not have to go through a break up. You will also never know the joys of being in love.
If you want to have the good you need to accept the risk of things not always going the way you want them to.
You are in control of everything
The great illusion of control takes many forms. One is the belief that if you work hard enough and insist loudly enough you can get control over everything and everyone in your life.
No one ever has control of life. It rains whether you want it to or not. Weather happens. People in your family get sick ether you eat the right foods or not. No matter how hard you try to control your children some of them will turn out well and some will not.
You are in control of anything
No matter what thing you believe you have reduced to your control that control is probably temporary. The only thing that may in fact yield to your control is your attitude towards the uncontrollable.
You are not good enough
You are plenty good enough. We all can do better but do not tell yourself that the fault is that you are inherently defective. This belief is just a sneaky way of letting yourself off the hook and allowing you to stop trying.
The whole world is no good
There are good people and bad people. Sometimes good people do bad things and bad people do good things. Things keep changing. There is good all around if you look for it. The most beautiful flower may have some dead leaves. Even a weed can have beautiful blooms.
Believe in your worthwhileness and accept yourself scars and all.
10. The future will never be any better
There will always be another tomorrow. Some of those will be better and some few may be worse. Do not create a negative future by only looking for the defective. You will find what you are seeking but only if you believe that happiness is out there just waiting for you to find it.
11. You are the only one with this problem or issue
Hang out in any recovery program and you begin to swear those people were following you around recording your story. Troubles seem to come at one point or another to most of us. Listen for the ways in which others have struggled and you may decide that you are not so different from others.
12. You should not have to tell others what you need
People stay hungry or unloved because they don’t talk up. No matter how hard you try you will not always know what others around you need and want. They will not be able to read your mind Give yourself permission to ask for what you need. Telling those in your support system what your needs are helps them to be able to feel the joy of knowing how to help you.
13. You can’t take any more or can’t stand this situation.
If you say you can’t – you won’t. Most of us can take more than we think. Tell yourself that this too shall pass and much more becomes bearable. If your situation is intolerable take action to change it. Can’t change all of your life obstacles? Work on the changes you can make first and then reevaluate.
13. Your happiness depends on people, places or things
Happiness is an inside job. You can be happy no matter where you are if you permit it. You may wish things were different. You might prefer them to be different, but your ability to find happiness does not depend on having the right things or places in your life. No matter how much you miss someone who was in your life and is now gone out of it, do not let that absence rob you of the good times that you had. Do not let the loss of one person cheat you out of the relationship with the other people who could enrich your life.
Some other posts on finding and keeping a happy life are listed below
For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books