I used to believe that my chances of being happy or sad were dependent on the people in my life (and their behaviors), my health, my home, our job, the weather, the city I lived in, etc. That my luck with these experience or “things” was determining if I could be happy or not.
Then I learned this very freeing truth: all of these “things” that I thought were responsible for giving me happiness or taking it away, were not responsible at all. I was.
You see, it is the way I choose to THINK about these things that has always, and still does, create my happiness or misery. My thoughts, NOT my circumstances.
That may not sound amazing to you, but to me it is, and it has changed my life!
If I am in control of how I think about, and therefore feel about, these things, then I am no longer helpless to the circumstances around me to feel a certain way. Freedom, baby!
I am in no way suggesting that you will, or even should, always think happy thoughts about every circumstance in your life. I am however, telling you that the circumstances in your life cannot, in and of themselves, create the joy or pain you experience.
Here is why this is true:
Circumstances are – generally outside of your control. For example, you don’t get to control how everyone around you behaves (but I can guarantee you spend a lot of time trying), what the weather is, if you get sick, who your neighbor is and if the price of gas goes up or down.
Circumstances are – the “facts” that everyone would agree upon at any given time. They are like the math of life. No drama. Not very exciting. Just the people, places, events and things in our lives.
Take the weather for example. It actually has no ability to create emotions for humans. NO ability. That is outside of its scientific system to do so. So, when it is 80 degrees outside and the sky is blue, I may love it and be very happy, but my children will most likely complain all day about it being too hot outside. How can this be? If we are both experiencing the same weather, how can one of us be happy and the other miserable? The difference is my thoughts, and their thoughts. I am thinking “It’s a lovely day out. That sun is so warm,” and my children are thinking “I want to be inside. I am melting!” It’s the same circumstance, but different thoughts. It doesn’t mean that myinterpretation of the weather is correct and theirs is wrong, but it does explain the difference between my happiness and their misery.
BEing aware of how much you blame your feelings (good or bad) on everything and everyone around you, is the first step to gaining emotional responsibility and I promise… freedom!