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Mar 10

Happiness

In the Promises we are told that we will know a new freedom and a new happiness.  For many of us it has been a long time since we have been truly happy.  At first it may seem that this one really is an extravagant promise.  It may be hard to imagine in the early stages but as we begin to live the principles of recovery we are blessed with a new kind of happiness – unlike anything we’ve known before because it comes from within.

The happiness we find in recovery is not based on anything that’s happening on the outside.  We have given our will and lives over to our Higher Power.  We are living in truth, taking responsibility for ourselves, doing the next right thing  on our side of the street and accepting the fact that there are some aspects of life that are not ours to change.  All of this is an inside job; most of it is actually in our heads.  We are learning to change the way we think about things and this will surely change what we say, what we do and the quality of the life we live.

Some people resist this idea at first.  We are quite comfortable with blaming our circumstances and other people for the way we feel.  We may have good reason to feel that life has been less than fair at times and most of us have been through so much that we had nearly given up on finding peace or anything that resembled joy.   It can be almost offensive to hear that we are in fact responsible for the way we feel, the thoughts we think, the way we react when life is hard.  But the truth is that some amount of happiness is always available to us and we do actually perpetuate some of our own misery.  If we are willing to work the Steps in every part of our lives we will change the way we think.  This includes our thoughts about taking care of ourselves.  Self care is often overlooked or dismissed but I believe that Step-work includes taking a look at the way we’ve been treating ourselves and making daily amends by creating habits that heal.  We believe that we are worth the effort, now we can choose something dfferent, something better for ourselves and soon we begin to feel the results. So happiness is a choice and we must choose it over and over again in everything we think, say and do.

As we practice this new way of thinking, taking care of our bodies and making choices that feed the soul, we find that we are better prepared to face challenging situations.  Because we feel better we react differently and the outcome of our interaction improves.  All of these things work together to create balance and increase the happiness that is available both in the good times and in those difficult times when we would have normally fallen apart. When things get rough we know that we have some new tools in our tool box to provide us with better options and more peace.  In time we are convinced beyond any doubt that connecting to the wisdom of a Higher Power, living in harmony with the truth and finding balance in our everyday lives heals on every level from the inside out.   This is the beauty of recovery and the secret to happiness that lasts.

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