I know my cheerfulness can get on people’s nerves. If I were around me while I was feeling gloomy, I’d want to slap duct tape on my own mouth.

My wish is for everyone to feel what I feel – at least on most days. Because I know it’s possible. Because I made it that way.

I don’t have everything I want. I’m not financially set just yet. My body isn’t at 14% BF. Hell, I still struggle with saying no to vegan chips. Beanfields Nacho is like crack!

But you know what?

I’m still happy.

I choose to be happy.

I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I choose to find and bask in the silver lining.

I choose to celebrate every good thing I do for myself and for others, no matter how small.

Horrible thoughts will always try to barge into your consciousness. Our uglier other self is always simmering right below the surface.

You see someone prettier or thinner than you – jealousy bubbles up. Your coworker makes a sarcastic comment – you take it as a passive-aggressive dig at you.

How do you react?

Do you brush it off?

Or do you feed the monster with resentful, hate-filled thoughts?

Many times, we secretly relish playing the victim. Forces external to us control our lives. People make us do, say, and feel things that we wouldn’t otherwise. It’s their fault. We had no choice but to react like that. We couldn’t help it.

Um… Newsflash!

Some of you might not want to hear this, but…

Nothing and nobody can MAKE you do, say, or feel anything that you DO NOT YOURSELF ALLOW.

This important point needs to be repeated:

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOUR WORDS, ACTIONS, AND THOUGHTS.

Let’s dissect that down.

If we were children then, yes, we can shift the blame away from ourselves. We don’t know any better, after all. We’re still maturing and learning. We don’t have the mental capacity or emotional intelligence to gauge situations or analyze events and respond accordingly.

As adults, though?

It should come as no surprise that everything we do is a habit. How we get up in the morning. What we choose to eat. How we think.

And how we react.

Our learned behaviours are actions, thoughts, and feelings that have become engrained after sufficient repetitions. Do something enough times and it becomes a part of us (no, not permanently).

Also, we tend to excel at being copycats. What Mummy and Daddy do, many of us follow suit.

It would be alright to keep it up if those learned behaviours were healthy, fulfilling, and instilling tranquility and joy into our being.

But I’m willing to bet that’s only true for a lucky few.

For the rest of us, demons abound within the landscape of our mind. We judge. We gossip about other people to make ourselves feel better about our own lack of control. We make excuses that we know, deep down inside, don’t hold water.

(Warning, this is a no-holds-barred post)

So, since we’ve determined that our lives are made up of a bajillion learned behaviours and habits we’ve developed and honed over time…

This gives us POWER – not despair.

We can be the true master of our destiny.

It’s scary to stop our finger from pointing at others in blame. To look ourselves squarely in the mirror and admit that our life is the way it is because we have allowed it to become so.

But you know what?

No one is so old or so far gone that it’s too late.

So: next time you find yourself getting angry, or thinking unkind thoughts towards yourself, or some other bad, self-destructive habit…

Choose to put out LOVE instead.

Choose to laugh it off. Take the damaging, suffocating negativity and replace it with its uplifting, expansive twin: positive vibes.

choose-to-be-happy

Here, let me give you an example:

*Girl walks by, laughing with an attractive guy.*

Your thought reaction: “Why can’t I get a guy like that? What’s wrong with me? She’s probably a bitch. Ugh, why can’t I have a body like that. I bet she’s super slutty.”

I don’t know how realistic thoughts like that are, but I’m willing to bet at least $20 that it’s not too far-fetched for some. Thoughts like that are SO damaging on so many levels. Absolutely toxic.

Why?

You’re putting yourself down. You’re engaging in comparison when you have little to no basis to do so. You’re putting down a complete stranger. You’re asking yourself a rhetorical question that automatically makes you feel like shit.

Why go there?!

Let’s rewind and try this again.

*Girl walks by, laughing with an attractive guy.*

Replace that garbage with…

You: “What a cute couple! It’s nice that people can still enjoy each others’ company nowadays. I hope they’re happy and grow old together. I know that’s in my cards too. Her body is gorgeous. I’ll go to the gym today. I know I’ll get there too – if she can, I can.”

Some might call this sappy. I don’t care. Thoughts like those are literally what I try to plaster into my brain, every day.

They put me in a warm and fuzzy mood. They make me believe I can do anything. That I’m worth something, but no less and no more than anyone else.

When you believe you can, your life expands to make that belief a reality.

Give it a try! It takes practice and it may never be 100%, but I guarantee your life will change for the better.

Ps. Throw a smile on your face while you’re at it. Even if it’s forced at first, it’ll grow on you. 😉

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