Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who Is Responsible for My Happiness?

"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16) Because of God's indwelling Spirit, we can be happy and at peace. That's a fact! How do we release cares and concerns in our minds and hearts? We live gratefully in the present moment with faith in a loving God. We take responsibility for our own happiness. We stop blaming others and complaining about our circumstances. According to scientists who study the brain, 80% of our thoughts are negative. This kind of thought process poisons our systems. Are we doomed then to unhappiness? No, because we can learn to question our thoughts when they enter our brain. We can ask ourselves if the thought is true. When our district applied RIF (Reduction in Force) in 2002 and 2003 to cut the budget, I told myself that the district was wrong to let go of 132 educators in two years. I really seriously asked myself, "Were the district administrators and board members out to ruin our teaching careers?" Of course, the answer was "No", even though I told myself that lie for a while and let negative thinking engulf me. I had to finally let it go. After I did, I started to think about ways to make income without that job. I came up with the idea of substitute teaching. This positive thought expanded into a joyous plan to take pressure off myself and enjoy a very flexible schedule and still have the satisfaction of teaching. My husband's income and my inheritance from my parents could make up the difference. We can learn to let go of a negative thought and redirect ourselves to think in a more positive way. It will take time. If we are in the habit of thinking in a negative way, redirecting our thoughts to more positive ones will take some focus on our parts. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Paul says "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" in Colossians 3:2. With our GPS (God's Powerful Spirit) inside, we can be joyful children of God.

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