Happiness

The other day I shared about how un-likeable a character I am.  This is a clarity gained through abstinence.  But while I think it’s important that my character gets transformed – not least in order to maintain my abstinence! – I also have a tendency to beat myself over the head with all the things that need improvement.  As a Christian, I read the Bible… and I often use it to beat myself over the head with it.  As a recovering addict, I read the Big Book… and again, beat myself with how much more I ought to work the steps and help other compulsive overeaters more.  Beating myself with a stick doesn’t support my abstinence.

What I want is a serene, joyous abstinence.  As a fellow GS’er is fond of saying, “having fun in abstinence”!  So, I looked at happiness.

Happiness, I’ve read somewhere that we don’t get it by looking for it but by focusing outward – *away* from my own personal happiness.  I believe that’s true.  So how could I experience more happiness in the everyday activities of my life?  I have learned so many good things from the program of AA, and those tools I believe can help bring about happiness…

  • staying in the day: staying in the NOW.  Not projecting into tomorrow, next week, next year, next life…
  • cultivating gratitude as an attitude
  • focusing on, and enjoying, my delicious meals
  • focusing on, and enjoying, the fellowship and relationships with fellow recovering addicts
  • focusing on the needs of others
  • truly listening to others
  • asking for help

I can think about all the tools of the Fellowship as something I need to “achieve” – that’s beating myself up about them.  Or I can look at them as gifts that I have at my disposal to become happier – then I will be.

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