Starting Over Again
By Harlan Jacobsen (Copyright 1998)
TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR HAPPINESS
Taking responsibility and controlling your own happiness is a learned process. You say, with what has happened to me, how can I be happy? I earned this unhappiness by going through what I did, I have a right to be unhappy: True, but you also have a right to be happy.
You pick whichóif you decide you want to stay unhappy for awhile, thatís okay. But remember you choose, recognizing you do have a choice and it is your decision.
If you decided to be unhappy some more, you probably didnít need any help. You are probably pretty good at it.
HOWEVER, IF YOU DECIDE YOU WANT TO LEARN HAPPINESS, MAYBE WE CAN HELP
It is possible to learn to be happy despite the fact you may be going through pain. You may have always been unhappy and miserable. In that case, your divorce may well turn out to be a real blessing if it causes you to find out you can chose and learn happiness.
IF YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNHAPPY, LEARNING HAPPINESS AS A DIVORCED PERSON WILL BE SCARY
Doing anything new or unfamiliar will be uncomfortable initially. You will also have to give up the benefits of being unhappy and miserable. You will no longer impress your ex and the world as to how much of an injustice you have been done.
You will no longer get sympathy, no one will rescue you and you wonít get to play martyr any more. Recognize you must give up these and possibly other benefits or payoffs from staying unhappy.
DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS: PLEASANT FEELINGS
If happiness is feelings, how can I be happy, since what others have done or what has happened make me feel terrible? As we have said previously, it is not what has happened to you but how you look at what happened to you. You can look on the same happening as a disaster or as an opportunity to move on to bigger and better things. You control how you look at it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
REMEMBER, FEELINGS COME IN STEREO--óWITH THOUGHT
You cannot get the feelings without the thought. Quit playing the negative thought-record and you eliminate the bad feeling that comes in stereo with it. Replace it with positive thoughts about what is coming up in your new life, so you have no time to play the pain records over. Play records that have pleasant feelings with them.
You choose which "thought" recall records you play. Abolish your mental museum of horror records.
FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS WITH A 3 MINUTE DELAY
When you have good feelings you smile. Did you know that when you smile when you donít feel like it, the feeling catches up within 3 minutes.? Often within 30 seconds.
Feelings also come in stereo with actions. You can control your thoughts and then the associated feeling. You can also get any feeling you want by appropriate action or motion.
If you have little confidence, straighten up the slouch, carry yourself confidently, and within 3 minutes you will feel more confident.
Initially, you have to fake or force these actions such as smiling, but then the feeling catches up and you donít have to force it any more. It will become more natural as the feeling catches up.
How do you act confident? Sit up front, do what confident people do. People who hide in the back row lack confidence. You get the confident feeling by doing what confident people do (actions) .
Act joyful by acting enthusiastic and the happy enthusiastic feeling will catch up with you, guaranteed, within three minutes. You donít have to feel enthusiastic to act enthusiastic. Act enthusiastic and happy, and the feeling catches up.
ONCE YOU GET IT GOING, IT IS SELF FEEDING
Again remember you are like the person I mentioned before, who says to the fireplace - "give me heat, then Iíll put some fuel in." Wrong. Act enthusiastic, then you will have happy feelings automatically, and you control them. To act enthusiastic, speed up everything 20% to 30% - quit dragging around. Speed up your life. Your enthusiasm and happiness level goes up in direct proportion to how you eliminate the half-dead dragging around actions.
To gain confidence, practice speaking up and when talking to someone, practice maintaining direct eye contact. Smile, (practice, it is learned) and soon you will have it automatically. It takes 21 days of deliberate practice to get a habit and put it all on automatic.
TAKE ACTION - GET OFF YOUR DUFF - MOVE!
Newly divorced get frozen in thought and contemplation that is tied up with fear of the future and processing the past. This dissipates energies and creates mental poisons.
STOP ALL THIS MENTAL GARBAGE, TAKE CONTROL - TAKE ACTION
Start immediately to take constructive action. Do something that will help solve your problems.
STOP MENTAL PROCESSING OF ALL THE BADS AND FEARSóREFUSE TO PLAY THESE RECORDS
Now you are getting there (happiness) when you play only the good "feeling" records. You have stopped demanding or expecting people to act a certain way. You are taking action and straightening up your posture. You are speeding up your life and moving and acting enthusiastically. Practice smiling, sitting in the front tow, acting confidently - speaking up in the singles groups. Update your programming. Childhood attitudes, beliefs, and programming wonít work now.
21 DAYS FROM NOW - YOU WILL HAVE AN AUTOMATIC NEW YOU
You will have acted this way for 21 days. Your automatic functions will take over and you wonít believe the change. You wonít have to force yourself anymore.
YOU NOW KNOW HOW TO CONTROL YOUR OWN HAPPINESS LEVEL. TAKE CONTROL BACK FROM YOUR EX
Tell Ďem you are getting your act together and you figure you will be happier than you have ever been in your life up till now. What they do wonít affect it. It gets better and better...
HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS
If you hang around happy people, you catch it. If you associate primarily with downers - you catch it. It happens automatically.
All you have to do is sort. Stop associating with people that drain you and you feel more down when you leave than when you met them. Deliberately set out to meet and develop friends who are "uppers"-- Happy people, people who like the "new you" that you want to become. People who charge your battery when you spend time with them and that you have "good times" and go away feeling more up for having been with them.
LATER WHEN YOU GET YOUR OVERALL HAPPINESS ACT
TOGETHER, A DOWNER OR TWO WONíT DRAIN YOU
Right now, though, we suggest you get a sheet of paper - draw a line down the middle, top to bottom. Label the left side "Downers" - right side, label "Uppers." List all of the people that are like gas stations that take your credit card: they are open to you and make you feel better spending time with or talking with them.
CROSS OFF AND STOP SEEING THE DOWNERS FOR NOW
You will eventually spread some of your sunshine to them perhaps but until you get good at it - leave them out of your life.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HAPPY FACES
People that are enjoying and getting the most out of life - thatís what you want for now. Force yourself to be with these kind of people because...
YOU WONíT BE COMFORTABLE WITH HAPPY PEOPLE INITIALLY
If you are still sour on life right now, you wonít be comfortable with the kind of people you need and will tend to sabotage yourself and these types of friendships and getting out with these types of people. Force yourself - for awhile. Eventually it will get comfortable as you start seeing yourself as a happy person too.
IF YOU USE THE SHORT-CUT METHODS MENTIONED EARLIER, (self hypnosis, etc.) TO CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK AND SELF ESTEEM, YOU WILL DO THIS AUTOMATICALLY
If not, you have to force yourself and deliberately do what you need to do, knowing you will be uncomfortable initially (actions).
GET RID OF YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND DEMANDS FOR OTHERS (AND YOURSELF). CHANGE TO PREFERENCES
You prefer that others and the world act a certain way. You no longer expect them to, and you donít demand they do certain things. You prefer they be perfect and do what you like but your happiness is not controlled be their actions one way or the other.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS
You now know that YOU DO have control of your own happiness. That it is not dependent on "things" happening, money, nor is your happiness controlled by other people (no longer). Now you decide, do you want to get out of pain and into happiness?
HAPPINESS AS A LIFESTYLE IS LEARNED
You probably have some unhappiness unlearning to do first.
Set your goals to become a happier person, each day getting better and better. Donít make getting married a goal, make leading a happy fulfilled life your goal. If marriage helps accomplish that, it will happen easily and automatically. If your happier single for now, that will happen too.
YOUR GOAL NEVER WAS TO LEARN TO, AND BE A HAPPY PERSON
Your goals up till now were always to get "something." When you got it you wondered why you still werenít happy. You figured you needed more, bigger, or nicer, etc., and then you would be happy.
MOST SINGLES FIGURE "IF I COULD ONLY MEET A CERTAIN PERSON, THEN I WOULD BE HAPPY."
Wrong. When you get your happiness quotient under control you will automatically attract people who "add" to your happiness. If they leave, they wonít be able to take "your" happiness with them.
DONíT POSTPONE HAPPINESS. START TODAY.
Practice happiness for 21 days. It will then become automatic and last you the rest of your life.
NEXT ISSUE: More on your new life.