“Happiness Is An Inside Job”

From Each Day A New Beginning, September 30:

“What difference does it make how I am treated by life? My real life is within.” ~Angela Wozniak

“It is said that we teach people how to treat us. How we treat others invites similar treatment. Our response to the external conditions of our lives can be greatly altered by our perceptions of those conditions. And we have control of that perception…

The program offers us the awareness that our security, happiness, and well-being reside within. The uplifting moments of our lives may enhance our security, but they can’t guarantee that they will last. Only the relationship we have with ourselves and God within can promise the gift of security.

The ripples in my life are reminders to me to go within.”

When I rely too heavily on circumstances in my life, especially those over which I have no control, I’m setting myself up. It’s great when things go smoothly in my life, but often they don’t. When all is well, it’s natural to feel happiness and a sense of well-being. But I can lose that sense of security in a heartbeat when all is not well, when I am burdened by heartbreak. That’s when I’m grateful for the spiritual life I have at my disposal. When I remember to trust in my program every day, I’m able to feel God’s grace.

My daughter Angie has been in and out of addiction for fifteen years, and for many of those years I allowed her illness to destroy my well-being. I fought like a warrior mom to save her, as though her recovery were totally up to me. She was in and out of several rehabs, and my sense of wellness ebbed and flowed along with hers. This is codependence, an illness in itself. Thank you, Melody Beattie, for shining a light on this misunderstood malady!

I felt at first that letting go was dropping the ball, evidence that I didn’t love my daughter. Heaven knows, there were many people out there who were telling me that. But unless they’ve walked a mile in my shoes, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I often say that attitude is everything. I have this sadness in my life; most of us here do as well. But I refuse to let it define me. I refuse to obsess about it any longer. My energy is better spent on all the other loved ones in my life: other family and friends. I want to use what’s left of my life in a constructive way: by sharing my experience, strength and hope with others in my book about Angie, my blog, and a second book, a sequel to the Angie story coming out next year. I also like to sing and go canoeing, hike and cross country ski.

Life is as full as I want to make it. How I spend my time now is more important than how I spent it in the past because I can build on the lessons learned from my mistakes. Life can be better now if I apply a positive attitude to my efforts and not be too concerned with outcomes. Expectations can be killers.

I try to loosen my grip on things in my life, take deep breaths, and relax. Life is unfolding as it was meant to.

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