I have come to believe that the secret to happiness is to focus on the positive. The phrase "When I think about what I don't have then I feel like I have nothing, but, when I think about what I DO have then I feel soooo lucky" pretty much sums it up. Growing up I was taught that God would give me everything I needed, all I had to do was ask. But now it has become obvious to me that asking God for something is to think about what I don't have…and that is not the path to my happiness.
If I believe in a God that is all good and loving (which I do) then why would I think that he wouldn't have already provided me with everything I need right now? If I believe in a God who is all knowing (and I do) then how could I ever think that I know more about how things should be in my life than he does? Since I do believe in an all good and loving and knowing God (who I usually refer to as the creating force behind the universe) then it must logically follow that the world around me is exactly as it is supposed to be for my benefit. But, like everybody, there are times I am unable to see that everything is as it should be. Those are the times I am tempted to point out to the creating force that it has messed up and here is my list of things that need to be changed. How silly such a request would seem to the master of everything! And oh how it angers and scares me when I get it backwards and see part or all of life as against me instead of for me. I begin to think that life is something I must fight against, something painful, maybe even something I want out of. None of this because it is true, but only because I am looking at life backwards…I am stuck in negativity…stuck thinking with the negative part of my brain. And asking God over and over to change reality does nothing but keep me stuck.
In those times of negativity the only thing that needs changing is my focus. If I start to look at what is right in life that focus will begin to change. And what better way to see what is right than by saying "Thank You" for each and every good thing. Then my mind again starts to see reality as it really is. Then my thoughts become more pleasant. Then the fear and anger melts away as the positive part of my brain regains control. Then I begin once again to enjoy life. If, as I believe, the creating force of the universe has put me here in the midst of a reality that is designed for my benefit then there can be no doubt that I should enjoy it, not fight it. So I have resigned my position as manager of the universe. Seeing myself as smarter than God, giving orders to reality that it must change, and then seeing it not change, is a painful exercise in insanity. Instead I give thanks for every day, hour, minute, breath, and heartbeat. I give thanks for reality, just the way it is. And, more than anything else, I give thanks that now I know how to truly enjoy life 🙂