True Happiness Keep Thinking Positive For A Happy Life Oprah Show Series Have You Let Yourself Go Alone But Not Lonely
Most people look outside of themselves as the cause of their unhappiness or frustration. After all, wouldn’t life be practically perfect if the significant people in our lives would simply do things the way we want them to or do what we think is best for them? Actually, this is the kind of thinking that perpetuates the misery!
I agree that most of today’s unhappiness centers on important people in our lives not cooperating with us. Can anyone relate to that? Have you ever had a child who makes a decision that puts them in serious danger? Have you ever had a significant other decide to relocate or make an employment decision with which you were not in agreement? Did one of your parents ever say something critical to you that rocked your confidence? Ever had a supervisor who micromanaged your work and never gave credit for your good work performance? I think you get the idea.Any one or combination of these things can be a source of unhappiness for us and I’m sure you can add several others to the list.
While we are in situations such as these, it sure feels like if the others in our life would just cooperate and be the way we want them to be, and then our lives would be so much better, happier and more fulfilling. While this may, in fact, be true, what I also believe is this. While we are busy trying to get those significant others in our lives to do things our way, the behaviors we typically engage in to move others in our desired direction are exactly those behaviors that damage, and ultimately destroy, our relationships.
You know the behaviors I’m talking about: punishing, guilting, complaining, nagging, threatening, criticizing, “the silent treatment”, and if we are particularly savvy, rewarding to control, otherwise known as bribing.
If you are one of those people whose first choice of action is to negotiate and open the doors of communication, then you are rare. Ask yourself what do you typically resort to when negotiations fail?
I know one of my more polished behaviors is nagging. I am a world class nag—just ask my children. You know the drill. “How about cleaning up your room today?” Thirty minutes later, after the child is still in front of his video game, “Are you going to get to that room today?” Maybe two hours later, several decibels louder, “What about that ROOM?” Then, as a last frustration, it’s “Will you get off your lazy a*# and clean your blankety blank blank room!!!!” Ever been there? Did it work to get the room cleaned? In my case, it usually didn’t.
However, I’ve have had some parents tell me that repeated nagging does work but then my next question usually has a different answer—At what cost? What was the cost of getting that room cleaned? First, there was the cost of you losing control and being a person you probably don’t want to be and secondly, there was a definite cost to the relationship between you and your child. Do you believe that after an exchange such as that one, the two of you will be ready and willing to have a meaningful discussion about life or anything else about which you may like to talk? Probably not.
What I am about to say probably goes against what you have believed the good majority of your life and that is that you, and you alone, are responsible for your own happiness. If you are waiting for someone to do something differently or for a particular thing to manifest itself in your life in order for you to be happy, then you are operating from the outside in instead of the inside out.
I am not here to tell you to stop what you are currently doing. If you want to hold on to your beliefs that when your husband becomes more affectionate, your children more obedient, your wife more supportive, your boss more appreciative or you to get your education, pay off your credit cards, buy your first home, etc. in order for you to be happy, then go ahead. But for those of us who want to practice inside out thinking, we don’t like to give the power to others to control our happiness or any of our other moods or emotions. We know that we are responsible for ourselves and no one else.
What I can help you with is learning how to be the person you want to be, feel the emotions you want to feel by changing what you do and how you think about things. There is a quote I want to leave you with from Jimmy Dean. “You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” This is representative of true inside out thinking. People and events are going to be what they are around us. There is very little we can do to impact other people’s behavior and the uncontrollable events in our lives but there is always something each of us can do to manage those things better.
I have met many people in my life who are very negative. They moan about seemingly everything and walk around with the weight of the world on their shoulders. I was also like that until the age of twenty-two, at this age I decided to have a new approach to life.
For those first twenty-two years, I was forever feeling sorry for myself. My friends all appeared to have so much more than me, and my life was one long hard struggle, compared to theirs. I was caught up in a web of negativity and needed someone or something to help me to escape.
During an afternoon at work one day, aged as I say twenty-two, a colleague I was working with started to talk to me. What he said was a shock to me, however would have a profound effect on my future. He said to me:
“Your are somebody who always thinks in a negative way, you a right depressive person, aren’t you?”
I said in a shocked voice as I believed I was no different to anybody else. He continued:
“Yes you are. You very rarely smile, you are negative about most issues and you always seem to be carrying the world on your shoulders”.
This man was aged around fifty three and continued:
“I used to be like you and then I was given some advice, of which I am now going to relay to you. When you feel down, depressed or sorry for yourself, read the newspapers or watch the news on the television. You may then realise that you are in fact one of the lucky ones.”
I had a long think about what he had said. I had never been a big reader or watcher of the news, but decided to give it a go. The advice he gave me was totally correct, the news from around the world and even my own country was quite shocking. I realised that the worries I had were actually quite trivial and that I needed to cherish everyday and start to look on the bright side of life.
We can always count on Oprah. If we need a good book, or a good chocolate, she’s there with a recommendation and, if you happen to be in the audience, a sample. Perhaps Oprah is at her best, however, when you need a swift kick in the bottom – when you need someone telling it like it is, pulling no punches.
We turn to Oprah for weight loss advice and inspiration, tips on jeans that don’t make our butts look big, and “girl, no you didn’t” comments on our hair and makeup. So it’s no surprise that Oprah, queen of the TV talk show and the best friend we’ve never met, has turned the makeover show on its head by offering us a series called “Have you let yourself go”?
Featuring the stories of real women who feel they’ve let a part of themselves go and wonder how to retrieve it, the series examines the plight of women who say they’ve lost a piece of themselves somewhere along the path. One woman featured on the first episode of the series was Cheryl, who became a mom 4 years ago and feels she’s lost a part of herself to motherhood.
“I chose to stay at home”, she said in her confessional cam. She pointed to her clothes and hair and noted that she cares little about either and then plaintively said, “I feel I’ve lost a lot of myself.”
According to oprah.com, 90% of respondents in a recent survey at the website admitted they have let themselves go. The women featured on the series of shows have a variety of life stories to tell, from abuse and weight gain to broken relationships and significant life changes that brought them to a point, they say, of losing themselves and letting themselves go.
The Oprah message boards have been buzzing since the first shows aired. Women confess they know exactly how the show guests feel, and share similar stories of putting others first, feeling depressed, gaining weight and feeling hopeless and helpless to put things right.
One woman said she lost her job 4 years ago, moved into a contracted job for two years and is now out of work. She identifies, she says, with the issues presented on these Oprah shows. “I feel like I have let knowing who I am go”, she wrote. “I have been settling and I don’t want to settle for just anything. I want to get back on track. I need help and I want to make a comeback – Why am I scared to look at myself? I need to bring that to the surface.”
Oprah doesn’t dwell on people’s problems without offering experts and solutions, and for this series, she offers us Dr. Robin Smith who has suggested a vast reading list to help us in our bid to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and get our new life.
Some of the suggested reading includes:
– The Woman’s Comfort Book, by Jennifer Louden
– The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck, MD.
– Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix, PhD.
– Necessary Losses, by Judith Viorst
– The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie
– The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz
– Family Secrets: The Path to Self-Acceptance and Reunion, by John Bradshaw
In this quest to help women renew themselves, Oprah has also brought a personal trainer on board. Jeanette Jenkins offers up daily exercise and eating plans. Visit oprah.com for the plan, or you can download a printable version of it there as well.
Finally, the Oprah.com website is also offering an online journaling tool called a “discovery journal”. The “Who am I?” journal is designed to help you discover yourself, says Dr. Robin. That, she suggests, might be the first step toward retrieving the part of yourself you thought you lost.
In today’s fast paced society, we’ve become accustomed to filling the eeriness of silence with fluff. We turn to many distractions as a means of escaping feelings of idleness or boredom. But the main thing we wish to elude is loneliness. Solitude does not have to alienating or lonesome. In fact, solitude and loneliness are distinctly separate.
The death of a loved one or the inability to find people who understand you can leave you feeling isolated. Webster’s dictionary plainly describes loneliness as “being without companions.” It’s natural to experience an emptiness while longing for love or acceptance. Loneliness is therefore an emotive state that can be experienced whether or not one is physically alone.
It was Geoffrey F. Fisher who said, “In cities no one is quiet but many are lonely; in the country, people are quiet but few are lonely.”
We tend to fill loneliness with all types of distractions. For example, some single women would rather spend a Friday night with a man they have no genuine interest in, than spend the night alone. They long for a way of killing time while they await the man they are actually seeking. Then there are young adults who are involved in cliques where they can’t really relate to their companions. However, they would rather feel accepted on a superficial level than risk feeling outcast. So what is it about being alone that scares us?
Do not be spooked by the unfamiliarity of silence. Silence can be an amazing thing. It teaches you how to truly listen. It teaches you to pay attention to what’s going on inside of you. Only when we are alone, can we have the space and peace we need to think without being outwardly influenced. It therefore becomes easier to make important decisions as well as identify whatever feelings are culminating within.
Get in touch with yourself so that you can make conscious decisions rather than simply react to emotions. Appreciate the time you have to yourself. Let the peace and understanding you find better equip you for the commotion of today’s world..
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