Take Your Pick: Choosing To Be Happy Or Sad

Do you think you’re a logical person who is rational most of the time? Would you ever make yourself miserable? That’s what I thought too. I saw myself as a reasonable logical person. What I discovered is that I was working hard to make myself miserable. I was shocked to see how much work I was doing to make life miserable. How did that happen?

At one point I was miserable and I started making habits based on struggling or having a bad mood. Then I kept those habits way on into life where they weren’t needed. To see how hard you work to be miserable can allow you to be free from it. You have to work for whatever you want in life. If you want to feel good, you have to work for it.

The trick is often if you’re not feeling good. You are doing work to not feel good, you’re just so used to doing it that you don’t see it. I was so used to doing work to be miserable I didn’t see it until I got so miserable I was forced by grace to step back and watch what was going on. I was miserable and wondering why I was having such a hard time after doing the work to make myself miserable.

For most of my life I was a know-it-all who wanted to know everything and acted like I knew everything. Even when I was a teenager, I struggled a lot with anxiety, depression, bipolar and into an adult I found alcohol. Alcohol was wonderful. It allowed me a release from all of these bad habits I formed from how I lived as a teenager. Bad habits like worrying about the future. There’s a difference between planning. Worrying about it is wondering whether the plane is going to crash or not. Most of those habits I formed as a teenager of hating how things are. It takes work of going through and focusing on the things that are wrong with other people and situations. It takes work. I don’t know where I picked up all these bad habits but I picked up a lot of bad habits that take work to maintain each day.

For example, having specific views on politics takes a lot of work. You have to participate. You need to watch whatever sources give you the information that you use to make your arguments. It takes a lot of work to be an opinionated person. It’s miserable to be an opinionated person all the time and feel the need to know it all. For me, alcohol relieved the pain and misery that often came but it was a deal with the devil. Every time I drank it was like you could look at it in terms of money. I would get a hundred dollars by drinking, but $200 would be deducted from my account. Alcohol gave me a little relief at first, but more would continue to be deducted from my soul.

I would have a little bit of relief and then the next day I would have more pain than before. I would do it again and again until finally I couldn’t handle it. I was forced to step back and see that the things I did were set up to make myself miserable. When I look around at other people who are struggling, it tends to look the same way. The work that you’re doing tends to dictate the outcome.

If you can see that you generally have to work hard to make yourself miserable then you can step back out of it. For me, a lot of the work I did related to alcohol but absent of alcohol, I did other work to be miserable. Once I could see that, I couldn’t see that as long as I was drinking. Once I got into a support group and was able to look at what I was doing and realized I was doing a lot of work to make myself miserable.

To be happy takes work and you only have a fixed amount of what you can do each day. What you have to do it realize what you are doing that’s making you miserable and swap in some new habits right there. With my drinking, I would have to plan out drinking well in advance. I would take the time to think about it, fit it into my schedule, and plan the best way to drink. That takes work and real effort.

My drinking took a lot of work, but the motivation for drinking took a lot of work. I didn’t just drink for no reason. There has to be pain and suffering underneath to make drinking look attractive. It could be gambling, drugs, money, sex, work. You can put anything in place of alcohol. Absent of alcohol, I used other things. You want to avoid getting hung up on the exact way, and identify what’s similar in you. For me, the alcohol needed a background to go in. It needed a background of struggle. I would put nasty posts on Facebook and say nasty controversial things. I would do different things to make money so I could feel like I was better than other people. I would try and work harder so I can say I’m a better worker than other people. One of my favorite ones is the soap dispenser in the office I used to work in. I actually got mad over the soap dispenser.

I finally noticed, when I got so miserable I couldn’t handle it and I begged for help. I noticed my mind was closed. I was not accepting new ideas. I thought I knew how to live already I didn’t want any advice from anyone else because I wanted more misery. I wanted more suffering, more pain. That is the weirdest thing to see in yourself is that honest desire that I do like being miserable. The next time you’re arguing with someone, if you can see it in yourself, it’s liable to make you take a step back. If you can see that you do want that argument to go on and you don’t want it to be any better. Eckhart Tolle  calls it the pain body when you get stirred up and in pain but you want more misery. I lived on pain and I fed on more and more misery. I fed on other people’s pain and misery.

I loved playing Call of Duty not only because it fed my ego up, but it allowed me to hear me making other people miserable. When I played well and other people got miserable, I fed on that. I took pride in making other people miserable. My work and personal relationships mirrored that same thing. With my parents, as a teenager I would argue with them and I thrived on making myself miserable. I would allow myself to feel bad about myself. I would fantasize about when things would be better which also is another form of making things awful.

You can see that honest desire that you have somewhere in you to get more pain more misery that you have. Until you can see that you have to go there. I couldn’t see that I was hurting myself and going to the liquor store was a form of it. I wanted arguments with people. I wanted fights, I wanted resentments, I wanted to feel wrong. I wanted to be the victim. I wanted to be the perpetrator. I wanted to be in nasty situations.

Then a miracle happened and I realized I did love being miserable. I wanted to be punished deep down. Why did I think I’m awful deep down? That started me into a journey that allowed me peace and liberation from that suffering that I’m an awful person. If you don’t have much of this in you now, that’s amazing. If you can ‘t see what is in you now, maybe this will help. I felt inspired to make this today so maybe this is useful for you.

I hope this is helpful for you to start looking around in your own life and to figure out where you are craving misery and suffering. Last night I got in a bad mood and  I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep and I was directing my bad mood at my wife some. She was tired, struggling and doing a good job with it all. I was pouting and struggling and wishing I could talk to her but I didn’t want to get out of bed. I wanted her to come to me and understand what I was feeling. Then the same thing happened. I could see I was trying to be more miserable and that doesn’t get far. Now it happened over about 30 minutes and it didn’t take the form of anything external, it all happened in my head. Then I started praying. I prayed to be a good husband.

Then the thought came that a good husband talks to his wife when he’s not feeling well. Then I did the work. I got out of bed and went to talk to my wife and it was all better. It only took getting out of bed. I felt better right away. I was sitting in bed conjuring up thoughts about how pitiful and how wrong I was. As soon as I did the work to get out of bed then I felt better. I felt better and I was able to get back in bed and go to sleep.

The miracle is that those moods used to be unbreakable for me. That’s why I drank to get some relief because that mental state went on and on at that time in my life. Not all the time, but it went on a lot of the time in my life. I hated it. Now I see I create that mental state and I work to keep it alive once it’s going. It will not continue if I don’t put the work into it. If I don’t worry and I don’t put all my effort into judging other people. Today I try and do the work to say thank you.

I thank God that I’m alive today. I try and do the work to ask God for what I want to be perfect. I want to be a good husband. I want to be a good father to my little girl. I want to be a good son. I want to be a good family member. I want to be a good teacher. I want to be a good student here with you in life. I ask for that. This way, my mind helps me. My mind gives me thoughts that show me the way out of that trap of suffering. My mind turns into an ally in what epic struggle between good and evil that happens inside each one of us.

You can turn your mind into an ally by asking for the ideal of what you want. I don’t recommend asking for more money or a new car. I ask for what I can do right now to be of service to other people. I want to be sober today. I want to take care of myself. I want to appreciate the gift of life I have today. I want to honor that. I want to take care of this body because no one else can do the work to take care of it like I can. That’s my number one responsibility to take care of this body. It’s so hard for anyone to even help out with it. It’s so easy for me to take care of it. I want to then be a good husband because that’s the second biggest responsibility in my life. Then I want to be a good father because if I’m not a good husband, it’s hard to be a good father. Finally I want to continue being a good family member friend, and those are the things I ask for. I also want to be a good video maker right this moment with you. I want to be, I will pray to be, and I will do the work to be useful here with you. That way it happens now. I get helpful thoughts on what work I could do.

Last night was the perfect example. I thought that if I want to be a good husband, I could get out of bed and talk to my wife and tell her how I feel instead of laying in bed and feeling sorry for myself. Either of those is work. It takes work to feel sorry for yourself. You just might be or might not be in the habit of doing it. I was in the habit of doing all the work to make my life miserable. I was in all the planning that comes with making my life miserable.

All the negative energy coming out of me. I felt like the only choice we have is to put positive or negative energy out this moment. I pray this moment to put out the positive energy for you. I pray that by sharing with you what worked for me to escape the consistent misery in my life and to have the chance to do it in a little tiny increments. I pray that I remember that so that I have the chance to practice what I’ve taught and shared with you here. The next time I’m doing the work to make myself miserable I can stop faster. Often I can stop in just a few seconds now. I pray that you have that same opportunity that you see the choice that pops up. I’m horned you’ve read this and for all the other posts you’ve read. Thank you; you’re helping me and I hope I’m helping you. That’s the beauty of it all. We’re all together out of love and life and I hope you have a great day today.