The Fine Line

It occurred to me this morning as I lay in bed – where I do my best thinking – that how we choose to think often determines how miserable or how happy we feel. Maybe habit or family training or mood decides which “side of the bed” we get up on every day. It’s a very personal decision, one we seldom talk to other people about.

In our moments of contemplation, perhaps while driving or taking a shower, we tend to move into the self-talk that decides our mental state. When we feel like wallowing in despair (which can feel so comfortable sometimes), we can choose the beat-ourselves-up list, which usually includes:

* How much debt we have.
* Our latest physical ailment.
* Not being loved enough.
* Not being educated enough.
* How well someone else is doing.
* How thin/fat/unattractive we are.
* Not having the job (or retirement package) we really want.

And of course these lead to:

*How totally meaningless our lives are.

On the other hand, we can consciously choose to focus on the feel-good list:

* The roof over our heads and food in our kitchens.
* The millions of healthy cells in our bodies.
* The many people who love us.
* The skills and experience we have.
* Knowing we are doing our best right now.
* Relishing our attractive features.
* Being grateful for the work or leisure we have.

All leading to:

* Feeling great about living.

It’s all about the fine line between being grateful about what we have or not. It’s simple. We have free will – and being joyful is a choice. Now I can get on with my day.