how many times have you considered what this line in the declaration of independence means to you? personally? lately, i have been pondering specifically the idea that i am endowed (given) by my Creator the unalienable (absolute, inherent, nonnegotiable) right to pursue my own happiness. so, this is telling me that i have a God-given right to be happy? after all, mr. thomas jefferson himself said "the giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness."
it sounds like such an elementary thought; that God gives us life for happiness and not misery. yet sometimes it seems so much easier to be miserable. when i stub my toe, or wreck my car, or get a bad haircut, the default reaction is "LAME, LAME, LAME. i have the WORST life." (well, maybe not that melodramatic, but you get the idea). recently, i decided that i wanted to change my default. so how am i supposed to do that?
i have a firm testimony that God puts people in our path - in the right place, at the right time - to help us in different areas in our lives. when i started going to dr. gibson, i didn't realize he would be that type of person. after all, he was just one more doctor in the line of doctors i've seen since i had seizures about two years ago. he's a chiropractor (which is a new angle i've taken), and a naturopathic physician, and he's helped me to take a holistic approach on wellness, not just physically but mentally as well. he's already done a lot to help me, but i wanted to focus on one point specifically: what i have learned about my personal pursuit of happiness.
which brings me back to my question: how am i supposed to change my default thinking?
negative thinking is like a rut in our thought process. every negative thought and emotion drives the wheelbarrow deeper and deeper into a rut that it becomes the default. setting out to change my default wasn't easy... but thanks to some wisdom and guidance, i learned that it is possible to change my thoughts from negative to positive - to replace the bad with the good. i like this quote from "preach my gospel":
"your mind is like a stage in a theater; in the theater of your mind, however, only one actor can be on stage at a time..."
isn't that so true? we can't be thinking a negative thought and a positive thought at the same time. so whenever i find my mind going back to the negative rut, i can choose to replace the thought, to pull the wheelbarrow out and start to form a new happy default! there are so many things to replace negativity with: a happy memory, photograph, song, quote, positive affirmation, etc.
so that might sound a mite cheesy and oversimplified, but it is a big part of why i am a happier and healthier person today than i was a few months ago. so even if it takes looking in the mirror and saying "i am happy!", i'll do it!
you should try it, it's kinda fun :)