Embrace Change, Change Yourself to Change Your Relationship

What is the one indispensable tool for more love, wealth, and happiness? Change yourself – It’s where the action is.

High FiveIs anything as compelling as the keys to a happy life?
We all seek the holy grail of happiness and certainly we’ve each found any number of useful rules, tools, and directions in our search. I’ve identified a few necessary ingredients which are surely familiar to you. “Be true to yourself,” “love and be loved,” “let your light shine,” and “be fearless and bold” are all commands that guide us well on the path to joy. Each one is at once powerful and alluring. “Embrace change” doesn’t sound nearly as enticing; it isn’t a favorite device in my personal quest for happiness; but I find it indispensable.

We make the same crazy mistakes in life because change isn’t fun,
glamorous, or easy; change is hard. Have you ever heard anyone say, “The one thing l love most in life is to change myself?” Fall Canopy Of TreesNot likely, because we all want the easy path. Come on, face it; we want everyone else to change; we want the rest of the world to be different, to bow to our personal whims and desires. Deep in our hearts we believe: “If only people would do what I want, everything would be great!” Ah, but life doesn’t work that way. People are stubborn; they want to live life their way, not ours. We understand this at an intellectual level, but at a practical level we still want them to be different.

So, how to do it? How can you embrace what you don’t want?
Most likely, you won’t – unless you make it fun and interesting. Make change a “want to” rather than a “have to.” It’s all in your head, really. Several years ago I was convinced I couldn’t come up with $700 to take a weekend workshop, so I borrowed the money. After the class, I was so motivated by what I learned that three months later I come up with $11,000 to take the training to teach the class, I didn’t borrow any of it; I earned and raised every penny. Man LeapingWhat was different? I really wanted it. You’re going to find it extremely difficult to change your life and create the happiness you want if you focus on the difficulties and obstacles. The moment you set your sights on the possibilities rather than the challenges, the impossible will begin to become probable.

Stop thinking of change as something that happens “out there,”
and begin to see it as what happens “in here.” Rather than waiting for life to give you something, make yourself into the life you want. Do you want love, wealth, happiness, and health? Great! Be the change to make it happen. Embrace change. You deserve it.
David Cantu
Marriage Counselor Austin, Texas
Embrace Change – Article © 2009

Change Emptiness to Happiness

So, instead of going to heaven, at last–
I’m going, all along. ~ Emily Dickinson

We frequently attempt to prove our value
to ourselves and to others through external accomplishments. We may get college degrees, lose weight or work eighty-hour weeks. We do this in order to make the emptiness go away or from a mistaken belief that it will result in happiness. But we get only fleeting glimpses of joy this way; the emptiness remains. Our real goal has been love and fulfillment.

Action is necessary,
but not sufficient, to fill the emptiness. Doing and accomplishing things does not create happiness. This will come only with love and meaning. The absence of love is toxic and debilitating.Content Woman It can however, be learned. Yes, it is better to give than to receive, but the experience of receiving is an essential foundation of life. By receiving love we learn to value ourselves. Self-love, then, is the seed for love of others and the prime ingredient that fills the emptiness. Only with the confidence of love are we able to embrace the possibility of joy and fulfillment. Do you frequently criticize yourself? Begin to embrace the fact that your mistakes are not a measure of your self-worth but a measure of your humanity. Rather than casually dismissing praise, practice accepting with gratitude the gifts of acknowledgment you receive from others.

Fulfillment does not come
with the achievement of goals; it is not a finite end but an ongoing process. It is the result of living in the present moment rather than in the illusion that some future event will result in happiness. The accomplishment of goals brings feelings of satisfaction and pleasure, but they are temporary and we soon revert to the same general state of emptiness or happiness in which we lived before the event. Goals are good as long as they are in accord with our true desires, a part of a meaningful life rather than an end. Certainly enjoy your successes, but don’t kid yourself into believing that success is in itself happiness. In the same way, failure is not an indicator of unhappiness; instead, it’s an indicator of change, nothing more and nothing less. Both success and failure are important elements of a joyful life.

Be true to yourself;
identify the people and things which are most significant to you and nurture them. Live your life with gratitude, enthusiasm, and a giving heart. Practice looking for the good in life, this is not an easy accomplishment, it takes considerable effort. Be fearless; know that both pain and pleasure are essential facets of life, not to be shunned. Accept them equally, but do not obsess with either. The result of this is increasing courage and confidence in the face of adversity. Surely, the emptiness will begin to dissolve; the path to happiness will be yours.
David Cantu
Marriage Counselor Austin, Texas
Change Emptiness to Happiness © 2009

Psalm 23:6

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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