How I think affects my mood, feelings, attitudes, contentment, peace of mind. When I was consistently negative in my thinking, I was nervous, uneasy, and apprehensive, waiting for the next blow to fall, the next thing to go wrong. I approached other people with my guard firmly in place, mind shut tight.
In a weird way, I could have an encounter with the other person with hardly any input from them - I'd be responding to my own expectations, and acting upon my own assumptions. I couldn't see the other person clearly, because my own character defects were like a negative filter through which I viewed the world and its inhabitants.
That negativity created my nervousness. Not the world, not the people within it, but my own negative thinking. How do I know this?
Because as my thinking has changed, and my attitude become ever more positive, so has my life become ever more positive. I've met wonderful amazing people who are a delight to know. I don't go about in a sort of half-cringe, waiting for the next inevitable bad thing. When I go to the grocery store, and standing in line, joke with the other customers and the cashier, making us all laugh, that trip to the store is fun, rather than a boring, stressful experience. When I accept the daily round of life with a cheerful demeanor and a positive frame of mind as my reference point, life is good, people are kind and interesting. When I decide to let go of negativity, and focus upon the positive in every situation, my mood is powerfully affected, and life becomes an adventure.
Each day, each hour, each moment, I have a choice. It's mine to make. I choose whether or not I will enjoy my life. That doesn't depend upon my situation, it depends upon my attitude. I can enjoy life even
though I may not be utterly delighted with the changes over which I have no control. I don't have to like it to accept it.
Letting go of my original negative attitude, and choosing instead to focus upon the positive, has changed me greatly. I've become the sort of person who would have irritated the dickens out of me 26 years ago when I was new to program. Back then, if someone was cheerful, I thought it was because they didn't face the harsh realities of life as I saw it. I didn't understand that this was only my attitude, and not reality.
Acceptance is hugely powerful - it has created in me a source of joy, and peace of mind. I don't always manage to maintain this, because I get off course time and again - I am human, with all the attendant frailties. But when I work the 12 Steps, and this marvellous program to correct my course, I reap the incredible reward of serenity.
Until you have felt peace and serenity, you may not grasp why we work towards achieving it. Once you have, you will never be the same.