Photo by Matt Jones

What do we choose?

We are hard wired to take care of our survival. And so our mind looks out for danger. Which is good is some cases. You wouldn’t want to fall off a cliff, would you? Or get hit by a car. However, most of the time that automatic awareness of negative things is not serving us. We are staying trapped in worries and fears, and miss out on all the good things. These good things are also in our lives, but we either take them for granted, or completely overlook them.

Sometimes this habit of seeing the negative side of life can also feel like a thrill a bit. When nothing special happens, this can feel a bit boring. And then all of a sudden something spectacular happens, mostly to other people. Like a terrorist attack or a scandal. And then we have something to talk about. And it is on the news. Something happens that is unexpected and it makes us feel alive… for a while. But will this feeling of aliveness last? And will it really make us happy?

Our conscious mind will never admit that we are addicted to drama. Of course we know that we can’t find happiness in other people’s suffering. But our behavior tells a different story.

Are we brave enough to admit this to ourselves, once we become aware of it? Because it can feel painful to realize we are addicted to drama. And then, what do we choose? Do we choose to continue, or do we choose a different path?

This habit, this addiction is pretty powerful. Like all addictions, I think. Without a strong intention to become aware of it and to choose other ways to feel alive and good about ourselves, we will soon forget about it and continue like we used to.

A powerful way to counteract our addiction to drama, in my experience, is the intention to be appreciative. So instead of automatically seeing the negative things in your life, consciously be aware of all the things that are going well. The good things that happen to you, and especially the people that are nice to you. Whenever I can truly appreciate something, this gives me a feeling of genuine happiness. Happiness is a powerful motivator and we can generate a lot of it by being appreciative.

For instance, I truly appreciate the free blog course that John Sonmez offers on his website. He has given me some valuable insights for this blog. Therefore I feel confident that this time I will be able to write enough quality posts to keep this blog alive. I appreciate the photographers that offer free pictures that I can use for my blog. I include links to their profiles and hope they will be seen by many people. I appreciate all the open source developers that write the software I use daily. I hope they keep enjoying the work that they do and feel valued. The list of things I, and you too, can appreciate, is endless. Try making it a mindfulness practice and see how much happiness you will generate for yourself, and for others.

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