It has become my life purpose to feel good every day for as much of the day as I can. I wasn’t always like this. When younger, I used to chew on every setback and fret about it for days. With experience, I learned that nothing changed when I did this (except for me to feel bad). The way for me to get change into my life was to release my energy for new projects by not allowing myself to fret.
What about you? Do you kick yourself over and over again over some mishap or stupidity? Things happen. That’s part of life. Our task is to move on to something new and better.
I wrap this philosophy into my novels by having my characters live out my current beliefs. In my historical western romance, POLITE ENEMIES (releasing September from Whiskey Creek Press), my heroine, Ida Osterbach, is a widowed farmer whose land has plenty of water. An outlaw gang harasses her to chase her off her property. The outlaw leader has inherited his uncle’s ranch which borders the farm. He decides he needs her land to make his inheritance profitable by getting access to more water for the cattle.
Ida doesn’t wring her hands, fret or moan and groan because she has troubles. She focuses on how to counteract the outlaw’s efforts and to recover quickly from their raids. By designing a way to act and having a goal to accomplish, she keeps herself from slipping into melancholy. Deciding on action tamps down her fear. Deciding on action makes her feel good.
While going through this external bettering, Ida finds room in her heart for love. The theme of this novel is “Love strikes when you least expect it.”
Ida had despaired of finding a love as powerful as her first love, a man who, two years earlier, was killed by the uncle of the outlaw. She doesn’t feel good about a new romance when Jared, her widower rancher neighbor to the south (who is helping her against the outlaw), starts making courtship overtures. Jared had gotten her back up after the death of her husband when he tried to buy her out and have her return to her family back east, insisting a woman could not run a profitable farm.
Once she commits to the “possibility” of a second love in her life, she has to step-by-step talk herself away from all the barriers she sees to marriage.
Step-by-step is how I believe we get to the point of feeling good. I’ve never had luck with turning a switch and suddenly being happy. I’ve always had to think myself step-by-step back into a better frame of mind. With each step, I make sure to acknowledge the progress I’ve made and not to fret about how much still needs to be done. Sometimes I find joy by envisioning the future I want for myself as a writer (and just ignore the world as it is).
I give myself a moment to savor each step-by-step accomplishment. I look toward the next steps needed during small segments of each day to eventually feel good all day long.
It’s important to roll with a punch and get back on your feet as quickly as possible. It’s a matter of choosing to think happy thoughts step-by-step instead of dwelling on the problems. I’ve found my health is better, my mental attitude is better and people like being around me better when I’m feeling good.
How do you bring satisfaction and happiness into your life? What do you do to feel good each day?
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