It is really hard to love your life if you’re not feeling content or feeling really good about every part of it. It’s why many people go outside of their marriages, or circle of friends, or even out of their religion looking for something to make them feel better so that they could really feel like they love their life.
So, I thought I’d talk about how I’ve discovered to feel better about ALL of it, and how my life is turning out to be the life that I truly love. And then I thought I’d show you how you can create the life you love, too, without doing all those other destructive things that just lead to more emptiness and discontentment. I’m going to show you how you can feel better about yourself. Feel better about your marriage. Or your single status. How you can feel better about your job. Feel better about friendships or relationships with your children. How you can feel better about everything in your life.
Everything we do or avoid doing is motivated by a desire to feel better. To feel good. Our brain’s motivation in all things is to seek pleasure, avoid pain and to keep us safe and alive. So we do things because we think it will make us feel better or so that we don’t feel worse.
Our brain’s motivation to seek pleasure sends us out into the world with a desire to try to manipulate our environment so that we’ll feel good. We think if we achieve “that” status, if we live in that neighborhood, if we buy that car, if we vacation in that spot; if we go to the right school, if we marry the right person, if we have a lot of money in the bank, then we’ll feel good and we’ll be happy.
And as long as we can control all that, we’ll be happy. That’s what we think. And then we get exhausted because that’s not how things work. Because we can’t control the world like that. And then we find ourselves frustrated and discontented because we can’t manipulate our environment into making us happy. And honestly, chasing external things to make us feel good just, sadly, leaves us feeling miserable and completely empty. I talked a lot about chasing the things of this world in episode number 4 - Now, This Is The Good Life. God wants you and me to truly live the good life! But it’s not the life this world offers, chasing external things to make us feel good, for that is a cheap imitation that certainly leads to death. God offers a satisfying life, full of joy, peace and contentment! Ultimately, creating a life that you love is finding the satisfaction of your life in Him. Bottom line, that’s it. And I could stop there, because truly that’s the answer.
But, since we all have human brains that keep us stuck and keep us from just easily resting contently in that truth, let’s keep talking about how we can transform our minds in order to create the life we love.
One thing that is common among us is that we have an idea how our lives should be or is supposed to be. In our head, we have an image of how we’re supposed to look. How our family’s supposed to look. Or how the world should work. We have an idea of how our lives should be going and what it should look like in the future. We believe we should experience good things in life and very little bad.
And we get upset when our lives are not matching up with this version we have in our heads. We have ideas of how our parents should have raised us and how our spouse should treat us, how our children should turn out, how things should be going in our job. All based on the idea of how we think life should be and how we should be in it.
And this often gets exaggerated when we compare our lives to other people’s. Because they have the things that they do, or the family, or the business, we look at their lives and tell ourselves that their life is better than ours. And we’ll think that they are doing their life right and enjoying their life more than we are.
But, in reality, no one has a “better” life than, you. The difference between your life and someone else’s life is how you think about it. About everything in it: your marriage, or your single status, your job, your purpose, your friendships, the way you look, the house you live in and the car you drive. All of it. It’s all in how you think about it. It’s not your circumstances, whether you have something or not or whether something’s good or not, that’s dictating your feelings, it’s your thoughts about it.
Here’s one reason I know. Years ago, I went with a group of youth from my church to Reynosa, Mexico. We stayed and worked at an orphanage. There were some kids who were 18 years old and had lived at that orphanage since they were babies. They wore hand-me-down clothes, had very little personal possessions (like, not one of them owned an ipad. Can you believe that?), and slept in cramped quarters. No one had their own room or bathroom. Yet, these were some of the happiest, most thoughtful, loving kids I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Why? Their circumstances looked dire. Depressing. Lacking. If circumstances created feelings, then these kids would have every right to be angry, feel rejected, and take it out on everyone around them. But, instead, their thoughts about their circumstance is what allowed them to be so happy. They thought they were the luckiest kids in the village. They believed they were fully loved by their heavenly Father, valuable in His eyes, full of purpose and worth. And out of that belief or thought they had created a life that they loved.
So, you must know that your feelings - when you feel sad, or passionate, or frustrated, or joyful - all of your feelings are a product of your thoughts alone, not the circumstances themselves. And thoughts are just stories we tell ourselves about…again, anything. Any circumstance, any event, any person, obstacle, situation. Anything good in our life and anything bad creates thoughts that create feelings. So, our circumstances do not create how we feel. It’s our thoughts about our circumstances that changes everything. And a thought that is ingrained in us, something that you think consistently without wavering, is your belief.
And here’s the rest of the concept fleshed out. We have a circumstance that produces thoughts about those circumstances, and those thoughts create feelings. And then out of those feelings we act or don’t act in a certain way, right?, all based on the way we’re feeling. And the way we act creates results that we either like or don’t like.
Let me give you a real-life example of my own that I worked through when I first found this concept. After Brian died my birthday rolled around, and a friend called to say she’d like to throw me a party. I was surprised that immediately hot tears came to my eyes, and I heard myself blurting out, “No, no, you don’t need to do that. I don’t think we should. It’s definitely not necessary.” I quickly ended the conversation, hung up, and cried like a baby. Where on earth did that come from?
So, I worked through this circumstance using this concept of “thoughts create results”. First, I wasn’t really aware of whatI was feeling, I just knew it brought me to tears. But then I needed to understand that it was my thoughts about that phone call and birthday suggestion that created all the feeling. My thought was, “We shouldn’t have a party because no one will come.” And out of that thought I felt unloved, unappreciated, and definitely not special that someone would waste their time on me. From those feelings, my actions were to say “no” to the party. And the results were, obviously, no party. But there was more that was happening than just not having a party. All of the sudden, I started questioning my friendships. I started making up stories as to why each one wouldn’t come and began to question their friendship. I began to build walls and pull away. Now, think about this a minute. All this happened in my head. My friends didn’t get to weigh-in at all on the importance of our friendship or their love for me because I didn’t give them a chance to. But my heart started pulling away, nonetheless. I was not having a birthday party; I was having a pity party. Look at the life I was creating!
Now, when I realized what I was creating for myself, just by my thoughts, I got busy making some changes. I took a look back at what was at the core belief driving my thoughts that no one would come because I wasn’t special enough to be celebrated. Come to find out, it stemmed from childhood circumstances and lies I believed that I had been operating out of for many, many years. When I was able to identify the lies, reject those lies, and believe truth, God’s truth. Then I was able to have new thoughts about my circumstance; which was still the same, right? My friend called to say she wanted to throw me a birthday party. And my new thought was, “Yes, we should! And whoever can be there will be great! If someone doesn’t come, it doesn’t mean they don’t love me. They show me they love me in a thousand different ways. And I’m so worthy to be celebrated because I was fearfully and wonderfully made by my heavenly Father. And He loves to celebrate His daughter. So, let’s celebrate!” And so with that new thought, I called my friend and said “Let’s do it!” and we did. And, y’all, the results were amazing. We laughed, clinked glasses, and then, it started spontaneously…each one of my friends shared how we met and what they love and appreciate about me. At first, I wanted them to stop. But then remembering that life, my life, was worthy to be fully celebrated, and that my Heavenly Father loved to celebrate me, they went around the table one by one, and I embraced their words of love fully. This is the life I love! And I got the chance to create the life I love, just by changing my thoughts.
I was talking with a new friend recently about all this and how I can’t believe I’ve lived this long and am just now understanding that my thoughts create the way I see and experience my life. Why didn’t I know this sooner? I think of all the ways things could have been different, better, than what I thought I was experiencing. At first, I started thinking how different things would’ve been if I had known this in my twenties. But then, I started thinking how amazing it would’ve been to know this as a teenager - middle school, high school. And not just understood that things could be different with this knowledge, but to have tools to help me get and apply a new and healthy belief system based on truth and not lies. Not different because my circumstances would change; but different only because I had a choice to think about those circumstances differently - to have a different perspective, to choose to re-frame those stories.
Yes, it took a little bit of work to identify lies and search God’s heart for truth. But it was worth every bit of the work. And if you’re willing to explore and be curious, you can find ways to understand why you act a certain way, and why you get the results in your life that you do; why you are creating the life that you love - or don’t love. There is so much power here to transform our minds to align with truth and create a life we love just by changing our thoughts about the life we have. I want to do this! And I have the power to do so!
So, friend, now you can see how you can apply this concept to every area of your life. Your marriage, your single status, your job, your relationships with your children or friends, and your relationship with yourself. You get to decide how you’re going to feel about all of it. Don’t wait until you’re my age. Do it now! You have the power to do so. And with that, my friend, you get to create the life you love.
Friend, if you would like some one-on-one help in creating the life you love, I’d love to be your coach and mentor. I’ll teach you some simple but seriously effective tools that will help you feel better about yourself, your marriage, your job, your relationships, and anything else you face in life.
I’ve put a link in the show notes to my calendar to book at quick 30-minute chat to see if we’re a good fit. Or you can visit my website tricizody.com and send me an email there.
Have a great week, friends! See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.
Calendar Link for a free Life Coaching Consult Call: https://calendly.com/triciazodylifecoach/30min
Don’t forget to go to my website www.triciazody.com on the PODCAST page to get your 3 Guided Worksheets for personal development that complement my podcast episodes. They’re free, and I pray you’ll find some healing and freedom there.