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Do Things Happily Or Don't Do Them
(And other lessons learned in therapy...)

Larry and me, on one of our trips to Savannah, GA. I do this, happily.
In 2013, my therapist Melissa suggested something radical: stop doing anything you can't agree to do happily. 

"Okaaaaaaay..." I retorted," to her suggestion, not even mildly shocked. "Who can afford to exclusively do things that make them happy? Probably not even Donald Trump. I mean, there's just stuff you have to do in life. You gotta do these things to survive. Or you have to do them so the house won't be condemned. Who gets all happy clappy when cleaning the bathroom... except maybe my friend Joanne? What about the things that beg be done? The things that, without my doing them, may literally cause everything to fall apart?”

“Only agree to it if you can do it happily,” she maintained.

I seriously thought my therapist was whack for a moment. 

My world was about to fall apart...I just knew it! I envisioned myself running back to Melissa to fix other problems than the ones that brought me to her in the first place...

 But, I took a deep breath, and also took her advice.

Photo: Deanna Doss Shrodes
The result of this change was very interesting. Some things I let go of. Other things, having made the sacrificial choice to continue with - I determined to do happy while doing. Since I made the choice to do them rather than feel they were thrust upon me, I stopped allowing myself the choice to be unhappy while doing them.

Not only was I a lot happier, but some major improvement happened with my health.  There were changes that occurred that that up to that time, I had been unable to get under control with anything else I tried.

What are you doing that you are not doing, happily?

If you cannot let it go for some reason -- perhaps your very survival or your family or church or organization’s survival – can you make an agreement within yourself to choose to do the sacrificial thing and do it happily?

Some people may say that they could never apply this at work or they wouldn't have a job. I agree. You have a responsibility to produce what your job description demands. In some instances, it may be wise to pray about a job change.

My prayer is that whatever change you may be led to make, it will bring the same result it did for you as it did me.  The connection with this decision and my health improvement was totally eye-opening.

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