“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.”
— St. Gianna Molla
I have recently gone through a nine week training course on ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). I went through this course for my own self benefit and to add to my spiritual direction toolbox. It was a very interesting course. The basic premise is that we can, no matter what our circumstances, have control in our lives by putting our values first and learning to be mindful of these values as we deal with obstacles and challenges in our lives.
Let’s face it, happiness is difficult when we feel we are controlled by forces beyond our control. As a spiritual director, I understand that life, a fully satisfying and meaningful life, can be very difficult to obtain. I have been in the pits. I have faced times in which I felt I had no hope. I have made some very bad decisions in such times that can still bring up a sense of regret.
I have learned, however, that when I recognize I am in desolation, seek understanding for the reasons behind the desolation, and then act (respond) in an appropriate manner to confront the desolation, I can be sustained until I can again find spiritual consolation and return to a state of happiness. ACT training has given me more tools to use in all three categories of recognizing the situation, understanding what is taking place and then responding in a way that hope is again a light I can look forward with and patience can bring me to an anticipation of again being happy.
Happiness is only truly achieved when we are together emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I did not not physically because that often times is one of the things beyond our control. I made the mistake once of listening to a spiritual director who lead me to focus on the physical that produced a false sense of relief I later came to regret. Be very careful to whom you trust with your soul.
I would recommend to everyone who understands that sometimes happiness needs some help to purchase a couple of books on ACT = Acceptance Commitment Therapy and learn some of the techniques and plans for living that they offer.
If I can be of help, not as a therapist but as a soul friend who is on the journey of life with you let me know. Blessings