Believing that we don’t have choices really puts the kibosh on our happiness. When we tell ourselves the story that we’re locked into our lives with no way out, it’s not surprising that we feel hopeless and depressed. We rationalize away our happiness by saying things like, “I have to keep working at this job until I put my kids through college” or “I have to hold out five more years until retirement” or “ I really want to do X but I could never do that. What would people think of me?”

When we have this posture toward life, it’s as if we’ve given ourselves a prison sentence, and now we’re counting down the days until we can do what we really want to do. Living this way is more of a “dieing” than a living. It’s no wonder that we use food to try to bring some sweetness and pleasure to our dreary existence!

Yet how we experience life, how it feels to us, is based on how we think about it. If we believe that we’re blessed by our circumstances, the sun is shining, even in a heavy downpour, and we feel light and happy. If we believe we have no options, we feel doomed and powerless and live lives of resignation and resentment.

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