Book Excerpt: From Wendy Dolber's upcoming book: Making Space for Happiness[ Dec 7, 2015 ] [ by Wendy Dolber ]
How to be your own best friend and the best friend anybody ever had
Imagine if you had a friend with the insight and knowledge to help you unravel all your problems – a friend that you could always turn to when you are stuck emotionally, spiritually and practically. That friend would help you see the world with new eyes. They would always tell you the truth. They would instantly know how to put you in touch with your innate unconditional love and compassion. Their words and questions would help you see choices where you thought you had no choices. They would help you to reach the other side of emotional pain and suffering to clear-eyed equilibrium and contentment. They would help you remove obstacles to growth in every area of your life. They would help you navigate practical problems with ease and grace. Best of all, the nature of their helping would be loving, trusting and empowering. Wouldn’t we all love to have such a friend? More important, wouldn’t we love to be that friend?
Each of us has the ability to be this kind of friend to ourselves and others – right now. But many of us don’t think we have the ability. We are waiting for the world to change first. We are waiting for others to change. We are even waiting for ourselves to change. We believe the past has defined who we are. That what we have, who we know, what we have done is who we are. We live in an unconscious world of happenstance with very little appreciation of the role we play in what really defines us – our freely chosen beliefs.
Being your own best friend means being on your side in the most loving, empowering way possible - by acknowledging your unquenchable drive to be happy and the choices you have in determining your own emotional state. We all have the power to help ourselves and others deal with emotional challenges. We don’t have to feel victimized by what life sends our way. We can help ourselves and each other live our lives with a rock solid foundation for peace and happiness.
This is a book about being that wonderful friend. About removing all the obstacles that keep us from being the people we’d love to be. About being our own greatest supporter. About unleashing the full strength of our own abilities and really understanding who we are and what makes us tick. We can live a happy, fearless, extraordinary life – now, today and every day.
This is a book about learning to help yourself deal with feelings you have that you don’t like: annoyance, anger and rage, sadness, grief, and hopelessness, confusion, angst and anxiety, uneasiness, fear and hatred, feelings of isolation, despair and depression, embarrassment, shame and guilt, phobias, addictions and paranoia – or any other emotional suffering that you experience. It’s a book about learning to help yourself to experience excitement, joy, happiness or just being okay and at peace with yourself. This is a book about understanding the obstacles you create in your own life that result in you getting in your own way. This is a book about emotional freedom and self-determination. It’s about owning your own happiness and unhappiness – here and now – whether the world changes or not. About changing the way you think so that you can be the best friend you ever had and the best friend anybody ever had.
Behind every problem, be it emotional, spiritual or practical, there is a system of beliefs that directs our feelings and actions. We hold those beliefs as truths until we are able to bring them into consciousness for examination and questioning. When we do this, we take the reins of our own life and leave victimization, helplessness and hopelessness behind. Then we can experience the tremendous relief of knowing that we don’t need to control the world – an impossible feat. We don’t need to control ourselves either. Control implies a holding back, a keeping in check. There is nothing to control and keep in check when we realize the power of letting go of the engine of misery – our unhappiness, and engaging the engine of empowerment – our happiness.
In this book, you’ll discover a method to do that, called The Option Method. You will learn all about who created it and why, the thinking behind it, what it is and how to do it. The most important thing I would like to tell you about it right now – is that I don’t want you to think about the Option Method as a “method” at all. I’d love for you to think about it as a different way of seeing yourself and the world through the master lens of beliefs about unhappiness and happiness. It is a new way to thinking and talking to yourself about who you are, what you feel and how you do being you. If you are in the helping professions, it is a new way of understanding others that come to you for help. It can be a powerful tool in your arsenal, fully complementary to your existing expertise and experience.
The Option Method is simple and completely within your grasp to do. The result of the Option Method way of thinking is to turn your emotional world upside down – to explode the myths that keep you from being the person you’d love to be – your own best friend.
When it comes to unhappiness, we all have the ability within ourselves to turn our world around. It is the greatest myth of all that our own happiness is in someone else’s hands. Our happiness is already within us. We have the ability to remove the only obstacle that really matters – believing that we have to be unhappy. The Option Method can help you discover how that obstacle is operative in your life and how it can be eradicated once and for all.
“But what if I’m not unhappy?” you ask. “I’d just like to be more understanding, more patient, more loving. I’d just like to stop smoking, sleep better, lose weight, have better relationships. I’d just like to expand my horizons, do better at work, figure out what to do with my life, meet someone.” Then why aren’t you? If you had a way to look at yourself with an open mind to see how you are feeling, you may find that you are experiencing feelings you don’t like. That is the definition of unhappiness. You just may not be calling it that. For example, you want to stop smoking, but you feel bad that you haven’t done so yet. You disapprove of yourself for being a smoker in the first place. You are annoyed that you want to stop, but can’t. As long as you have these feelings, it is going to be very difficult to stop smoking. Chances are, if you deal with the feelings you have about smoking, including why you feel you need to smoke in the first place, you can then see your way clear to stopping.
Think about how you feel when you want something you don’t have. Do you feel frustrated that you don’t know what to do next? Are you jealous of others who have what you think you cannot have? Are you disappointed that the universe isn’t cooperating and things aren’t falling into place? Are you fearful of taking that first step and stuck in the mud of anxiety? With this perspective, how effective will you be in achieving your goals? How much will you enjoy going after your dreams?
These are just two examples of how unhappiness is really at the root of all our problems. Being unhappy, no matter how much or how little, changes who we are in the moment. It saps our initiative, blinds us to what is, deadens our intuition and railroads our intentions. It makes us a mystery to ourselves. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can always answer the most important question we will ever have in our lives – Why are you unhappy? If we can learn how we create unhappiness through our beliefs, we will never be a mystery to ourselves again. Instead of spinning around the same old happiness-inhibiting beliefs, habits and routines, we will freely let go and move on with our lives.
Think about it this way. If you were your own best friend, would be satisfied with the amount of happiness in your life? Would you be satisfied with the amount of kindness you show your friend? Would you be satisfied with the amount of fun in your life? The amount of love? Excitement? Energy? Creativity? Laughter? If the answer to any of these questions is no, turn the page right now. What do you have to lose?