When I was a young child I once had a little toy monkey that was attached by string to two sticks. When you manipulated the sticks properly the monkey would do somersaults up and down the string.
When I'm in fear I'm just like this little monkey. When some negative event ocurrs in my life or someone pulls my strings by doing or saying something I don't like, before I know it I'm doing what I call my "monkey dance." I'm anxious, irritable, resentful and negative. The voices in my head work non-stop dredging up old guilt to convince me that I had it coming to me. I'm blocked off from the sunlight of the Spirit. I have given away my serenity. I have lost my peace of mind. Life is lousy.
Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me that the real problem is never what happens to me. The real problem is always my reaction to what happens to me. When I finally catch myself doing my monkey dance, I realize that one more time I've reacted from a place of self centered fear rather than a place of acceptance, forgiveness and letting go. I do not believe happiness is possible without peace of mind.