when it comes down to it: life sucks sometimes!
it’s neither easy nor ideal.
for years, i’ve deflected my sons’ cries of “it’s not fair” with “you are right. and you would be wise to eliminate any expectation that it should be fair.”
negative or just realistic?
many of you have heard me talk about how i changed my own life a few months back. yes, i said how i changed my own life not “how my life changed.” there is a difference.
reeling from the loss of a relationship and existing in despair, misery, and self-pity, i took time to gather my senses and realize that
(a) much of the blame lay with me
(2) that i got into the relationship for all the wrong reasons—that i was not whole myself, that i was looking for someone else to make me happy, and that i had all the power to generate happiness in my own life.
there, in that moment, my life going forward would be forever changed.
purposefully, every day—and sometimes with great effort— i began to focus on all the good in my life.
- i had these amazing sons who stood by me.
- i had these amazing friends who loved me.
- despite the drama and hurt and pain involved in my relationship with my now ex-partner, i learned so much about how to love, what not to do again, and that in order to be loved, i first had to love myself. those things alone made the experience worthwhile.
so slowly, i began to refuse to let the negative control my life. i completely shut out drama at every turn. i purposefully focused on the good things: that i had money to pay my bills; that today was a good hair day. that i could pee without assistance from someone else (ha).
and over time, i began to change.
now to be sure, the negative did not go away. challenges still confronted me daily. i faced dilemmas, endured days when i wondered if the bank account would hold out, engaged in disagreements with people in my life. and occasionally still reached the boiling point over situations and interactions.
but…eventually, the positive things began to choke out the negative so that eventually, those negative, challenging things no longer ruled my life.
i could face each day with a smile. and when my happiness was threatened, all i had to do was stop and think of 10 things that were good in my life–and voila! happiness preserved. eventually, “thinking of 10 things” just kinda became a constant looped program running continuously in the back of my head.
to me, happiness is not about what happens and joy can exist in spite of calamity or drought.
happiness is a state of mind, a state of being. a condition we can willfully and purposefully create.
constantly maintaining this type of lifestyle is not always easy to do and it is definitely an acquired “taste” (or skill.)
but that leads me to ask: why be negative? why focus on it? why get caught up in it? why allow it to rule your relationships, projects, interactions, and outlook? why even be around people who are negative?
a purposeful, positive attitude is really the only way to survive the challenges life will most def present. a positive attitude is how i’ve survived—thrived, even—found love again, and enjoy the benefits my relationships—and life itself—have to offer.
now understand. i am also realistic; i am not “susie sunshine.” (or even “sam sunshine.”) i know life will neither be perfect nor ideal. i know difficulties will happen. i know i may get hurt or cause others pain. i accept, sometimes wistfully, that life is not always fair.
but since that day months ago, i have chosen to live every single day purposefully acknowledging what good there IS in my life, to the extent that, over time, the negatives do not rule my life or control my happiness.
so give it a shot.
ix-nay any drama in your life. cut it off. give it tha “tell it to the hand” treatment.
don’t ever compare yourself to someone else. (ok i still struggle with this!) be thankful for who you are, what talents you have, who loves you, and who you have to love.
and instead of griping about something…or telling someone off….bitching about someone at work or in traffic…or lamenting or wallowing in your misery (wherever you find yourself)….STOP! take 5 minutes and write down or say aloud (don’t keep it in your head) what you have to be thankful for…or what good is in your life.
even if it’s difficult, make yourself do it.
you may be able to only eke out:
1. i have a car.
2. i had breakfast.
3. i can walk.
4. i have a job and get money so i can eat and pay for stuff.
5. i am wearing comfortable shoes.
6. i can see.
7. glee is coming back on soon
(…well you get the idea…)
over time, the lists will come more easily and the negatives will melt into the background.
despite challenges and difficulties, happiness is within reach for all of us. happiness is a lifestyle and sometimes must be practiced.
doing so will make all the difference in how one’s life plays out.
just like it did for me.