I was indoors at a conference all day last Friday and Saturday. The weather was what I find most awesome—in the upper 60’s, sunny, clear skies and no humidity. I was frustrated that I missed being outdoors on those glorious days. It was perfect weather to run in but I got home too late and too tired to do it. Sunday was my day off, but it was nasty and much cooler all day. I began my day in a bad mood because of it but caught myself quickly. Things might not be as I’d have like but, there were still things I could feel good about by letting go of what I didn’t like.
You can choose to feel bad about what you don’t like or choose to look for what’s good.
I was exhausted on Sunday. The rain gave me an opportunity to stay home. Had it been nice I’d have rushed up early, gone out running and made outdoor plans. Instead, I relaxed in bed, catching up on emails and doing things I enjoy but often don’t have time for. I went out for brunch near my place instead of meeting up with friends further away. It was the best way I could have spent my time to get my energy back. In my post on Flowing with Situations, I discussed the importance of moving past outcomes you don’t like. Take it further!
Instead of focusing on what went wrong for you, recognize what’s right!
A woman (I’ll call her Lea) who reads this blog did some phone counseling with me a while back. She was upset about an upcoming court case with her husband’s ex-wife, who was making very unreasonable demands. The outcome wasn’t good on many levels. She emailed to tell me about it. Then I got P.S. with some things that did go her way. And her lawyer offered to countersue on their behalf—for free! Lea is very angry at the main outcome, and I don’t blame her. It was unfair. But I reminded her of the good stuff.
Lea replied with why it wasn’t so great. The countersuit would only be a mall victory and the other concessions they got were also small compared to what they have to pay. She and her husband are trying to let go of their anger, and it’s hard in a truly egregious situation. But I reminded her that the main court appearance was over. She’s been stressed about it for months and now she knows the outcome and can move on. And, it could have been a LOT worse!
Focusing on outcomes you don’t like but can’t change keeps you angry and unhappy. It’s so much better to be grateful for the blessings in the situation.
Lea has some good blessings in the midst of a lousy overall outcome. I advised her to focus on them. Even if you’re angry, frustrated, disappointed, hurt, etc. by a situation, find the blessings and hold them tight in your thoughts, unless you prefer to feel unhappy. When I was a DoorMat, I wallowed in what went wrong since I didn’t think I was worthy of real happiness. Now I MUCH prefer to be happy. I can let what I don’t like to fester in my thoughts and eat away at my happiness or accept what happened and find the blessings that make me happy.
John Wooden said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
I advised Lea to do that. She’s still struggling but making an effort, which is all we can do. Ask yourself, “Do I want to stew and be angry or do I want to be peaceful and happy.” I want the latter now that I know I deserve happiness. Holding onto to what went wrong serves NO purpose but to block happiness. Why do that to yourself?!?
Being loving to yourself is much better that being angry over the stuff you know you can’t change the outcome of.
Letting go or holding on is a choice that you can control if you choose to. In angry circumstances, you have TWO choices—Wallow in it, hold on to negatives tight, and allow it to make you unhappy, or let it go and focus on your blessings. It’s not easy to let go but, you can if you focus on deciding to be happy. Why let a negative circumstance have more power over you than necessary? Why make it worse by letting it sink your joy. If you can’t change it, move on, since wallowing does nothing but make you feel worse!
Happy or unhappy? Which sounds better? Allow that to help you make your choice.
Holding on can also stimulate a desire to get revenge or hurt others. Why attract the results of that when you can find the blessings and be happy? I used to hold onto anger like a crutch when I felt I’d been wronged. I didn’t want to forget! Now I hold onto blessings, which brings me more things to be grateful for. I love to post them on my Conscious Gratitude group on Yahoo (which you can join!). Find your own blessings and let them nurture you to healing old wounds that keep you from being as happy as you could be.