Sometimes it’s difficult staying positive when negative things happen. Several shitty things happened this past week. My middle child (she’s almost 19) is getting herself into a very dangerous situation and refuses to talk to us. A friend of my husband’s passed away. He was in his 40’s and died of cancer. A friend is having legal troubles and fighting serious accusations made by someone who stabbed me in the back last year. I had an argument with my husband and he said some things that really hurt my feelings.
Similar situations happen to every person at some point throughout their lives. What sets us apart from the next person, is how we handle them. Here’s what I try to do when negative things happen in my life.
First, I allow myself to feel the pain or sadness of the situation. I don’t try to push it away or not think about it. This usually makes it worse. I do tend to over-analyze things so I have to be careful not to cross that line. Sometimes I’m successful at it, sometimes I’m not.
“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”
― Pema Chödrön
When I’ve had enough of feeling the pain or sadness of the situation, I force myself to think about happy things even though at times it’s very hard for me to turn my thoughts around due to my over-analyzing things. When that happens I visualize my mind as a cassette player and I change the tape. I don’t know why I visualize a cassette player, I haven’t used a cassette in years, but that what works for me.
“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
– Dr. Wayne W Dyer
I’ve been working on letting go and trusting the process. It’s not easy for someone like me who constantly thinks about what’s going on. It’s very hard to turn my mind off but when I change the cassette tape, I remind myself of all the good things in my life; my good health, my loyal and loving pets, my husband of almost 20 years, my 15 year old daughter who is my rainbow.
Several years ago, someone posted something in an unschooling group that always stayed with me. When you catch yourself saying “I’m having a bad day”, stop and say “I’m having a bad moment”. Don’t condemn the whole day to being bad. That thought process has helped me through many situations.
I want to end with something my mother always said. I didn’t understand it when I was younger, but I do now.
This too shall pass.