My negative emotions had taken over
Have you heard the news?
Prince/Princess Charming is DEAD!
I know this sounds a little harsh, but to say he/she/they don’t exist just doesn’t feel urgent enough.
I know this may come as shock to some of you. Why wouldn’t it?
With societal pressures constantly encouraging you to find that one special person to “complete you”, it makes total sense that you would be in a hurry to check that box.
I mean no one wants to be incomplete. (Gasp)
Get married, reproduce, live happily ever after, right?
Why in the world would we ever hand over something as precious as our happiness to someone else to manage?
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard enough time making sure I’m okay on most days without being responsible for someone else’s eternal bliss.
This is NOT a call to action to live out your remaining days partnerless.
This IS an invitation to look at what you’re hoping to find.
This year I will have been married for 20 years. I am head over heels, passionately in love with my husband. Marrying him is the best decision I’ve ever made.
With that said, I am about to share something with 100% confidence.
In the unfortunate event that we were no longer to be together, I would still be happy.
Let me tell you why. He is not my entire source of happiness.
My life is full of a variety of relationships and passions that contribute to my happy life.
Remove any one of these and the result is the same, I would still be happy.
Some of you may be thinking, “Wow…she wouldn’t be sad if she lost her husband?”.
Of course, I’d be sad. I’d be devastated. Being a happy person does not mean you are void of emotions like sadness or grief.
The truth is, I don’t “need” my husband to be happy. He is a part of my happiness; he is not responsible for it.
Expecting a partner to live up to the daunting task of providing you with eternal happiness is not only unrealistic but also unfair.
We are responsible for our happiness.
Until we appreciate that we can not control one another, our relationships will always lead to disappointment.
Want to live happily ever after?
But a crown on your head.
Are you ready to fall in love with yourself? Drop a comment below.
We live in a world where negativity gets a lot of attention, ALOT.
The more drama, the more conflict, the more scandal, and the more attention it gets.
We talk about it, we post about it, we listen to it, and we watch it.
We even go out of our way to get a glimpse of it. Like when we crank our neck to get a peek at the accident on the side of the road or peer over the fence when we hear our neighbors argue.
What do you do when things don’t go your way?
If you’re like most people, you tell everyone who will listen. You talk about how unfair life is, the injustice of it all. How things like this happen, “all the time”.
Referring to the negative event long after it occurred.
You are what I have come to term, a “Negativity Super Spreader”. You take that negativity and you spread it all over the universe using any medium available.
We all do it, me included.
Then we spend a good portion of our time complaining about how negative the world is. Funny right? Not really.
Why do we spread negativity?
Experts believe this can be traced back to our survival instinct. Your brain pays more attention to negative emotions because it’s wired to keep you safe.
This is what researchers refer to as, “emotional contagion”. We mimic, usually without conscious effort, the emotions and expressions of people around us.
If we’re not aware of it, we can literally catch other people’s feelings. For example, if someone is anxious we may start to feel fearful ourselves.
Feelings are energy. Energy is vibration is felt, not seen. We don’t even have to have a conversation with a person to be affected by their energy.
If emotions are contagious, why not make HAPPINESS contagious instead?
Regardless of how powerful negative energy may appear, I promise you, with your attention, you can create a shift.
Here are a few easy ways to get started:
1. Start with you. Be kind to yourself. Take time to do things that bring you joy and elevate your mood. You can not give what you do not have.
2. Share a smile. Maybe the easiest way to spread happiness. Make it a point to smile at everyone you see.
3. Give compliments. Who doesn’t love a compliment? Seek and you will find. Pay attention to the people around you and share with them the good things you notice.
4. Engage in conversations and laughter. “What do you call a bull that naps? – A BULLDOZER!!!” (SO funny). Take the time to engage in playful conversations and share uplifting stories.
5. Be polite and thankful to everyone. Appreciation makes people feel valued and special. Being polite and thanking people radiates a feeling of happiness for both you and the person.
6. Do something nice for others. Random acts of kindness are a win=win. Find creative ways to show people you care. Like sharing a meal, or a helping hand.
7. Listening with intention. Creating a space for people to be heard without judgment is one of the easiest ways to help them feel better about themselves. You don’t have to solve their problems, just listen.
Which suggestion will you choose??
Not sure about your happiness?
You may have heard that trying new things can make you happy, but have you ever considered trying old things in a new way?
Doing the same things, in the same way, has its benefits. It also has its limitations.
Let me explain.
People take things for granted. Not just things, but people and experiences too.
Over time, what used to excite us becomes routine. We become numb to all the little nuances that used to make us feel so special.
Like kissing each other goodbye, going out to dinner, and just about everything.
It’s part of our human experience, but it doesn’t have to be.
Recently my grandsons asked if they could eat their dinner under the table.
Initially, I felt resistant to the idea of them having dinner in this new way.
Then I thought, “what’s the worst that could happen?”
Their old dinner in a new place was a HUGE hit.
They giggled, explored, and celebrated their new adventure.
I had NEVER seen them enjoy their dinner more.
It got me curious about my own life. What old things could I do in a new way?
I started with my morning routine. Instead of doing yoga in the morning, I decided to try it at lunchtime instead. I also moved my evening reading to the now available morning slot.
Guess what? I loved the change.
The mid-day yoga gave me more focus and energy to finish my workday. Reading in the morning helped to jumpstart my brain, I no longer needed to re-read chapters because I wasn’t falling asleep.
I was so inspired by experiencing old things in a new way, I kept going:
Brushing my teeth with my non-dominant hand
Taking a new route on my way home
Buying clothes using an online service
Taking client calls standing up
Calling people instead of texting
Most were a hit, some were not.
Trying old things in a new way teaches us about ourselves, pushes our boundaries, humbles us, and empowers us, all in one fell swoop. That’s why it’s so important to just give it a go.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Find a new way to tell someone you appreciate them
Try out a new way of being physically active
Find a new way to help or support a cause you care about
Make a meal using a recipe or ingredient you never used before
Drop me a comment and tell me what you think. I’d love to hear from you!
We have all heard the stories; the person who falls from a tall building and walks away unharmed. The child stricken with disease who spontaneously heals. The man who emerges from a cascade of gun fire, unscathed. If you’re like me, you believe that miracles as those rare and elaborate events that defy the laws of science and nature as we know it. But I would like to offer you another type of story to consider.
I have worked in healthcare for over 20 years. On this particular day, I was assisting with a lymph node biopsy on a man in his 70’s whom, according to his history, most likely had cancer. As an assistant, I always do my best to find a connection with the patient to help distract them from what can prove to be a very painful procedure.
As I became acquainted with this man, I began to ask him about his life and his passions. Come to find out he was a cyclist, just like me. We swapped stories of epic rides, miles shared with friends, and the thrill of the climb. He then went on to share his love of nature, hiking, and his once in a life time adventures. We laughed together, as I shared the details of mine.
As time moved on, the injections were given, the biopsy samples were taken. I watched in amazement as he transcended from an old man in a sick body to a strong and vibrant spirit, soaring through the memories of his amazing life. He took me to the highest points of the Sierras and to the lush and treacherous trails of the Appalachians. I stood at his side no longer an assistant, but now as a fan, eager to hear more.
As we waited patiently for his results, he shared one last story with me. This was a tale of what would turn out to be his very last adventure, as he knew he would soon be too ill to hike. As he recounted the beauty of the sky and the sound of the rushing river at his feet, he paused…in silence. I saw tears in his eyes, the memory had taken his breath away. At that moment, his soul touched mine, and without a word, we embraced.
In that room, a miracle occurred. We shed our exterior. We stepped away from those limiting beliefs that made us different, that kept us separate, and we became one. All that existed was love. Love for the life he lived, for the memories we had shared and for the new friendship that we had formed. My new friend would later tell me that he never felt the needles, nor the pain, and despite his unfortunate diagnosis, he left that day feeling more alive then ever.
How different would our world appear through the lens of a miracle? No need to survive a deadly fall, nor be stricken with a terrible disease. But rather celebrating the miracles that arrive in our lives everyday. Would we be happier? More at ease? How much more would those chance encounters enrich our lives? Miracles were never meant to be rare…nor elaborate, miracles are simply naturally occurring expressions of love. The REAL miracle, is the love that inspires them.
We have all been there. You know, those days when nothing seems to make them happy. They lurk around the house as if the walls are closing in on them. They make no attempt at eye contact and all their physical cues shout, “leave me alone.” You do your best and try not to let it bother you. Busily moving about the house now made of eggshells. You ask all the regular questions; “Are you hungry, sick, sad, upset?” All met with the same indifferent response, ‘no.’
The tension in the house is palpable. Being the optimistic parent, you give it one last attempt – “You want to go do something?” Your child’s face reveals a look of disdain so fierce you are pretty sure swallowing knives seems more appealing. You retreat to your room feeling defeated and confused. You ask yourself, “What could be wrong? “What did I do?
Reality is you are not alone. After all, it wasn’t that long ago this same child used to light up when you walked in the room and couldn’t get enough of you. Now, it feels like you never knew them at all.
Now, let’s take a closer look. They lurk around house. You jump to the assumption that something is wrong. Because you are convinced of this, you immediately ascend into “Fix it” mode. You draw from your arsenal of parent detective tools and begin your “investigation.” Your child tells you nothing is wrong. You hear, “They need me to help them, I must not give up.” Your child declines your offer to go do something. You hear, “They don’t want ME, I’m not enough.” Your child gives you a look of frustration. You think, “My child HATES me.”
With all this internal dialogue it is NORMAL that you would feel defeated and confused. Fear wins.
So often in our relationships we allow fear to drive our thoughts and actions. We immediately default to a place of scarcity instead of abundance. As a result, we send the message that not only are we not good enough, but they are not good enough either.
What do you think would have happened if the parent allowed some space for their child to just…BE? What would it feel like to create a safe place for them to express their emotions no matter what they were that day? A space that didn’t feel like judgement, that didn’t require explanation. How would it feel for us if we had a space like that too?
We show our children how to experience life. If we are uncomfortable with their discomfort, how will they ever understand that having a bad day and feeling anything other than happy is…normal and OK? If we jump into action, are we taking away the time they may NEED for themselves. Time to reflect, time to feel, time to, GROW? Do we give that time to ourselves?
The need for acceptance is Universal, but does that mean it can only look a certain way? Are feelings that rank high on the happiness spectrum the only ones deserving of our favorable reception? We tell our teens, “talk about your feelings.” But what we show them often translates to, “as long as it’s what we want to hear and when we want to hear it.” Sorting through emotions takes time. Commonly feelings arrive unexpectedly and with no explanation. How many times in our lives have we struggled to find congruency with how we feel on the inside versus how we appear on the outside? If using their voice does not appear to be their medium of choice, or at least not yet. Maybe sending them the message that they are worth the wait is all the comfort they will need.