Fair Warning: You chose to click on this link, and I'm going to tell you right now that what you're about to read may seem a little preachy. I assure you that "God" does not enter into this rambling. I hope that you'll read this, regardless of the warning, because I happen to think it has some good ideas in it. That said... enjoy.
Let's face it, even with the best of circumstances, life isn't always smooth. There are a lot of things, small and large, that effect our day-to-day living. At best, life is a gamble, and the odds are in favor of the House.
Does this mean that we accept that "life sucks and there's nothing I can do about it"?
Well, to a point, yes.
We accept that there will be things that are beyond our control, and that those things aren't aren't always pleasant.
But there's good news!
While we can't choose many of the things that may or may not happen to us, we can choose our response to them.
We can choose to:
Forget or Learn
Deny or Accept
Hate or Forgive
Hurt or Heal
Interesting choices, eh?
I think you see what I'm getting at here.
There are positive responses and there are negative responses... and here's a little secret that you may not know: Whenever you choose that negative response, you're only hurting YOU.
Wacky idea, I know, but it's true. Stop and think about it. Think about someone in your life who doesn't like you very much (and you know there's at least one). If you're like most people, your general opinion is "why should I care whether or not that person likes me?"
Well, guess what? Most of the people you actively dislike probably think the exact same thing about you. So, while you're using up energy and causing yourself pain thinking about how much you dislike that person, they've very likely been going on with their lives. Perhaps they're a little saddened that you don't like them, but I can almost guarantee they don't think of it very often.
Soooo... who are you really hurting here?
Here's something else to think about.
Think hard about why you don't like that person.
Nope, sorry, "well, I just don't" won't work here.
Think about specific things about that person that you just can't stand.
Got some in mind?
Do they seem familiar?
Most of the time, the things we dislike the most in others are things that we dislike about ourselves.
And if you're hating other people for having some of the qualities that you have, maybe it's time to think about a change.
Now, I'm not going to pretend that I like everybody. I don't.
But I completely refuse to actively dislike anyone.
Every second that you spend thinking of how much you don't like someone, you're making yourself miserable.
Don't believe me?
Think about a time that someone hurt you. Maybe it was way back in grade school when another kid pushed you, or maybe it's more recent and more serious.
Either way, consider the pain that you felt... it made you angry, right? And the angrier you felt, the more it hurt. And, of course, the more it hurt, the angrier you felt, and the more it hurt, and...
You get the idea. AngerPainAngerPain and so on in a cycle, over and over.
But how about changing that cycle a bit?
Wow, that broke the cycle pretty quick!
And the really neat part is that it can work no matter who you're angry with... even if it's yourself.
Think what they (or you) did is unforgivable?
Understand, first and foremost, that forgiveness isn't about the other person, it's about you.
As long as you carry that around inside you, you're allowing someone else to control your emotions.
Forgiving someone doesn't make what they did right. It means that you're no longer willing to let it hurt you, it means that you've moved on.
It also means that you accept that no one is perfect, and that everyone will make mistakes.
So stop hurting yourself, start forgiving yourself and you'll be amazed how easy it becomes to forgive others.
Along with that comes something else, and this is one of those things you may not like too much.
But I'm gonna say it anyhow.
Stop blaming others for your problems.
That's a BIG one, I know. But use it along with the forgiveness thing, and it makes a lot more sense. As long as you're holding on to the hatred inside you, you're the one causing yourself pain.
And sorry, you don't get to blame anyone else for that.
By now, you're probably thinking to yourself "geez, this chick is completely full of it!"
And guess what?
You may well be right. I don't claim to have all of life's answers.
But ask yourself this question:
"How much of my day do I spend being truly happy?"
(And if you say "all of it", maybe you'd better reconsider which of us is full of it.)
The point is that if you really think about what you've read here, you can see that it can't possibly hurt you (or anyone else) to try it.
If it doesn't work, fine.
You can actively hate me and send me e-mail to tell me off and cuss me out.
I don't mind.
I'll even forgive you for it.
But if it DOES work, just think of the possibilities!
What it boils down to, folks, is this:
Life is a beautiful gift, given to you to do with as you please, but there is some assembly required.
I can't tell you what to make of your life anymore than you can tell me what to do with mine.
But I can tell you that, for me, the sky is bluer and the sun shines a hell of a lot more brightly than it used to.
There is beauty all around us, but it doesn't do us a damn bit of good if we close off our minds and refuse to recognize it.