Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Bring Me Down

One of the hallmarks of people who are negative is the mistaken belief that things have to be a certain way in order for them to be happy.  The waitress should have refilled their coffee sooner, that person in front of them shouldn’t be on their cell phone, their husband should have bought roses instead of carnations.  It’s as if they are living their lives according to a script that no one else has. And they’re quick to come to a conclusion about it all means. Who needs Dr. Phil when they have all the answers.  The waitress didn’t fill their coffee sooner because she doesn’t care about her customers.  The person on the cell phone is selfish. Their husband doesn’t think about what he’s doing.  It is a vicious cycle of unhappiness that contaminates everything around them. 

One of the ways I’ve been able to avoid that particular type of thinking is to care less about stuff that I either can’t do anything about or that just isn’t that important to begin with.   Caring less doesn’t mean I don’t care at all. It simply means that I’ve stopped taking a stand when it doesn’t matter. You’ve heard the expression, don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s all small stuff. The older I get the more I know just how true that is even when the small stuff begins to feel a little like Chinese water torture, drip, drip, drip. 

I took my truck in for an oil change and it needed a new oil pan and casket, ca ching. My neighbors came by to tell me I have a dead tree in my hard, ca ching, ca ching. I got my hearing tested and yes, big surprise; it’s time for hearing aides, ca ching, ca ching, ca ching.  I didn’t like having to do any of it and I really didn’t like having to pay for any of it but it wasn’t something that changed my inner peace and well being.   It helps tremendously that I don’t have people in my life who interpret those experiences through a negative filter. There’s no one to put a negative spin on any of those experiences leaving me to let them come and go.

Most of the things that happen are just things that happen. Any meaning they have is meaning that we give them.  It’s just as easy to attribute a positive meaning to a situation as it is a negative meaning. It’s a choice. We can make that choice with a knee jerk reaction that perpetuates fear or we can stop, breath and make a different choice that comes from self compassion and faith in a loving universe. It’s either fear or love, baby. What’s it gonna be?



1 comment:

Cathy said...

Very insightful observation for the week!