It’s easier to be miserable.
Why work, and work, and work, on being happy when being miserable is so darn easy? Our current culture embraces miserable. We are easily offended, blame others for our state of being, share our unhappiness with the general public, and look for problems.
You don’t do this though, do you?
Sit and marinate on it a bit. What did your last three days look like? Did you complain about problems, the way others behave, situations in politics or society?
We all can observe situations we don’t find appealing… but how we respond to them is the basis of who we are. It’s our emotional maturity and resilience that brings us a foundation of happiness, or discontent.
When you’re offended you put the management of your emotional stability on everyone else’s shoulders. You’re saying that you cannot handle something, so others need to handle it for you. You could, instead, decide what action to take when you find a person or situation offensive to you. I’d suggest the first step is self-reflection. Why are you offended?
There’s a difference when someone (or something) attacks you personally. They are attacking “Jane” and not attributes of Jane that Jane may share with others. An example would be “Jane, you’re an ass and I hate when you come into the office late every day.” This is a personal attack towards Jane. Versus, “I hate women because they’re always late to everything.” This is a generic attack on an attribute Jane shares (being female) with others. In the first example, Jane has a situation to respond to. In the second, she doesn’t. The first was about her personally, the second was not. Jane will enjoy more emotional stability, and happiness, once her emotional maturity learns the difference and she can respond appropriately to each situation. If Jane takes all situations as personal attacks she will have more stress to deal with than she needs to.
Although everyone one is different and their responses will be unique to them, there are some common and psychologically-healthy responses what ensure an emotionally mature balance.
- Is it personal to me?
- If it’s personal to me… what do I want as an end result? Do I have relationships to consider? How does the end result affect my goals in life? How will my response align with my values and morals? How can I be authentic?
- If it’s not personal to me, what’s the best response? Feeding trolls, feeding negativity, rarely results in a positive change. Check your intent and align all responses to your values and morals first and choose positive responses above all else. A positive response will always feed your soul regardless of how it resolves the situation. Keep in mind that often no response is best… don’t feed the trolls. Letting go and not allowing crap into your head, and your life, is freeing.
- Find closure. Feeding drama, even in your own head, doesn’t contribute to happiness or emotional maturity. Find a resolution and move on.
The holiday seasons give us ample opportunity to practice our emotional maturity and resilience. We can fall into the drama and wallow in the stress, or we can absorb and reflect and choose responses that feed our soul and our happiness. Happiness is an absolute option for everyone when they choose to respond positively to the situations in their life. When you choose positive solutions, goal and relationship-oriented responses, you will come from a base of natural happiness and security. Nothing is perfect, and shit happens all the time… how you respond determines your overall success and joy in life.
Joy to the world, and joy to you this season. Be the light that shines for yourself, and others.