How do we respond to situations?
That’s the ever burning question that has been running marathons through my mind lately. 2016 started out a bit rocky. Come February 1, I broke open a bottle of champagne and toasted to my new New Year, vowing that January was just a trial run and February 1 really began a fresh journey. But, as the year drug on, I found that 2016 kept pinching me little by little (and I say pinch due to the sheer fact that it wasn’t big things that kept happening, but rather the small, negative, “not again,” “you’ve got to be kidding me,” “why me” moments we all know and hate).
Mrs. Positivity over here would try to respond by saying, “Alright, it’s going to get better,” only to once again get pinched. Wake up, 2016 is not meant to be your year. However, with only a week and a half until the start of 2017, I figured all the little annoyances were done for this year and I could focus on letting the bruises disappear. Once again, life has a funny way of laughing in your face and doing things its own way.
I’m sure you can all attest to this: when it rains, it pours. When things beat you down, they seem to keep beating you down. It might not be something huge and life altering, but one small negative action or effect on you turns into another soon after and another after that until you feel like you’re sitting under a huge pile of cow dung. Life stinks…literally.
So how do we respond to situations?
I admit that I was not the calmest, most patient or genteel person when bad forced its way into my party as an unwanted house guest. I probably threw around a dictionary worth of profanities (what, I’m only human). So looking back, how did I respond? Pretty terribly. Which got me thinking. It’s not only the hurt we are carrying but the way we respond to them that makes us who we are. (So according to this, I have a C on my report card right now.) But life isn’t just one moment, it’s a learning process, an evolvement, a constant journey, and sometimes a rather grueling uphill climb. Everyone is fighting a different battle, and while it shouldn’t make ours less important, it should help us realize that we are not in this alone. The pain will pass. The hurt will heal. The negativity will be shrouded in the bright sunshine of a new day. We can choose to carry it in our hearts or we can choose to let it go.
Maybe if one more person smiled or waved during that rush hour holiday traffic, if one more person said hello to a different coworker in the morning, if one more person offered to hold the door for a complete stranger, there wouldn’t be so much anger, so much stress, so many moments you wish didn’t exist.
So this holiday season, choose to make it about cheer, and not just the artificial, “I am forcing this because it’s Christmas and it’s supposed to be a happy holiday” cheer. Make it a true cheer that comes from your heart, shines from your smiles, radiates from your cheekbones, and warms from your fingertips. Make this week before Christmas where you wake up each morning and focus on one thing you’re thankful for instead of the million little things that go wrong or don’t add up.
A friend told me tonight that I am an amazing woman and am going to do great things. What a simple thing to say yet what a great time to say it. He had no idea how much I needed to hear that. And it got me thinking that one little thing after another going wrong pale in comparison to the big things going right. There have to be lily pads to get you across the pond. I am so much bigger than the minute problems that face me every day. I can choose to let it define me or I can define it. And I choose to be something bigger than that. I choose to take that pain, connect with it, and throw it in the garbage. My treasure is so much greater than my trash.
I take my frustrations and I write. It is my passion, my gift. I use that pain and turn it into something positive, which is what I am asking you to do today, and every day from now. I spew my ideas like word vomit on a page and it transforms into a lighthouse for the ships at sea. I don’t know whose ship I’m guiding, but I know I am not alone in this journey. Be someone’s lighthouse. Be bigger than the hurt, pain, frustration, insecurities. Turn that into something positive.
So let me ask again, how do you respond? When nothing goes right, do you go left or keep going right?