As humans, we have the gift (and sometimes curse) of a full range of emotions. Though we may believe that it would be easier to live life in a perpetual state of joy, that is not how we are designed, and sometimes when negative emotion strikes, we don’t want to do difficult work to pull ourselves out of it.
Sometimes we get hung up on “the principle of the thing.” Sometimes it just feels good to stand in our self-righteousness and be angry at a person or situation that has caused us to feel attacked or wronged. Sometimes we feel victimized and we want those around us to recognize and appreciate our suffering.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: sometimes we want to stay with the premise that we’re powerless because it’s so much more satisfying than admitting that we’re the cause of our own misery.
I know for me this tends to happen on a fairly regular basis.
Recently, a friend and I were going out to lunch and I was circling the crowded parking lot looking for a spot. After a few minutes, I finally located someone pulling out and I pulled up and turned on my signal to show that I would be pulling in.
I was about to start moving into the spot when a dude in a pickup truck cut me off and stole the spot from me.
“What are you doing?” I demanded as I rolled down my window.
“I was here first,” he replied with a shrug.
“No you weren’t, I had my signal on and you almost hit me!”
“No you didn’t,” he said and walked away.
I was furious. The spot was clearly mine and he stole it! When you have your turn signal on, it means the spot is yours! The guy came within inches of my car. He could have caused damage!
These thoughts were running through my head as I began to circle the lot and look for another spot. I angrily replayed the exchange between the guy and myself - this time coming up with wittier ways to chastise him. I thought of writing a clever note and leaving it on his windshield.
“Um, what are you doing?” asked my friend sitting next to me.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re clearly having an angry conversation in your mind. You’re making weird facial expressions.”
The interaction with the guy had ended but I had let it drag on in my mind. After all, I was right and he was wrong! He did something unfair and then didn’t apologize!
But really who was tormenting who now? I was tormenting myself. I was ignoring my friend next to me and letting the guy take up valuable time and brain space. I was robbing myself of my own peace and enjoyment of the time I had with my friend.
Here are some ways to deal when you really don’t want to stop being negative:
Stop judging yourself for being human. It’s ok to be mad at the world sometimes. Love yourself anyway and tell yourself that you love and accept all your human emotions.
That being said, don’t lose sight of the fact that no one creates your reality but you.
Journal. Write a letter to the universe in which you outline all of your grievances. Then pause and get still. Breathe deeply and listen to the universe’s response and then scribe what you hear. Chances are it will be unconditionally loving and chances are it will be exactly what you need to hear.
Call a trusted friend. Tell them you need a sympathetic ear and then unleash the beast. Sometimes validation is all we need to be able to let it go.
Ground yourself. Take your socks and shoes off and stand in the grass. Visualize yourself growing roots deep into the earth and remember that we are all connected and that is a good thing. Contemplate this truth as applied to the situation where you feel wronged.
If you would like to learn more about how to apply these mindset shifts to your own life, call 973-769-2401 to schedule an initial consultation or email at firstname.lastname@example.org