We all have times or days when something happens and ‘boom’ we’re in a funk, in a bad mood, or in some way we feel like we lost ground, got hurt, was betrayed, etc. etc. etc…..right?
Maybe your sister got asked to go to your favorite concert and you didn’t …. on your birthday!
Maybe you didn’t get that job offer….
Maybe you have someone in your life sending you negativity – maybe even hate — your way.
All that can, and often does, make us feel bad. (Do you ever think about that saying “Feel Bad”?)
We feel bad because we assign certain meaning to it. In many ways we CHOOSE to let an event mean something to us, then we feel a certain way, according to how we’ve grown up, been conditiioned to do so.
Here’s an example:
A relative of mine had a big problem with another relative of mine and me. So, to “Show Us” that relative moved away, didn’t talk or communicate with us for 20 years. We tried to reach out to her a few times but eventually we went about our lives and enjoyed life. We didn’t know any better.
Recently I found out that this person who went away, did so to “punish us” and make us feel bad about something she thought we did (we didn’t). So for 20 years, she was sending us negative waves, so to speak, and intended for us to ‘feel bad’. However she didn’t communicate well enough, because we didn’t know that.
So for 20 years, we felt good, we didn’t know that she wanted us to feel bad. Had we known otherwise, we probably would have felt pretty bad, right?
But look at our daily lives and those few examples I gave at the start. We assign “bad feelings” to all or most of those. If we get rejected, we automatically tell our selves that is “Bad” and we should feel that way.
But what if we interpret it differently. What if we hold judgement until later? Did you ever have something happen that seemed ‘bad’ but turned out to be a great thing? Me too.
What if you said, “Whoa, I didn’t think that would happen, but let’s see how it plays out…”
For instance, you really want a job. Your friend thinks you’d be great for the job. You get a connection and you get a referral into an interview. All looks great. Then you get rejected. You’d probably feel “Bad”.
But what if, in time, that company was found out to be tied to another company doing unethical and illegal things. What if that company you wanted to work for shut down totally, all people lost their jobs and you would have lost your job?
That happened to me. I interviewed and interviewed for a cool job. I wanted it bad. I got rejected. I made myself feel so bad that I had to take off work from my real job for a day to recover. Then that company closed it’s doors after it was linked to several accounting and ethics scandals. Everyone lost their job. I was glad that I wasn’t apart of it.
Missing a concert on your birthday? That could hurt, sure but what if you thought about it differently? What if you asked different questions? Assign different meaning?
…..maybe there are times that you can’t feel super happy, I understand. Maybe you won’t be jumping for joy but I bet that there are ways that you can find a different more empowering meaning. Try it, even just as an experiment.
Think about Victor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search For Meaning” – if you haven’t read it, please do.
I heard someone the other day say that not getting her child into a dance studio was ‘horrific’. I know this person well enough and luckily we have mutual respect that I was able to speak frankly. I pointed out that while it could be disappointing, using the word “horrific’ probably is just making it worse, plus it isn’t teaching your child the best things, in fact it is probably something worse that an alternative life lesson. I cited Frankl’s book and asked if he would think this situation was horrific. Luckily she recognized my point and found some humor in it and lightened up a bit. (I rarely speak up like this and I don’t pretend to know everything)
We all do it, just look for ways to make those “bad” moments better.
Avoid labeling things as good or bad. They’re just events. See what happens.
Avoid assigning meaning. Or if you must., assign something good “OK I got rejected from this one, I’m expecting something better to come along so the Universe/God/whatever is making me wait until that’s ready….” or something like that?
Thanks, take care….