Sunday, August 30, 2015

100 Things I Want to Tell My Children and Grandchildren: #13

When bad things happen, you have two choices. You can get upset, or not. Which feels better?

How many times have you sunk to the bottom of despair, thinking things couldn’t possibly get worse? Now,  think about how many incredibly wonderful times have you had in your life since then.

We are hardwired to react. Emotions are very difficult to control. But getting our panties in a wad over something doesn’t make the situation better. It usually just makes it worse.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote this about NapolĂ©on Bonaparte, It was a whimsical economy of the same kind which dictated his practice … in regard to his burdensome correspondence. He directed Bourrienne to leave all letters unopened for three weeks, and then observed with satisfaction how large a part of the correspondence had thus disposed of itself and no longer required an answer.

Does #13 work every time? No, sometimes I’m so overcome with anger, anxiety, fear, I loose sight. Sometimes it’s just too much. 

Does it help? Yes. Sometimes it is downright life saving.

Someone once said to me, Can you honestly get un-upset about stuff just by choosing not to? I’d give anything if all I had to do was choose not to obsess. What’s your secret?

I think my secret is two-fold. About 30 years ago I survived the greatest heartache of my life. I didn’t think I would live past it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live past it. But I did, and I think that made me somewhat bulletproof. That point in time is what I always look back to, to remind myself of what I can withstand, how strong I am.

Second, I keep myself so busy I can’t dwell on the things that cause me anxiety, fear and pain. I may not always be able to control my emotions, but I can offset them.

So when bad things happen, you have two choices. You can choose to get upset, or not.

Which feels better?

No comments:

Post a Comment