“What fresh hell is this?” – Dorothy Parker
Yes, the overwhelming topic in this little old blog is…well…happiness. But sometimes, as I’ve said, even the most optimistic people get a little glass-half-empty, too. And although we might think at first that this is a bad thing, I hope by now you know it isn’t. Because it’s real. It’s how we feel at that moment in time. And acknowledging our emotions is always better than denying or stifling them. Sometimes we can’t SHOW how we feel, because it’s not the time or place, but at least we KNOW how we feel. Even though I don’t want to let my negative thoughts and annoyances and dire predictions take over my entire emotional landscape (at least not for too long), there’s nothing at all wrong with them being there. Nothing!
A good vent can be very liberating! You might be surprised what words sometimes escape my mouth, behind closed doors, anyway. I see no problem with admitting that something is upsetting, and getting it out of my system if it’s okay to do that then. Just so long as it’s not a habit. Sometimes I make myself come up with a positive or two after I’ve gone on and on about something annoying me, just for a little perspective. Other times, I just rant away, and then take a deep breath and get on with it.
I was talking to Girl Child (who’s really a ‘tween now) about this the other day. I stole Russ Harris’s idea about negative emotions being like clouds in the sky. They come and go, and we really can’t do anything about them being there. We might not want a cloudy day; we might prefer the sun, but do we really have to stay indoors just because it’s gray and gloomy? Nope. Negative thoughts are like that – they’ll be around every day, sometimes more than others. We can try to minimize them, but remember when we directly try to squash them…white elephant!
The presence of negative emotion does not have to stop us from doing what we want to do. It would be ludicrous to say, “I’m not going to apply for that new job until there’s not a cloud in the sky!” But don’t we all say, “I’ll be happy when..” or “I can’t do X until I feel more confident/better/happier…blah blah blah”… Sure, it would be BETTER to feel confident and happy all the time, we’d enjoy what we’re doing more if that were the case. But being cranky or worried or whatever else we feel doesn’t have to stop us from getting done what needs to be done. Often, the sooner we get into it, the faster those negative emotions reduce, at least somewhat.
Have you been putting off doing something you want to do, or avoiding pushing out of your comfort zone a little bit – waiting until it “feels right”? Here’s a thought: maybe it will never feel right enough if you don’t push yourself. Something to think about, anyhow. And now, let’s laugh at the turtle.