A few days ago, I had a bad day. It happens. Sometimes it’s nothing specific. Just a menagerie of drama from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. Other times it’s one specific thing that sets the pace for the day. For me it was a little bit of both. Stupid annoyances mixed with a giant dose of someone hurting me with mean words.
We’ve all heard the childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I don’t know who said that, but I assure you they are wrong. Words can hurt and sometimes they hurt in catastrophic proportions.
In spite of the hurtful words, I tried hard to stay positive the rest of the day and find the good in what was happening. A quote that I see often on the internet came to mind:
"Every experience no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it." - Buddha
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t find the good in what was happening. The more I thought about it, the more disgusted I became. I went to bed feeling discouraged and anything but grateful.
I was hoping when I woke up the next day that the frustration would be gone but it wasn’t. I carried on through my morning trying to ignore my funk and hoped that somehow the gratitude I should have would magically present itself.
I was sitting at my desk, partly working, partly wallowing when I came across advice on keeping a gratitude journal. “Acknowledge the negative, too. Use balanced thinking – don’t fight to find gratitude constantly.” I stared at the words for a bit trying to decipher their meaning. Was I trying too hard? Could it really be that simple?
Getting hurt and recuperating is a process. Some steps take longer than others but for me, it went something like this:
The sooner I acknowledged my feelings the sooner I started to deal with them. Ignoring them wasn’t making them go away or hurt any less.
Allowing myself to be exactly where I am, whether that’s hurting or being sad, feeling anger and disappointment is okay. I’m allowed to feel and even wallow if I want to. Just as long as it doesn’t stay a permanent state of mind.
Life is full of good days and bad days. It can’t all be good. And yeah, sometimes our experiences hurt. A lot. But there are a lot of good experiences too and they tend to get overshadowed by the bad ones. That means not giving the bad more credit than it deserves. If anything, it should get less.
Holding on to the hurt, angry, and bitter feelings is going to make me a hurt, angry, and bitter person. It doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t make me enjoyable to be around. So letting go makes sense. It isn’t worth it.
In the end, the quote from Buddha has merit. The blessing in all of it was I gained a better understanding of my healing process. I learned that I’m in control of my emotions and that I’m not defined by what happens to me. I’m stronger and because of it, I’m better.
So yeah, I get it and I’m over it. Stick and stones baby…
With Love and Gratitude,