Friday, July 04, 2014

A Treaste on Positivity

For the past 6 weeks I have been doing mediation. I have really been enjoying it and I will write more about it at another time. However, in my quest to learn to let go and be happier, my husband pointed me to the blog: Zen Habits. A lot of what the author talks about nicely overlaps with what I am learning through mediation. Today, the author of Zen Habits had a link to an older article he wrote called: Happiness is Uncovering What You Already Have. It inspired me to post this article that I wrote last year, but has been languishing in my drafts folder. 

As I get older there are a few things that I have started to realize I really dislike in myself and others:

-the inability to recognize when you have made an ass of yourself and the need to apologize 
-the inability to let bitterness go and work towards positivity.
 
I had an incident the other day, of which I am not proud. I took a small problem, which, really wasn't a big deal, and turned it into a big deal. I don't even know why I reacted the way I did. All I can say is that I was feeling defensive and angry, and wanted to push back. I felt like if I pushed back, the guilt or bad feelings I was experiencing, would become somebody else's problem. Presto, someone else is to blame. 

But part of being an adult is realizing that you have to take responsibility for that shit. The problem is there is no training out there to show you how to embrace taking responsibility. What isn't obvious about taking responsibility is that by doing so you are actually reclaiming your power. We worry so much about looking stupid, or admitting fault that we often avoid responsibility. It's easier to blame someone or something else. We tell ourselves this absolves us. We couldn't have changed the situation, we were just flotsam subjected to the vulgarities of circumstances.

So I was actually very happy when I realized I was acting like an ass. That I could end these horrible feelings I was experiencing, and bring things back under control by admitting I was acting like an jerk. It allowed me to make amends and apologize. Or I could just go on just trying to prove that I was right. That I never do anything wrong, and everybody else is against me and it's never my fault. Not the path to a healthy life.

What I've learned over the last few years is that this is a sign of a bad attitude. Bad attitudes get you absolutely nowhere. Not at home, and certainly not at work. People want to be around people who know when to take responsibility and approach things with positivity. No one wants to be around people who always make excuses, blame others, or refuse to apologize. And we all have points where we need to apologize. 

I know when I meet someone and all that is coming out if their mouth is that life is always knocking them down, I want to flee. No doubt, they've probably gone through some hard knocks, but what defines people is how they come through those times. Will they continue to get more cynical? Or take control to the best of their ability and make lemonade? I'd rather be with people sipping lemonade.