Tag Archives: misery

Leave Your Critical Self Behind

Joel Osteen says, “If you don’t have something good to say….ZIP IT!” and that is good advice because have you noticed how critical we have become?  It seems like we are always complaining about something and finding fault with something else…complaining, judging, evaluating and finding fault have become as commonplace as brushing our teeth.  It starts first thing in the morning…the coffee line is too long, our kids are too slow, there is too much traffic, the news is all bad, people can’t drive, the weather isn’t right, etc., etc…

Consider how much energy we expend on complaining and being critical.  Imagine what could happen if we turned that into a positive experience; imagine if we actually looked for the good in situations; called attention to it; acted upon it.  There is good in everything but we often need to look hard to find it and sometimes we just have to trust that it is present whether we see it or not.  Faith is a very powerful tool that can be used to alter even the worst of circumstances. However, like any tool it must be used often in order for us to strength it.

Criticism can also be a powerful force for change if used in the correct fashion.  There is destructive criticism and there is constructive criticism.

Destructive criticism points out what is wrong with situations and people with no solution—that man is a slob, that woman is unhealthy, that building is dirty…

Constructive criticism can be used as force to correct problems and unite people for the greater good because it offers an action at the end of the complaint…that outfit doesn’t suit you, however I have one that does…there is trash everywhere so let’s pick it up…you are always late so let me buy you a new watch…

The most bothersome issue is that people fail to recognize that constant destructive criticism kills joy, good humor and hope…it causes people to despair and feel like life is just too much trouble. It can create a terrible momentum that becomes almost impossible for the target of criticism to overcome.

Think about the people in your life that are always finding fault with someone or something. How enlivening is it to be in their presence for more than 5 minutes??? The air can literally seem to become thick and foul. You may even feel as if a shadow descends upon you the longer you stay in their presence.

Criticism and cynicism shut life down instantaneously…possibility cannot exist where there is no listening for it and critical/cynical people have no field of vision for what is good or what is possible.

Critical/cynical people look through a particular filter that only allows them to see more of what they talk about and since they always talk about what doesn’t work or what is wrong, that is all they are able to see.  Their blindness to the positive possibilities that abound is not only dangerous to those within their circle of influence, it is contagious!

Most of them don’t even notice what limited vision they have given themselves.  They just go around believing that life sucks, people are awful, and that misery is the default setting that they must endure.

Stuck in this way of looking they will not even see a random act of kindness or goodwill…they will only continue to gather evidence that life is hard and people will hurt you.

Life is truly what you make it and we have the choice in every, single moment to interpret circumstances as good or bad.  We can call to the possibility in something or we can be defeated and harmed by it, the choice is always ours.

It takes a particular kind of person to see the good and call to the positive aspects in a situation…a person like this has the ability to transform any circumstance into something beneficial. That particular kind of person is in ALL of us – we simply have to let that inner optimist emerge.

You have the power to be a person like this…it takes courage, faith and strength of character and it takes the understanding that life is far more contributed to by the ongoing choice for good. The first step to a positive approach is to simply take that first step with an attitude of opportunity and confidence that what happens next in life is something to embrace rather than fear.

~Noelle

**From Noelle’s book, “Practical Change…Inspiration for Kicking Ass & Slaying Dragons”

My Brave Face

I’m going to be honest. I have started and restarted this blog about a million times. Ok maybe not that many. But enough. This is hard thing to put words to, but I’ll try.

In the last few weeks we lost Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to suicide. As supportive as people have been… it’s always followed up with why?
Why would someone who seemingly had it all take their own life?
If we could that answer we wouldn’t have to ask the question would we?
What I know is I have had two people who I was incredibly close to take their own lives.
Whenever this comes up in the news my brain buzzes. Not just for me but my family who have been trying to gently shut the door on something no one should ever have a door to anyway.

A few years ago a close family member took their own life, even worse it played out a bit on social media. But that is not my story to tell. So that’s all I will say.

However, this is my story…the very first man to ever break my heart took his own life. I carry so much guilt over it. It’s been years and I still carry the weight of what I could of, if anything done differently.He had months previous reached out to me as he had for years around Christmas. He missed me, he loved me, I was his biggest regret. As I always did, I curtly thanked him and said I did not feel the same.

Two months later he was dead. I read it about it on Facebook. Sometimes I really f*&$ing hate Facebook.

When news breaks about a celebrity taking their own life I start to feel sad, mad, wonder could I have done differently?

My answer is nothing. Depression & anxiety have a horrible ability of finding a hairline fracture and turning it into a full on break. The reality is not everyone wears their worries on their sleeve but it doesn’t mean they’re hurting any less.

It’s easy to question why. What I try to remember is what may seem like a grain of sand to me can feel like a whole beach to someone else.

There is a fantastic quote “misery is easy, happiness you have to work at.”
For some people that’s beyond true. Happiness is a lot of work.

I know that first hand. I am the Queen of coulda, woulda, shoulda. It keeps me awake at night. It gives me migraines. Thankfully I’ve learned – thanks to some pretty fantastic therapists- what I need to do when Ms. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda are paying a visit.

It hasn’t always been that way and there are still days I give the ladies an audience. I had a huge wake up call from a friend, who by the way is no longer a friend. When I experienced my first deep downward spiral. She called me at work and told me she couldn’t be friends with me anymore because I was too depressing. Mind you I had just gotten dumped by a man who cheated on me with a co-worker. My heart was breaking in a million pieces, so yes I was probably a downer. I was SAD.

I got pissed. I was a Happy person. Even happy people can hurt. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to be heartbroken and if someone tells you otherwise. F them!  Seriously.

Also, please for all that is holy don’t be this person- “just get over it.” Wow just get over it. My marriage is ending, this was not my plan. I’m up to my eyeballs in debt, I’m now on my own with a 2 1/2 year old. But you betcha I’ll get right over it.

Why is it as a society we assign shame to sadness? Maybe that is the answer to that unfortunate question.

The same people who say reach out, say ask for help- can just as easily forget that is a really hard thing to do when you’re hurting. It’s easier to burrow, run, shut down. It’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to be made to feel like you need to. It’s hard to be on 24/7. It’s hard to be happy all the time. You can be with a million people and still feel hurt and lonely.

Here is the thing you don’t. Really you don’t. I can say that to you, to myself and maybe it will stick. Maybe it won’t and that’s ok too.

So for now I will do what I always do. I will get on a back country road go very fast, blare Rage Against the Machine maybe get pulled over. Instead of a ticket get the world’s most awkward hug from the poor state trooper who pulled me over as I was crying telling him I’m just having a really bad day. I will put on my favorite T-shirt. I will goof around and try to copy a You Tube makeup tutorial. I might spend some money on Amazon I don’t have. I will eat a doughnut, pour myself a glass of wine. Hug my daughter, let my dog on my bed.

I will put on my brave face. I will work hard at being happy.

But what I think we all need to remember, myself included is happiness IS hard work, for some people it’s harder than others.

~Caprise~