Some people are only GOOD at being a BAD EXAMPLE!
Every day in Elementary school I ate the same thing for lunch: an apple and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which of course would get squashed by the apple before lunchtime arrived.
At lunch I sat next to a chubby little red haired girl who, along with her frown, always had a gourmet sandwich she would nonchalantly pull out of her fancy designer lunch pail with a huge dessert of 2 hostess cupcakes, Twinkies or Ding-dongs.
At home we wouldn’t eat so extravagantly and have to share if we actually had a treat for dessert. So, seeing that she always seemed to have extra goodies – and wasn’t getting any skinnier, one day I mustered up the courage to ask her,
“Since you have two cupcakes, would you share one with me?”
But she recoiled in horror, saying,
“NO! There’s only enough for me!”
No matter how politely I would change my phrasing, each time she would consistently reply in the same manner. Day after day this hurt me terribly, as I pondered her insensitivity and the cruel injustice of the world.
But it did teach me two things:
1- There are mean people in the world.
2- Your job is not to become one of them
And when the light bulb went off in my head, I knew what I had to do:
WALK AWAY and
SIT somewhere ELSE.
I found some nice kids to sit with. They didn’t share their lunch either because they only had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too! But we all smiled, and shared laughs instead!
Hoping to get that other girl’s goodies had been a trap for me that ruined my happiness for as long as I hung out with her. You don’t have to HATE your enemies, but you shouldn’t have to hang out with them either!
So – What did I learn from my new friends?
1- IGNORE GOODIES.
2- Choose nice PEOPLE to hang out with instead.
They may be hard to find, but not impossible!
BEING one of the nice people? Well, that’s harder.
However, being RIGHT all the time is even HARDER!
Yeah…like that’ll work!
If you’ve already chosen PEOPLE over GOODIES – the Next CHALLENGE is:
How do you spot REAL love from others when you see it?
1- Real love is a ONE WAY street – which means it goes in ONE direction – from the inside of a person –> OUT, expecting nothing in return.
2- Real Love is KIND, FORGIVING and PATIENT with our shortcomings.
3- Real Love looks out for OUR best interests.
4- Real Love never gives up on us, even when we make mistakes (and we will)
5- Real Love tells us the truth.
LOOK for THOSE LOVING individuals to hang out with.
Learn to recognize them, hidden in the crowd of ‘me-first’ types.
WHAT TO DO with the SELFISH ones?
They are probably already ignoring YOU.
Giving more won’t help.
They paid attention to what you could give them, not what they could give you.
And WHAT TO DO WITH the PAIN?
Ouch. It Hurts.
I read somewhere that people who are truly loving or very funny have usually been hurt deeply in their lives.
It seems so unfair.
But think again:
We’ve ALL been hurt at one time or another!
So. . . Why isn’t EVERYONE very funny or truly loving?
WE All make CHOICES in how we react!
How DO YOU React When YOU Are Hurt (and don’t get your own way)?
Here are a few reactions that DON’T WORK!
1- Become angry and mean yourself. (My daughter once said: “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping the other guy dies.”)
2- Conclude that ‘love isn’t worth it’ – and build a wall to shield yourself from your need to be connected with others. Call it ‘strength’.
3- Become a doormat. Never tell people they are hurting you. Go along, to get along, hoping the mean ones will stop if you are ‘nice’ enough.
4- Retreat into a fantasy world where you imagine you were perfect, or other people were and then you would have your needs met. Strive for that unattainable utopia while you are feeling sorry for yourself.
5- Immerse yourself in work, activities, food or substances to try and numb the pain.
As you probably concluded, none of these work! Wasting our energy trying to protect ourselves from the pain actually ‘protects’ us from finding the nice people in the world who DO exist and who would love us, warts and all!
Though PAIN is unavoidable, there IS an AUTHENTIC secret to HAPPINESS you can take hold of NOW (even if you don’t get the Ding Dong or Twinkie for lunch)…
Pay attention, parents, so you can spring this on your children the next time you’re in the toy aisle at your favorite store):
IT’S CALLED GRATITUDE!
It’s been Scientifically verified that GRATITUDE makes you HAPPIER, and here is MY analysis of how it works.
…for what you don’t have.
After which you feel:
Here is the Crucial Point of CHOICE:
“How should I REACT?”
You will choose to EITHER: DWELL on your LOSS, which leads to: UNHAPPINESS, Bitterness, depression and Poor Health
ACKNOWLEDGE the loss and if there’s nothing you can do about it, DECIDE to ACCEPT the fact that you can’t change it, and LET it GO if it’s not meant to be.
LEAVE the situation in God’s hands, while looking for constructive options to get what you want other ways without resorting to tactics of manipulation and bad behavior.
It reminds me of the Serenity prayer, written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971):
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
It may be difficult to LET GO, but OH, WHAT FREEDOM it BRINGS!
THEN, CHOOSE TO BE GRATEFUL for what you DO have…
Choosing to be GRATEFUL will:
- Make you Happier
- Improve your appearance, (a smile increases your face value!
- & Lead to better Health
Well? YOU Are NOT helpless! You Have CHOICES!
I love what Tim Hansel once said:
“Pain is inevitable, but Misery is Optional”