Lately, I've felt beaten down.
Lately, I've felt like people don't especially care what I think or how I feel.
Lately, I've felt that nothing is going to work out the way I've hoped.
Lately, I've been worried we might not be able to make ends meet.
Lately, I've wondered how things might start getting better.
Lately, I've wondered IF things will ever start getting better.
I used to sit and dwell, letting myself wallow in lament. Now, I try to get my mind off of whatever is ailing my emotions and let it go. It's not easy, but it's part of the journey. There are things that are upsetting me greatly, but I have to give them up and stop allowing them to churn inside, because, as I've finally figured out -- there is no point in it. Things are going to come at me every single day that will depress, anger, frustrate, hurt, or upset me. There's not an 'off' switch for that, not even a slower rate of such things that I can downgrade to. I can let them dictate my life, or I can give in and be peaceful. At first, it seems a dire injustice just to give in. I have rights. I have feelings. I should count. I should matter.
But the truth is, it doesn't really MATTER if I matter or not. What matters is how other people feel. I want to be a positive force in the lives of others. Whoever the others are, I want to lift them up, not bring them down. Even if it's someone I can't stand, or if it's someone I love to pieces that's hurt me greatly. The former is difficult, but the latter is even more so. But it doesn't really matter, because it's not about me. It's about other people.
Sadly, everyone does not have this mindset. If everyone did have this mindset, the world would be peaceful. Did you hear that? I have the solution to the world's problems ... it's "BE NICE WHETHER YOU FEEL LIKE IT OR NOT".
So somebody hurt your feelings. So somebody pulled out in front of you. So somebody took your cart at the grocery store. So somebody didn't say 'thank you' when you gave them something. Be nice anyway.
There's an awesome quote we have framed at work, and it never ceases to amaze me how many people comment on it during a given week, or request a copy of it to take home. The quote has been attributed to Mother Teresa, but may not be hers, depending on what source you check:
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Regardless of the source of this quote, if people really lived this way, the world would be as perfect as it could possibly get.
I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.
The journey continues.