Grouchy, depressed, irritable, anxious, angry, frustrated, resentful, bitter, jealous, fearful…. Embrace it! Savor it! Feel every bit of it!
I want you to feel it so acutely it’s painful. I want the pain to be something you cannot and will not ignore.
That pain you feel is a good thing. That’s your body and subconscious trying to tell you something. Just like if you get too close to a fire, you know to change direction.
“Change happens when the pain of holding on becomes greater than the fear of letting go.”
― Spencer Johnson, author of the One Minute Manager
So feel your pain. Let others feel theirs. It means change is coming, or change is needed.
The question then becomes: Do you wait to make the change, and suffer in the interim, or do you make the change now and spare yourself all that unnecessary grief?
It seems like the answer to that question should be a no-brainer but change is easier said than done. I also believe the ability to change is a learned skill, and is hardest the first time. Sort of like eating sushi. Once you get over that ICK factor, then you can really be open to how divine it is. The reward for letting go and then discovering something wonderful is itself an incentive to do it again for the next ICK food, the escargot, the brussel sprouts, the tofu.
The same is true for change.
Even just choosing to let go of negativity is freeing. You’re free to have more energy, more positivity, more creativity, more satisfaction and gratitude. After you’ve done it a few times, it will also feel like a no-brainer to you.
Take forgiveness* for example. There were times in my life when I nurtured my anger and resentment toward others like I did my infant sons. I was wronged. I was mistreated. I was a martyr. I was right. I was making myself miserable.
Some people say that they can’t forgive because the other doesn’t deserve it. They may not deserve it, but you do.
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself” – Suzanne Somers
I have a friend who is stuck in the Should I Stay or Should I Go quandary. He’s been complaining for years about his partner, and the frequency and intensity has been escalating recently. He knows, deep down, that it’s not going to work but there are many good, valid reasons that are making him hesitate to leave. In the meantime, he’s miserable and probably not doing his partner any favors either by clinging to an unhappy relationship#.
So he has a choice: either let go of his expectations regarding her and the relationship and release his resentment, or move on and find someone who doesn’t violate his minimum standards for behavior. There is no right or wrong choice. He is capable of bringing success and happiness to either decision. While he sits on the fence, however, he is only committing himself (well, both of them) to further resentment and animosity.
You have control over very little in your life. You can’t control the weather, the stock market, or how others treat you. But you can control how you treat yourself, and clinging to negativity or an unsatisfactory situation is shortchanging yourself of the gift of positivity, optimism, opportunity and forgiveness that you, and those around you, deserve.
So invest in yourself. Be courageous and make that tough decision, “man up”, take a forgiving view of yourself and others, find a new way to look at the world or your situation. Don’t wait until you reach rock bottom and an unbearable level of pain to do it. You deserve better.
Please see my previous blogs on forgiveness* and dysfunctional relationships#.