I’ve often heard people say that nothing worth having comes easily. It’s one of those phrases most people don’t care to hear. Or, at least I don’t care to hear such a phrase. I’m what one might call hard-headed. (My dad actually does call me this.) For years, I’ve been banging my head against different versions of this:
I guess, somewhere in my “get-rich-quick-styled” mind, or, rather my “get-happy-quick-styled” mind, I thought my superior talent, skills and experience would eventually catapult me to the top of the world. For those who know me, I don’t really need to sit at the top of the world. I just want to be happy and live in peace. But, last week, I found out that attaining that ultimate happiness doesn’t come easily either.
I learned that, while we are each equipped with the “happy gene,” not all of us enjoy this gift as often as we should. In fact, some of us routinely choose to live unhappily. That might be overshooting a bit. I’ll speak for myself as opposed to generalizing.
In every situation, I choose to react a certain way. For many years, I told myself that I could not control my emotions. I listened to other people tell me I was “too emotional,” and I fought back by saying ignorant things like: “this is just the way I am.” I’ve lost friends because of this self-taught characteristic. Well, calling them “friends” is a little silly. A friend wouldn’t un-friend me because of emotional issues, unless I was abusive (and I wasn’t). Nevertheless, this trait within me turned many people off.
The truth is that I can control my emotions. I had to learn to lean on God when trouble arises. And He has delivered me from emotional outbursts. I have to repeat that often, because to say anything contrary to that is a lie. Straight up.
Last week, I got myself involved in yet another work battle. And in true Shanice fashion, it wasn’t even my battle to begin with. See, I have this other thing about me that feels like I need to stand up for those who are being wronged. I’m getting too old for this crap. Anyhow, I let the beast loose and I am now in uncomfortable terrain at the office. But, this time I am not worried, because that was the last battle. The war for equality in that office is over. I’m switching things up.
First, I am going on a “martyr strike.” Yep, I am no longer defending the honor of anyone (including myself) in the office. It is not my battle to fight.
Second, I am going on a quasi-monk-vow-of-silence retreat. I am going to shut up. Perhaps I might become a better listener.
Finally, I am going to God first when I feel threatened, upset, envious, enraged or unhappy. Doing so will not only give me time for the notorious count-to-ten cool down period, but it will also provide a gentle reminder to love myself and love others.
I hope that for next week’s “What I learned” post, I will be able to detail how happy I was to enjoy the nature around me and how peaceful my commute was.
I’m still on the journey to better character.
Do you have any “get-happy-quick” mantras that help you when you get down?