Have you ever had one of those days when everything seemed to be going a little (or a lot!) wrong? When you were younger, perhaps someone said to you, “Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?” or “What’s bugging YOU today??” And, just wondering: did that question ever help you feel better or behave better? Right, probably not.
Everyone experiences both little irritations and big problems in life. Why do some people just seem to roll with whatever life throws their way, mostly unruffled, at least by the little stuff, and others “get their knickers in a twist” about the smallest thing. (Not that we all haven’t – at some point in our lives – sworn at that driver who cut us off on the expressway.)
I read a blog post a few weeks ago from my friend Anne Lafleur, called “Having problems is not a problem.” (Read the full post here.)
Anne says: “Happiness comes from seeing that we have a choice about how to think about the unpleasant experiences of life, and how to react in response to them. It comes from giving ourselves permission to experience what it’s actually like to be us, and to act in accordance with what we want for ourselves and others, without having to judge any of it as good or bad.”
Anne sums up by saying: “It’s not a problem that there’s this problem, I will tell myself. It’s not even a problem that I am seeing it as a problem. All of it is just life.”
I know, for myself, everything goes much more smoothly for me if I can see so many of life’s little annoyances as “it’s just life,” and I choose to take a deep breath, relax, and let it go. Of course, it takes practice… and thankfully, I haven’t had to practice too much (yet) on very many huge problems of life. But I do believe that how I handle the small stuff will influence how I handle the big stuff, when it happens. Because it will. That’s just… life.
--Ann Pillman, with contributions from Anne Lafleur