So my daughter has this friend who is so bright and shiny and never seems to have a bad day. They are going into 8th grade so they are in “THAT” time of their lives-pre-teen girls. This girl, however, is different. She once told me that she wakes up every day and tells herself that she is going to have a great day-and then she does. She chooses to smile. That’s pretty deep for a girl so young-to understand that she has a choice in how she lives, how she will affect herself and others. That does not mean she doesn’t have struggles, but it is how she chooses to deal with them that makes the difference. I’m 43 years old and still struggle with that.
In all my personal work, I still have not been able to grasp the idea that only I am responsible for myself and my attitude. That I get to choose how people affect me and how I deal with situations and problems. That being a certain way is a choice….
This world is so full of bitterness and blame and it makes me sad. I am not immune from that sterotype either. I have been known to have a sharp tongue but to be honest, I hate it. Inside I scream at myself because I HATE to hurt people-I would rather hurt myself than others. But that’s all wrong too…what I need to do is be true to myself and honest with myself and then perhaps I wouldn’t have to sling uglies at others. I need to be happy for the lesson instead of upset that I had to learn it.
Frustrations about everything lie at every corner-no time, it’s hot, we need rain, the kids are driving me mad, my husband doesn’t understand, I don’t understand, I feel like a lazy loser, the house is a mess, I can’t catch up, we don’t have any money, my coworkers suck, my boss expects too much…blah blah blah complain complain complain. But here is something that I would like to share about myself…that in all of those frustrations, I have this ideal that no matter what, we will be ok-whether it’s money or time or anything, I just believe that all will be fine-things will fall into the place they need to be and all is well. Some people I know do not hold this same vision about life and therefore get upset at me for what they perceive as my lack of drive or maybe care is a better word, in certain situations. I do care-I REALLY care, but I believe…I believe that God has a plan for me-for all of us. I believe that if something doesn’t fall into the place I think I want it, then it wasn’t meant to go there or be that way and so therefore something else needs to happen. I stress about so much “stuff’ in my life that to add the “what if’s” of the future would drive me to the looney house. I am content in just having faith.
So, here is my point (to you and of course to myself)…Don’t stress-no really…don’t stress, believe that all will be well no matter what (it might not be fun or might be difficult but it will be ok), wake up each morning and tell yourself you are going to have a great day and have one (or at least start with having an hour or two)! This really is a choice you can make for yourself.
Be happy-really be happy-aren’t we so lucky to wake up and be alive? We spend so much time being unhappy or finding the bad/negative in everything that we forget that the alternative is not being here at all. Look at the small things in life and find SOMETHING that makes you happy and smile. Watch your stress melt away from that one small “thing” you chose to find beautiful.
I watched my son the other day at one of his sports practices. He isn’t particularly athletic-yet- but he smiled the entire time. He wasn’t great at what they were doing, he wasn’t the fastest, he wasn’t the strongest-he even fell flat on his face at one point, but he smiled because he gave what he could and he CHOSE to enjoy himself even though he wasn’t what everyone perceives as “perfect” at it. He felt perfect and that is all that really matters. Bless him for showing me that. It is a picture that I will never ever forget. I will forever use this as an example to myself and others.
I also like to use the pro-golfer Matt Kuchar as a great example of how a smile can change both yours and others’ lives. After his Freshman year in college, he qualified for the greatest golfing championship in my opinion-The Masters. He should have been intimidated, he should have been scared and he should have been more serious-right? But what he was was happy and grateful. Kuchar swept the golf world off its feet with his smile and game, right under the shadow of Tiger and other incredibly successful professionals in the first round. As Woods and the others sputtered and fumed when their putts careened past the hole and clubs were slammed at bags when shots went awry (yes this did happen), Kuchar beamed-not because the other players were struggling but because he was having the time of his life, playing well and enjoying the moment and he wanted everyone to know it. To Kuchar a round of golf is a celebration in and of itself. To Woods and others on that course the game is a strategic tragedy fraught with peril at every turn of a dogleg – kick butt, take names and add them up at the end. In Woods’ mind, the only thing worth celebrating is total victory and nothing less. To Kuchar just playing the game and being out there was enough. I don’t particularly remember much about that Masters except that Mark O’Meara did win the Championship but it was Kuchar who ran away with our hearts and will be forever burned into my memory of what was important that weekend.
So I also add SMILE-it might tick off a few people or make them question your motives, but do it anyway and be honest about it not mean. People may even yell at you to “wipe off that shit eating grin from your face” (that happened to me just last week)-smile anyway-because it isn’t about them…it’s about you and your affect on yourself and the world around you and how you choose to deal with issues and problems. It’s about being grateful for the moment or for the lesson you just got to learn. Even if you make a mistake or say or do something you regret, smile-not because “you showed them” but because you are happy and you are healthy and you realize that maybe you shouldn’t have said or done that and that realization alone is a big postive step in becoming a better person. That in itself is the lesson learned and something to be proud of and happy for.
I am a HUGE work in progress (I say it all the time), probably we all are. But we can change our own worlds one step at a time.
In Good Health…
some information for this article taken from Florida Golf Monthly,Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998 Impact Interactive, Inc.