Week Three: There is no good. There is no bad. There just is.
“In order to lead a happy life, you must be able to separate your mental and emotional reaction from the situation that was the catalyst.”-Me (ha.)
I’ve been thinking about emotions a lot, lately (both my own, and other people’s). One of my favorite phrases to use to remind myself of reactions to outside stimuli and their sometimes insane power over human beings falls along the lines of “if I cannot change the situation, I can change my reaction to the situation.”
I wholeheartedly believe that everything in this beautiful world is happening for us, not to us, and as such, we are tasked with the job of deciding what lessons and life-altering revelations are being sent down from the Universe in our seemingly mundane, sometimes shitty day-to-day challenges. Obviously, it is easy to feel blessed and grateful when we have our “big wins,” and we are working with miracles that we perceive as “good.” But how do we interpret those miraculous situations that our fear-based brain automatically wants to label as “bad?”
Take this day, for example:
You are running late to work, and your car needs gas. This will make you even later. (“bad”)
You get to work, and you received two not-so-compassionate emails from an angry coworker about something you didn’t even realize you were supposed to do. (“bad”)
Surprise cookies in the break room! (“good”)
Pay day! (“good”)
You hit a huge traffic jam on the way home. (“bad”)
Your friend cancels plans you had been looking forward to, with no explanation. (“bad”)
Each one of those events in our life can cause a knee-jerk reaction that society has conditioned us to believe is our reality. Our challenge this week, dear positive people, is to reframe the way we view the moments in our lives that we don’t get lit up about. It is our job to take the power away from our fear-based emotions, and reframe the way we think about life’s tougher moments. Does this mean that we won’t ever feel sad, bad, upset, or angry? Hell no. What it does mean is that as human creatures in the driver’s seat of our own lives, we realize that our emotions are separate from the catalyst or life event that is occurring for us. You are in control.
Best way to take control? Reframe, reframe, reframe. Allow yourself to feel the emotion brought up by the event, then release it and show gratitude for what that catalyst taught you. Let’s look at the aforementioned “bad baddies” that our example positive person encountered, and reframe them into lessons.
Catalyst: You are running late to work, and your car needs gas. This will make you even later.
Emotional Response: Angry and impatient
Reframe: You are in a great position to have money to afford the gas you need. Hell, it’s pretty cool to have a car at all. You are very grateful for the job you have to drive to that day. If someone is angry that you are late, you cannot control their reaction to that. This brings you to the conclusion that you will put in your best efforts to remember to fill the car up after work from here on out.
Catalyst: You get to work, and you received two not-so-compassionate emails from an angry coworker about something you didn’t even realize you were supposed to do. (“bad”)
Emotional Response: Indignant, pissed off, panicked
Reframe: This is an awesome opportunity to practice having interactions with people at a different energy frequency than you. You are reminded to practice empathy—that coworker must’ve also felt really panicked and pissed off at you when they wrote that email—and you know that is not a great place to reside, so you understand that their reaction says more about their state of mind than how they actually feel about you. You are grateful to work with someone who is passionate about the work you are doing, and you decide that instead of exchanging more messages like this (where empathy can get lost behind your screen), you will schedule a face-to-face with that colleague, with a gift of coffee in tow.
Catalyst: You hit a huge traffic jam on the way home. (“bad”)
Emotional Response: impatient, grouchy, “why does this always happen to me?”
Reframe: Clearly, the Universe is telling you to slow down. You are grateful for your subscription to Spotify, and you feel lucky to have just about every album in the world at your fingertips. Also, how cool is it that everyone has a podcast these days, and you can learn and listen about anything that strikes your fancy. You are grateful you’ve stashed a Kind bar and an extra bottle of water in your center console, and you are excited to hunker down and learn some new material from your favorite wellness podcast, That’s So Retrograde (really…check this out). Or maybe, listen to your favorite self-help book, You Are a Badass.
Catalyst: Your friend cancels plans you had been looking forward to, with no explanation. (“bad”)
Emotion: abandoned, lonely, “uncared for”
Reframe: You know there must be an explanation, even if it is that your friend is tired or angry with you, and you are grateful that she realized she wasn't in the best mindset to go out. You thank the Universe for telling you that a little “me” time and solitude needed to be added to your agenda, and you start that time out by writing a real, handwritten note to that friend that cancelled, thanking them for their awesome friendship, and letting them know if they ever need anything, you are there to talk. Then, you feel grateful that you have time to catch up on your stack of books living on your nightstand, and you pour a glass of Chardonnay, grab a bath bomb, and hang out with the only person you have full control over….yourself.
See what I mean, friends? It might seem very difficult to do this. I will testify to the fact that it takes a lot of practice, and a lot of introspection and recognition of the feelings you are experiencing. Please, allow yourself to have feelings. I’m not asking anyone to negate their fear-based emotional reactions to events. I still have these reactions all the time! But, I work hard to witness them, realize that the situation didn’t have that emotion already glommed onto it (I attached that sucker, not the Universe), and I can then ask myself—“What is this situation trying to teach me? What is the Universe trying to remind me of in this moment?’
This week, I want you to keep a log, very much like the example I provided above. Record those “bad baddies,” then indicate what fear-based emotions that situation brought up for you. Then, work your best to reframe your response to the situation. If there is one thing you remember this week, let it be that you are in full control to your response to every situation you encounter.
There is no good. There is no bad. There just is.
You Are a Badass--This book changed the game for me, guys. I highly recommend you pick this sucker up.
The Secret--Hear me out. I was terrified to read this book, because I had heard so many people judge the crap out of it. Honestly, I find Rhonda's writings on manifestation to be positive, simple, and very easy-to-understand. Also, if you ever want to hear the CRAZY universal signs that I received while reading this book...oh wow....well, I might just have to write another post about them!
Love you all SO much, and I'll talk to you next week,