photo courtesy of photologue_np on Flickr
Each morning that we wake up, stretch our bodies and put two feet on the floor is a gift. We have the ability to decide at that moment if we will choose a smile or a frown, happiness or sadness, or positivity versus negativity. I choose with each morning that I am gifted to be grateful, to put a smile on my face, to be happy and to choose positivity Some mornings are easier than others to make these choices, but I know I can get through any day better by starting off this way. If I can’t talk myself into it on a given morning before getting out of bed then in my bathroom there is a reminder taped to the mirror. It reads, “I am grateful for today, for my life, for my body, for my children, for my husband, for my family and loved ones and for the ability to be of service. Thank you, Thank you, Thank You.” On a good morning I add to that list and on a rough morning I stick with the script.
I am ready to tackle the day and armed with gratefulness. This sounds wonderful right? It is and this mindset can manifest so many incredible things in your everyday life. Making it even more powerful is truly feeling and exuding this through every fiber of your being. Create the smiles, happiness and positive presence throughout your day for yourself and those around you. Happiness attracts happiness. I practice this everyday but let me share with you my biggest hurdle. There are times when I struggle to stay in my happy and positive mindset when the actions of others are the exact polar opposite; when someone else chose to wear a frown, chose sadness or anger, and chose negativity which they then project onto me simply because I am there or because I crossed their path at a bad moment. It is like a fight or flight response to being attacked. I know I should rise above the attack. I know that if I do I can have the control to diffuse the situation, walk away or at least be calm enough to make a better choice than attacking back in a manner that I will most likely regret later. My inner voice is there reassuring me that I don’t deserve to be treated this way and that I have the control, I just need to be aware and present enough to act on it accordingly.
When I am dealing with this with a stranger or someone whom I know is in a bad space, going through a difficult time or just needs to unload in order to move beyond that block, I can manage my response with ease. I can take that step back and recognize it isn’t really about me or an attack on me. I see there is a deeper hurt or need for their actions. On the other side I can see they are just simply unhappy/angry/negative and it is what it is. I get through the interaction, reset myself, say a prayer and keep moving along with my day in the way I woke up and intended for it to be. The struggle for me is when it is a family member or another loved one who attacks for the sake of attacking. Instead of dealing with whatever they have going on they attack on whoever hits the trigger, a trigger that most often is something completely random that just rubs them the wrong way at that moment. World War III ensues and now I am enveloped in a confrontation because I am being attacked, even if I know there was something underlying that waged the war. I go into protect mode. I struggle to rise above in these situations that are fortunately not an everyday occurrence. But when they do occur, the aftermath lingers for days as I question my behavior, their behavior, what was said, who meant what…you get the idea right? Have you been there? I think most people have at one time or another. It sucks the energy and positive vibes right out from me. I have to force myself to stay on track. I literally repeat positive mantras to myself while I work through the emotions.
Above all else, I have learned there is no other way to firmly get back on track with being happy and positive and wearing that genuine smile if I cannot forgive the person and myself. There needs to be a peace treaty in my heart. Sometimes this can happen quickly and other times it takes time to work through it, but in the end forgiveness can save relationships and it will lessen the weight of the load you carry. We must accept when we are wrong, but not take the blame for others’ actions. We can only be responsible for ourselves. Apologize for what you need to and then find peace in the forgiveness you have given them and yourself. Forgiveness is not always easy and forgiving doesn’t mean you have to forget. Forgiveness does free your heart and your mind of the negative, the sadness or anger and takes away the frowns. I can tell you that in some cases I actually end up being grateful. Grateful to have learned something from that moment and grateful to be armed with more awareness for the next time I am confronted with a similar war.
I want to be the one who can bring peace into these moments of chaos. I am not able to do that without forgiveness, without knowing my faults, without accepting all of me, without accepting others and without learning from all the interactions in life. Life will present me wars that will leave shrapnel behind, but I will still treat each day as a gift and be grateful. I will choose smiles, happiness and positivity. I hope that you will too.
|Taralee received a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical/Counseling Psychology and Criminal Justice from Moravian College. She received her Special Education Teacher certification from DeSales University. Taralee is a NJ certified Teacher of the Handicapped, and has been working in the home and school settings for over 15 years. Taralee is currently President of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Regional New Jersey Early Intervention Collaborative, she is serving in her fourth year as a Board member. |
Taralee’s most important job is raising her three creative and inquisitive children (ages 9, 7, and 4) in Southern NJ.
Taralee's book "100 Things To Do Before You Are 10" was published in April 2014.
Please visit her Facebook page or send an e-mail for ordering information.