When you’re little, just about any kind of sadness can be made better with a good cry and a snuggle from Mom. As you get older though, there are more and more problems that are simply outside her (and your) control. It’s not that Mom’s lost any of her magic, it’s just that life tends to get a lot more unpredictable, uncontrollable, and downright complicated. If only “Moooommmmm, the dog ate my cookie!” could stay our biggest concern.
Nowadays, it’s more often crap like “my friend said something that really hurt my feelings,” or “the guy I like hasn’t texted in a whole week”. Other people crap. And the thing about other people, is that you really, really have no control over what they do, and neither does Mom. Inevitably, at some point, people are going to upset you, and there’s not really a “fix”, and it just sucks. Sometimes you’re just gonna be sad.
I’m learning though, that you don’t have to stay sad. You can’t control other people, but you can control yourself, your reactions, and ultimately, your feelings.
If you rely on other people for your happiness, it’s gonna be a long, sad tiptoe through life. You’ve got to find ways to be happy, independent of anyone else. In Jenny Lawson’s book, she writes, “I am going to be furiously happy, out of sheer spite.” Yes. That. That’s what I mean here (but maybe not in such a vengeful tone) – being happy despite what anyone else does or says.
Decide that you’re going to be happy. Do what it takes to make it happen, even if you’ve got to force yourself. Find your go-to happy maker. You’ve got to find that thing, that outlet, that brings you joy unconditionally.
For me, (surprise/not surprise!) it’s yoga. Bonus points for sunshine-y, outdoor yoga. Add a warm breeze, good music, and a field full of yogis to the normal magic of yoga, and I’m guaranteed to find a better mood. Which is exactly what I did yesterday.
I was having a sad morning – the other people problems kind of sadness Mom can’t fix. I’d been planning on going to the yoga class anyway, but when the sad hit it was tempting to just stay home and mope. Fortunately, magic fixing powers or not, my mama is still more wise than I am. “Go to yoga, you know you’ll feel better afterwards.”
A few hours later, I’m stretched out and full of fresh air and sunshine, and feeling a whole lot happier. Nothing’s changed about the other people situations, except my mindset. Yeah, that stuff still sucks, but it doesn’t have to ruin my day. I can have a lovely happy day, regardless of whatever’s going on with them. It’s a cool power to realize you have.
We all have that power, we just have to remember to use it. You can waste days being sad about things outside your control, or you can pull a “uh no, YOLO, I’m going to be happy”. Find that thing, use that power, have a happier day. You got this.
…All that being said, a hug from Mom is still pretty nice. 🙂