I was a happy kid, but I lost that spark around age nine.
Perhaps it was the loss of my first boyfriend to Jennifer, the mean girls in school or hormones. But overnight, I went from being a jolly girl to feeling tormented.
The teenage years consisted of temper tantrums when I couldn’t find something to wear to a party, falling apart when a boy wouldn’t call me and bouts of starvation followed by overindulgence.
This led to the wonderful dieting years. NOT! By the way, I’ve never met a chronic dieter who is happy. Have you?
I walked around this beautiful earth for over two decades feeling not good enough and inferior to everyone else.
My early thirties were a mixed bag of excitement and hope and fear and despair as I had one foot in the woman I was and the other in the woman I was becoming.
Happiness has been something I’ve had to relearn and cultivate (like any quality you choose to embody).
So, how I have done it (and continue to)?
Well, I learned something that changed my life forever.
Actually, I didn’t just learn it: I practice it (because you can understand something intellectually and still not experience it).
Here it is:
This, my friend, is one of the main ingredients to my joie de vivre.
It’s not that I don’t ever have a bad day, but those days are rare.
The process is quite simple.
I ignore the naysayers, critics, negativity, snarky comments and anything that takes the joie out of my vivre.
If you don’t give those things your attention, you don’t experience it. It truly is that simple.
I don’t feel the need to talk about it, post rebuttal remarks on Facebook or prove myself right. I simply ignore.
Let me give you some examples:
My daughter tells me how she can’t stand me.
I ignore (and think about how much I love her).
I hear how the economy is falling apart.
I turn on my favorite song and have a dance party.
I receive a nasty comment on social media.
Delete. Block. Ignore.
I walk into the room and sense someone’s crappy energy.
I talk to others, and most important, I don’t make it about me.
Some argue that I’m burying my head in the sand.
Guess what? I ignore that too and let them argue.
Bless their hearts.
In the meantime, I’m celebrating life with family and friends.
Occasionally, I forget that I can choose to ignore, and I notice how my day is wrecked (because of my mind) as a result.
Yet, there are times when I don’t want to ignore. Mess with my daughter, friends or someone who is being victimized, Mama T is not going to turn the other cheek.
In my opinion, it’s worth the energy to stand up for what I believe in.
But, at the deepest level, I believe in love. So, most of the time I just ignore.
And, I’m happier for it.
What are you currently giving your attention to that’s take the joie out of your vivre?
Let’s discuss in the comments below.