Note: I originally wrote this on April 21, 2012, and then promptly forgot all about it. Enjoy!
A few hours ago, I was in a pretty crappy mood. The details don’t matter too much, but in brief, I was frustrated from a failed project with a friend, and after that, got to thinking too hard about my troubles with the elusive world of dating. I was stewing in my frustration and was willingly allowing those feelings to smolder.
Everyone has their moments when things aren’t going right, and when, for whatever reason, it just feels pleasing to stew in those feelings. I’m somewhat of an expert on the topic, having developed a sure-fire and failsafe method of dwelling on my misery, and suffering silently as I remark at how shitty the world is to people, and to me in particular. If I sit down and think about it, I could probably come up with dozens of times that I let myself quietly fume because someone said something that hurt my feelings, or someone didn’t give me the credit that I deserved, or plans fell through, or a date didn’t work out, or a sure-thing blind-date never showed, or my life didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, or my car broke down, or my cat barfed on the carpet. It took no time at all to write that sentence. Long story short, I’m damn good at brooding on my feelings.
I came to a stop-light, shooting a death stare at the crack in my windshield, when a subtle thought came into my mind. “What good does it do to hold on to what you’re feeling right now?”
A lot of things happened in that moment. I quickly took inventory of how my day could be crappy if I let it. I could go home, lay on the couch, still brooding, and snap at anyone that happened to wander too close. I could watch the news and feel disillusioned at the state of the world. I could skeptically look over personals ads online and grunt in displeasure at the mess that is dating.
I had another option, though. This one quickly flowed through my mind. I could have a good day too.
I closed my eyes very briefly, took a deep breath, and on the exhalation, released all the frustration and poor attitude.
That’s all it took. It literally took 5 seconds to change my day.
I have to say, it was a great day! I finished up dog-sitting with a friend, and got to speak with her while my toes grew numb on the cool spring evening grass in my freshly-mowed lawn. Moments of joy, happiness, warmth, and gratitude marked the day, and I’m so glad I had the “release it all” thought.
I’m getting a pretty firm grasp on something pretty amazing: we have the potential and ability to completely control our thoughts and feelings.
Well, not always, but it’s kinda cool to realize that sometimes, it’s as easy as flipping a switch.