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We Must Watch What We Say – To Others AND To Ourselves

So, Theresa (mom) is in Florida getting much needed rest… So here I am writing a blog for her.  I had an interesting experience the other day.  A friend said something hurtful.  I know that they did not mean to be hurtful, yet it was.  I took a deep breath and when they posed a question I did not answer right away, they asked why.  I told them that I was in shock and that I was hurt and needed a minute.  They proceeded to babble at me that they were sorry etc.  I told them that what they said was hurtful and we moved on.  Later that day I saw on Pinterest a quote that said, “would you be friends with people who spoke to you the way that you speak to yourself?” I started thinking.

WOW!  I was really hurt by what happened with my friend- yet I have said even meaner things to myself- and then needed to comfort myself.  I talked to another friend about what happened, she validated that what was said was hurtful, yet also said that she didn’t think the person was being mean to hurt me. We all have that judgmental committee in our brains that take every tiny little mistake and then we beat ourselves over the back with a cat of nine tails.   It was time I took control and told this committee to sit down and shut up!  Did it work- NO!  Was it a start- a step- YES!

I had gotten good news that day and when on the phone with my second friend, just before we hung up, I blurted out, “Oh before you go… “She was shocked, screamed and said, “Why didn’t you open with that!?! What GREAT news! Congratulations!” Again, I got to thinking.  Why didn’t I open with the good news?  Why was I letting the five minutes with my first friend ruin my day?  Did you see my word choice there?  “Why was I LETTING” I never thought about having a choice.

IF I chose to not let the five minutes effect the rest of my day- then how could my day have gone? Was that really a choice? Yes- kind of like not spending the week leading up to an exam, interview or big meeting affect all the days in between.  How would I change my mood? Well- I asked some people I trust. The answers- be loving, grateful and happy.  OK. SO, I still loved my friend who was in the car.  I was grateful she was my friend, and we have had many happy times.  I started focusing on those things rather then the hurt- low and behold the hurt feelings started lifting. I started to smile walking into the house, when asked how my day was, I answered, “A few bumps but ok.” My day had truly turned around.

I have been reminded of a quote, “Are you really having a bad day or just a bad five minutes?”  Well, both is true.  Many times, I look back on a day and one thing mounted on another it just made every next five minutes worse. How could it have been different if I put the first bad thing behind me and moved on?  Maybe the next five minutes wouldn’t be so bad and at the end of the day I wouldn’t be looking for any way to comfort myself. So, I urge you to find something- anything that is safe and positive- that helps you calm down and gives you comfort in the moment.

A cup of hot tea, take a deep breath, phone a friend, get a manicure or pedicure, read a book, scroll through Pinterest with upbeat quotes, take a walk, do two yoga poses, color, do a meditation, have a good cry, do a hobby, schedule something like a motocross race, brunch with a friend, get into nature.  Whatever would bring a smile or a hint of a smile to your face. I have several things that help me listed out or I carry in my car.  So that when the time comes, I have a list to pick from or I can excuse myself to go to my car. (2 for 1!  A walk and a comfort!) Everyone has a bad five minutes, day or even a hard week.  It is how we deal with it and take care of ourselves in the midst that matters. Remember, as they tell caregivers, and your flight attendant often say you cannot take care of anyone else unless you take care of you first!

Cathie Wright

 

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