Choosing Happiness and Ignoring the Negativity

You could possess everything you want in life, but if you hold on to derogatory feelings for another being on the planet, you will never have true happiness. Happiness should be synonymous with freedom, but there is no freedom until you have let go of all animosity that exists in your heart. You would be hard pressed to find someone in this world that has not felt, at the very least, slighted by another, let alone downright assaulted. Physical, mental, emotional, financial and verbal abuse or any combination thereof can be perpetrated upon any one of us during the course of our lifetime. How we choose to handle these misdeeds is as individual as a fingerprint, and everything is relative. Relative to both the person to whom the act is perpetrated against as well as relative to the degree of the assault.

We all have three choices in any given situation. Act, react, or ignore. It really is as simple as that. Whatever obstacles come our way; we have those three options to choose from. Take driving a car, for instance. On each and every excursion we take in a vehicle, whether traveling to work, shopping, school, etc., invariably we will come across a driver that seems to have absolutely no clue as to what they are doing. Depending on the severity of their ineptness, the faux pas can make you shake your head, have to swerve, slam on your brakes, lay on your horn, or at the very worst; get into an accident. Thankfully, the latter is the rare occasion. But we have all been on the receiving end of what we consider a subordinate driver in action. So, barring a reclusive existence, we will have to continue to deal with these situations, both on and off the road.

In our actual life experiences determining if the offending party in question was aware of what they had done to you, whether it was intentional or accidental; the onus of harboring ill will is on you, and you have to be the one to let it go. The next part of this scenario is to be absolutely certain not to leave yourself open to be victimized for a second time by this person and, further, to have learned from the experience not to allow anyone else to harm you in this way ever again. If you are able to accomplish these two feats, then the lesson has been learned and you are a wiser person for it.

Lessons are taught throughout our lifetime in many ways and through many people. We just have to have our eyes and minds open to learn them, preferably, the first time around. Just as we wouldn’t want to repeat a course in school, life lessons are better tolerated when they don’t have to be relived over and over again. If you are finding a recurring undesirable set of circumstances circulating in your life, take a look at yourself and what it is that you are doing to facilitate them. Nothing is done to you that you haven’t allowed in one way or another.

Assuming that you have severed ties with your nemesis, the next thing on your agenda is to let go of the emotionality the situation caused you. If you cannot avoid coming face to face with this individual on occasion, it will behoove you to relinquish any and all animosity that you have toward them. This is not in any way for their benefit; solely for your own. It is counterproductive and harmful to harbor hostility inside of you. Take a deep breath, let the negativity go, and enjoy the company of the others around you.

The saying hurt me once, shame on you, hurt me twice, shame on me; is quite astute at summing up so many hurtful scenarios that could have been avoided had we not left ourselves open to a second (or third, or fourth) round of mistreatment.

So what about forgiving and forgetting? Absolutely a viable alternative in cases that involve true friendship, or a mutually beneficial relationship of any kind, where the offensive words or actions were either out of character, perhaps deserved, or at very least the offending party retracted and/or sincerely apologized. We have all said something that hurt someone’s feelings, intentionally or not, and because we can’t turn back the hands of time; our only recourse is to apologize. So long as it is not a recurring theme in the relationship, forgiveness should be granted. It is the repeat offenders that need to be eliminated from our lives once and for all, and that isn’t always an easy feat.

The fact of the matter is that family, friends, business associates and neighbors all have the potential for altercations. Barring disowning, starting a lawsuit, moving from your residence, we have to figure out a way to co-exist with one another without leaving ourselves open to further clashes.

The Golden Rule is a thing of beauty when put into action, and what a beautiful world it would be if everyone would operate in that fashion…doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, would all but annihilate altercations, theft, infidelity and murder. As of right now, this is not the case, unfortunately, so each one of us needs to learn to shield ourselves from disparaging input; disallowing anyone the power to harm us. Simply changing your mindset can accomplish this goal without ever having to utter a word, hire an attorney or secure a real estate agent.

Another idiom worth repeating here is “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”, Eleanor Roosevelt. Were truer words ever spoken on the subject of self-esteem? I don’t think so. While words have the capability to hurt us, no doubt, it is the credence that we assign to them that will ultimately dispense the adverse effect on us. We and we alone are responsible for allowing other’s words to harm us.

It is simultaneously as simple and as difficult as that. So what will you do differently now if someone…anyone…utters derogatory words in your direction? Will you take them as gospel? Does it depend on who it is? If you know the words are false and have no bearing on you as a person, do you still allow them to hurt you? I certainly hope not, for if you do you have given away a piece of your self-worth that only you could relinquish. You have control, no one else; over the way you internalize the words and actions of another.

As such, conduct yourself in a manner that makes you proud of your actions and sets an example for all of those around you. Adhere to the childhood defense of ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me’. Is this a juvenile endeavor? I don’t think so. While we can all agree that words are powerful and can be hurtful, they are fleeting and innocuous unless we permit them to be otherwise.

Stay positive, stay strong, make like Teflon and don’t let even one disparaging comment stick to you. Choose to focus on the positive, and you have chosen true happiness!

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Comments 1 comment

lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

@Georgiann, you make some good points. Voted up!

How about "hurt me any" and throw shame and blame out the window? One, two? Counting is a burden along with the resentment.

Forgiveness and forgetting are applicable in every situation. I'm not talking about being brain dead and setting yourself up for constant abuse. I'm talking about the burden that most people keep when they say that they "forgive but can't forget." That's never forgiveness.

You need to turn the other cheek -- literally, spiritually, mentally and physically as far as resentment is concerned.

* Take responsibility for the assault on yourself (not blame!). Picture the event as if you created it. You own it. Without ego, you cannot be a victim and nothing will ever stick to you.

* Be completely humble. Humility is the antidote to ego.

* Have faith (perfect confidence) not in your own viewpoint or agenda, but in the agenda of the one who created it all.

* Give love unconditionally. The other person is a child of God. Their evil actions aren't.

Words can be powerful only if we let ego live to "feel" them.

If you can't seem to get the "humble" viewpoint, just imagine stepping back several trillion miles from where your body resides. Our sun is merely a bright star and our planet Earth lost in its glare. Now, can you feel the humility. Look at the rest of this galaxy while you're out here. And this is only one of many billions of galaxies filled with hundreds of billions of stars like our sun.

And the guy right behind all of those galaxies loves you just as much as you should love the perpetrator. They and you are both children of God.

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