Rising from your emotions is what we are taught to do from a young age. While we expect children to move on and get over it, as adults I’m not sure that we are always providing this mirror image. A close friend works for a crisis counseling call center. Often I hear that people are sad beyond measure for a lost job, a lost relationship or a mountain of finances. These callers sometimes call with “a plan” – their exit strategy if you will because it’s just too much for them. First, I’m glad they have the presence to pick up the phone and ask for help. Emotions can be wild and as we grow, sometimes so do our emotions. It’s just what happens. Our job is to see that these feelings are not who we are. They are not really real. They are what our social buttons in our brain are telling us to feel at that moment and we have the power at any time to think of something else and turn away and think of something different. The problem is that sometimes we are just too good at making ourselves feel just too bad. Why do we do this?
A perfect example of reprogramming your brain to see life in a different way is my mom. My mom grew up “ranch-style.” It always sounded a little glamorous as she talked of running in the fields, riding horses bareback at full speed, making hot homemade biscuits each morning or sitting in the watermelon patch and enjoying a hot summer day by breaking open a juicy lunch for just her and one of her brothers. I always imagined her as a young girl just as she has been as my hero – singing and smiling through life. A simple and amazing life – “ranch-style” but really not so simple. In reality, she grew up too fast since her mother left when she was five. She was catapulted into adulthood-duties way too young in life as her single-father worked miracles to keep his seven children together, getting an education and living as a family. With every step in life, my mom has always been the one smiling, laughing, joking, dancing, singing….always living life like she had the very best, sweetest tasting, and most amazing piece of cake that the world had to offer.
Sometimes people start feeling like they have been given the crappy piece of cake. They may feel sour or sad or frustrated or irritated …or that they deserve a better piece, a bigger piece, a whole new cake…but here is the truth. EVERY piece of cake is amazing. Remember this next time you start feeling like life is getting to be too much for you. There is no such thing as crappy cake. Maybe a bite or two may not be the best ever, but overall…it’s all about your perspective and what you see. Cake is pretty great. And so is life.