Tag Archives: Share Happiness

Happiness Tip: WHAT YOU SAY MATTERS ~ Is it helpful, is it kind, and is it NECESSARY?

27 Feb


We’ve all heard the old adage “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I remember being reminded of this maxim many times in my youth whilst wondering what exactly I had said that wasn’t exactly nice.  Of course children have a way of not knowing that what they are saying may be hurtful, or at the very least unnecessarily true.  We allow children to make these mistakes, but can we also be allowed to make them as adults?

I feel certain that I have made it well known to all of my friends and readers that I believe we are all placed in each other’s lives for a purpose, although we may not know what those reasons are at any given point in time… I also believe that the Universe keeps sending each of us the same lessons over and over again until we finally get the message and make a change in our lives and or our thinking (for me it’s God, but for many of you God may not be the right term, so here I’ll use the term Universe in place of God which to me is one and the same and allow you to insert whatever higher power, or force you believe exists in the world).

This week, I have been hearing the same words, or messages continually, and this repetition has prompted me to share with you, a series of lessons that I am certain I will keep building on as I grow and become more aware of my own ability to affect the world and people around me. The root of this concept is “WHAT YOU SAY MATTERS.”

In one of my most recent posts, I mentioned several lessons, which were painfully reinforced through some difficult situations, such as “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  When expanded upon, to me this means that we each carry within us our own unique set of experiences which direct each individual in his or her actions, and subsequently shapes how we perceive the world around us (Obviously not rocket science 🙂 ).  In addition, each of us, within our own personal walls, both at home and in our minds, is dealing with our own triumphs, struggles, and perceived shortcomings.  Sometimes none of these are known to even the closest outside party… As time goes on, most of us learn to drown out the voice inside that prompts us each to compare ourselves, or possessions and positions to those around us… Sometimes though, it’s hard.  And although I don’t often lean towards jealousy or lack of confidence, sometimes it does happen, and I don’t know anyone in the world who is harder on me, than me.

This long introduction brings me to an equally long point.  Often times, when I am struggling the most with myself, I can also fall into habit of criticizing others.  This is not something I even notice that I am doing; but I come from the kind of southern stock that doles out the sobering medicine of raw truth with a pinch of pessimism or sobering reality the way a doctor writes a antibiotic prescription to the ailing patient, suggesting that the medicine really is meant to help.

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 10.21.12 PMHowever, not along ago, after talking to a dear friend who has seen me through so many hard times with such wonderful and insightful advise, I began to draw some interesting conclusions about the “messages” I’ve been receiving… from THE UNIVERSE… This friend told me that after all the years of self-work and inward looking, she realized at one point in the past she had fallen into a pattern of “agreement”.  That is, when a friend would talk about someone else, she wouldn’t necessarily disagree, but rather listen and nod. Often, after hearing the negative observations of the one friend about the other, she would find herself silently adopting the position of the critical friend… I’ve certainly been in this situation before and most likely will be again in the future, and I might even put one of YOU in this position against my greatest hopes…  Sometimes though, with certain people, it just seems easier to smile and nod than to put up a protest about what’s being said.

Again, I thought about some of my recent clients and friends who have talked to me about what a difficult time they are having at work or in life because one person or a group of people are talking about someone else that THEY are friends with… But what can be done? How can you keep yourself out of an argument but still be respectful of the other person or friendship?

Here are a few of the conclusions I’ve made:

Class1: When I feel the need to bad mouth someone else, and I mean really knock them (I’m a comedian by nature, so some of my humorous observations are just who I am), it’s usually because of MY OWN insecurities… That really took a lot for me to admit!

2: THINK! What YOU say matters! Here’s a reminder of what to do before you speak, I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard it before; it’s just a longer version of that same  OLD ADAGE AGAIN! First, Is what I am about to say helpful? If so, is it necessary? As in, do I really think the person NEEDS to hear what I am about to say, at least from MY standpoint?  (Listen girl, if that eyeshadow makes you look like you have black eyes, I NEED to tell you.  You don’t have to listen, or take the critique, but it’s just something I’m gonna need to do for my own belief in what friends help with… Oh yeah, and you’ve had something green in your teeth since 9am…) Finally, can my delivery of said information be KIND?  Even if you feel like screaming, you can always take a moment to find a BETTER way of saying what you need to say.  I regret that in the past I may not have paused to take my own advise, but I am using this moment to reaffirm that life and relationships will most certainly be better if I do these few things.

2.5: In the past I have said things about others out of insecurity, thank goodness it’s not that often any more (silver lining of aging? Heck yeah!)  That said, I have found it is best, especially if I am with a mutual friend, in a work setting, or in a group setting, to ask myself IS IT NECESSARY and USEFUL to say whatever the heck I feel like I need to say about another person… I mean, I can be a real stinker, if I don’t jive with someone, it can be written ALL OVER MY FACE! I need to work on this for the future, and maybe you do too!

3: IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT’S BEING SAID, CHANGE THE CONVERSATION! Now listen, we all have friends who never agree or disagree when we feel the need to vent about this subject or that.  Let me just say what I have learned is that more often than not, this is a tell-tell sign that the listener you have chosen IS NOT COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, SO STOP! There are just some friends you can’t vent to, it’s just the truth.

Often times though, we can lead by example. If your coworker, friend, or spouse is being a Negative Nancy, then every time they bring the negative crap up, change the conversation.  I am NOT saying be an unsupportive friend, or co-worker, or spouse (bad days happen, and sometimes it’s a bad week… I’ve even had a bad YEAR before!!! Sometimes you just need an ear or a shoulder), but I am nodding to the fact that we can all get into the habit of talking about all the negative, and trust me, this can go on FOR DAYS with some people if you allow it, so CHANGE THE CONVERSATIONScreen Shot 2013-02-25 at 10.52.05 PM

If that doesn’t work, I’ll just have to tell you a quick little story… When I was even younger than I am now,  I found myself going through a very tough time, and I shared this with everyone at work.  I don’t want to say I was being intentionally being selfish, but I was devastated, and this devastation permeated my very being; I didn’t even realize how it was affecting those around me.  One day I noticed that whenever I would talk about this anguish, one specific co-worker would leave the room.  Once I realized this was happening, I went and spoke with the co-worker about it, and I acknowledged that I understood why they couldn’t hear it anymore, and that I would try to be more respectful in the future. Great lesson learned.  Thanks co-worker! Yet more proof that what you say matters!

It IS possible to train those people in your life to be MORE aware of the fact that what THEY say matters.  If you can’t do it by actually changing the conversation, or leaving the room, then I suggest using the method that would probably resolve most of the world’s problems… COMMUNICATION.  If someone is talking about someone you care about, or someone you don’t think deserves it, you don’t have to make enemies, but I do think it’s important to NOT agree inadvertently through silence.  A simple “Hmmm, what you’re saying about this person doesn’t really fit with how I view them, so if you don’t mind NOT talking about him/her around me, I would really appreciate it.” Now, if that doesn’t work, you might be screwed.

I hope those of you who read this took something valuable away for you that can be applied to your life today,  at first glance this seems like a problem for the young, but it’s not; they lied to us all when they said highschool would be the end of all of life’s drama! I have come to this truth, not on my own, but because so many of you have helped me through your stories, experiences, generosity, LEEWAY, and kindness.  If you did read it, trust that you read it for a reason, whether you know what that is yet, or not! (Wink, wink!)

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

21 Feb

Etsy by DaisyChic

Hello my fabulous Glitterati… Long time no BLOG! I know, you can’t believe it, after nearly 2 weeks of web silence… I think I am back.  I’m pretty sure I’ve decided for this post, I might get a little more personal, and share with you what I’ve learned in these last two weeks… because yes, it is certainly surprising what you can learn in two weeks when life manages to throw you a few curve balls… Sometimes, even in spite of all your best efforts, it’s hard to find your happiness DARN IT!

About a year and a half ago, I lost one of the best friends of my life, very suddenly.  And I am telling you this because this week, I’ve thought about my dear friend Christine quite a bit and was reminded of some of the best lessons we learned together in our 10-year friendship…  To start, I remember talking to Christine once about some of the struggles we have endured in our lives, and how now and then, no matter how much work is done to heal; emotionally, through therapy, or just via the wonderful nature of time and growth, sometimes these struggles of our youths or those of our lives can suddenly and without warning come right back to rear their ugly little heads.

I remember describing it to Christine, one day when she was nursing some of her own ‘stuff’, as a deep wound that has been mended and even though the pain is gone and the skin is smooth something large or small happens in life, and almost if by magic the wound is reopened and you have to deal with it.  This is just part of life, and it’s good to be aware of those spots in our lives so we can remember two things: 1) Time will heal most things, including re-opened wounds (thank the Lord!) and 2) “Be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle (Plato).”

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These last 2 weeks have been hard for me, some of my oldest and newest wounds were reopened, and I just wasn’t prepared.  And, life being… well, life, my husband was also having a difficult two weeks too.  If any of you are married to your best friend like I am, this means you take on your spouse’s burden too, and vise versa… The good news is, generally, we can lean on each other, another lesson I learned from my friend Christine “We can’t all collapse at the same time, we need to fall apart at different times so we can slap each other out of it!” Of course, sometimes this just doesn’t happen, and the people we normally lean into are struggling too… Which can make things much more difficult.

Next, an ugly situation arose… A person who I use to call friend, committed what in my eyes is an “Unforgivable Curse” (I may be watching too much Harry Potter).  After standing up for what I felt was right in an uncomfortable situation (and to be fair this person thought they were doing the same thing as well) this … ehem, friend, basically slandered my FULL name on The Facebook. I was so saddened and mortified… But I learned a few things from this that I want to share with you all, I think they are things you already know, but I realized I hadn’t really ever thought about them… 1) DO NOT EVER POST SOMEONE’S NAME IN A PUBLIC FORUM SO THAT YOU CAN FEEL VALIDATED, no matter how wronged you may feel.  It’s just not right, and that is all I have to say about that.  2) If one of your friends doesn’t follow rule number #1 and slanders a friend, or a person in a public forum, think about what I am about to say.  Most likely, you do not know both sides of the story, so commenting in a negative manor, or ‘liking’ said post, doesn’t really do anything positive for the poster, even if you feel that you are helping.  How would you feel if the rolls were reversed? 3) Stand up for yourself! It’s not ok to give in to people who bully you!!  This is what was so sad about this post, I felt as if this person didn’t get what they wanted, to so they decided to potentially harm me emotionally, or even professionally.

Winston Churchill once said “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” While I don’t think one should go about making enemies, and you must always ask yourself how an enemy was created and take responsibility on your end if you did wrong in YOUR EYES; it’s taken me a long time to be ok with having them.  You just can’t please everyone all of the time and still have a life that is fulfilling FOR YOU.  And trust me here, no one but you is accountable for the life you live and the happiness you obtain therein.  I read something along these lines in a commencement speech once, which unfortunately I cannot find, but these words really put my heart at ease, simply because it’s the TRUTH!  It’s OK to be disliked by some people; sometimes it’s just a byproduct of standing up for yourself, or standing strong for something you believe in. (However, it’s not an excuse to be a jerk 🙂 )

At the end of these weeks, both my hubby and me were just feeling drained, or what my beloved Lucy from ‘I Love Lucy’ would say “BLAHHHHHH”. The two of us had a full-blown case of the Blahs. I might even use the word depressed… Yep, I know, this beacon of happiness got VERY BLUE, and I knew it, but I couldn’t get out of it… So I put some plans in action!!

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First, I took stock of what I had; one of the things that literally touched me into tears was that some people had stood up for me in the afore mentioned post.  Really, people didn’t have to, they really didn’t… I mean these were brave people to speak out against this, and when I saw it, I was so uplifted.  And that was step one; Next, I decided I needed a break, and so, even though I hated to do it because I LOVE my clients, and of course it’s how I pay my bills, I decided to take a day off.  I cannot tell you how an impromptu day off can lift the spirits…  It did so in the same way I always say a good night’s sleep or a nice hot shower does.  Finally, my hubby and I decided to not watch anything on T.V. that would jostle our delicate senses… So we watched Harry Potter… full of childlike fantasy and magic, it took our minds right off the daily stresses and helped lighten the mood.

Just to round it out, here is the biggest secret for getting out of the blues, and it’s something you already know, something I already knew, and something I talked in depth about with my dear friend days before she passed.  The secret is to let go of what you cannot control.  And what dear friends can you control? Not a thing. NOT A THING.  This IS easier said than done, and really it can’t be forced, you have to go through the range of emotions, even if you have it in your head and know it to be true, you have to arrive at the place of letting-go before the burden of a bad day or a week can suddenly and swiftly take flight from your being.

So here I am, sharing this with you, in case any of you are having a hard time or will and hopefully these words will bring you comfort.  It’s going to be ok. I promise. It really is, things tend to end up in the rights. Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself and your support. Ask for help, even if it’s just an ear, or someone to make you dinner… It’s ok if someone doesn’t like you. You’ll live, and they’ll live. Sometimes it can be fixed, and sometimes it just can’t, and that’s ok too. You’re going to be ok.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

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Happiness Tip: Live Your Happiness OUT LOUD ~ Fake it Till You Make it!

3 Feb


by DAZYCHIC via Etsy

Well my dearest friends, I really do think we live in a funny little world.

I have found that days or weeks could go by without ever hearing anyone say anything truly spectacular about their everyday lives.

I mean, I cannot tell you how often I ask people “How have you been” and hear in response a regurgitation of all the awful things that happen or have happened to them in the last year, month, day, or hour… The thing is, and I’ve said this before, I think we live in a society that loves to hear the crappy stuff. Now that’s a bold and spikey statement to swallow… You’re thinking right now, “That’s not true, I love to hear positive things” but let me elaborate…

From a young age I was taught not to be boastful or a braggart; not to be conceited or over-confident in myself or in the life I live…Meanwhile, in the same breath, I was told to have self-confidence and self-esteem, to be both happy and positive as well as grateful for all the things that I have… But here’s the question: How can we do and be all those things if all we hear around us is negative? Or put simply: How can we focus on the positive if all we talk about is the negative?

And now, a story: Once I met a woman who I asked very casually, as I do most people I meet, “How are you?” … To my utter and complete surprise, this seemingly normal gal beamed right back at me “I am sooo good!”

WOW!!! I was so taken aback that I instantly smiled and let her know how rare it was to get such a radiant and cheerful answer like hers back. She proceeded to tell me why she was so good… She hadn’t won the lotto or married her perfect mate… nor did she have the job of her dreams… but she was happy with the day, with the sun and some free time, and yes, her husband who she loved and her small child who she was happy to be away from at the moment… This proclamation really got me thinking about ME. How do I respond when people ask me about ME?

Not long ago, I had fallen victim to the daily ‘bitch-session” with some of my close friends. We didn’t talk about the happy or wonderful things in our lives, only about the rotten things. I would leave the conversations feeling low and dull, not at all happy and uplifted… Not how I felt when I left the conversation with the cheerful stranger mentioned before (who I never saw again but clearly changed my thinking pattern! Thanks stranger!!!!)… With these friends, I rarely brought the good stuff up because I didn’t think anyone wanted to hear it… Think about it, when someone says how in love they are or how happy they are, often we say some smart-ass comment about a genuine and truly positive feeling (I even do this!). We don’t mean to do it; we’ve just been programmed that way!

From that moment on, I vowed to really think about how I was going to answer that question when asked, and how I would speak about a life I really do love (in spite of some really crappy things that can, and do, and will happen).

DISCLAIMER: I’m not suggesting that you lie here people. You’re allowed to have crappy days, or a broken heart, PMS, or just run of the mill bad luck! I’m not implying that you should become a pre-programed Stepford wife! If something’s wrong, and you have friends that you trust who can support you and you can lean into, then tell them; I want to know, I want to help if I can. But DO NOT LET THESE THINGS CONSUME YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS!!!! You have to make the choice yourself, your peers won’t do that for you, your spouse can’t even do it for you. If you are the somebody who only dishes the negative, trust me, you are doing your relationships AND yourself a disservice.

This week try to Live Your Happiness OUT LOUD, Live Your Life out loud. I’m going to do the same thing! If you’re stuck in the habit of sharing only the crappy parts, sharing the good stuff will feel like bragging at first, it won’t come easy, but FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT (something I learned from my dear friend Christine). That is, just TRY to be MORE positive. Positivity is infectious AND it grows exponentially once shared, especially with people you love and adore. Trust me on this (or you can just be miserable); I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum!

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