I hail from a line of blessed over thinkers, cursed with extrapolating the minutiae in a moment. It is both a blessing and a curse to slow life down and observe the detail.
For me it is often like walking through a field of positivity and negativity. Managing my path through this minefield is the tricky part. When I have weak moments, as we all do and I allow myself to wallow the slowing of my narrative can put its cursed hat on if I am not too careful. From this hat I can pull out its sardonic relatives of Anger, Jealousy, Bitterness and Rage. All emotions that have their place at the table, are necessary to acknowledge and feel so that we can find a truer picture of ourselves. As long as we keep them in check and send them on their way before they can let themselves into the party, drink all the rum punch and cause chaos. They are empathic guests mind you and hard to close the door on.
Then there are those moments of syzygy, where the positivity we feel emits sunbeams from our eyes, we allow the good in ourselves to shine, where we give benefit of doubt and choose to see and feel only good and they become infectious, we in turn feel good to be around them.
These are the party guests we need only welcome and let in. On the surface they may look like less exciting guests or those that look vulnerable but they are the ones to go the distance. They will wake up the next morning well rested and happy. With no regret and shame marring their thoughts.
On Wednesday my four year old daughter woke in the night and cried out for me. She told me she had a bad dream. As I sat on the edge of her bed in my sleepy daze, cold from the night air and taking refuge in my dressing gown I stroked her brow and consoled her. I try so hard to turn the negative things she feels and see’s into positive ones, a habit I hope she will carry with her. I whispered that her dreams were her own and she could dream anything she wanted to; going to the beach, having a picnic, being at the park with her Sister, whatever took her fancy. They were her thoughts and if they were her thoughts she can choose to have good ones or bad ones.
Clearly this had never occurred to her in all her four years as she looked up and said I can dream anything? Of course it’s just a story I replied.
The next day I felt let down by a friend and the party in my head started where Anger knocked on my door, with Rage and Bitterness trailing not far behind. I let them in and offered out the drinks, before I caught myself realising they had to go. They were already causing too much damage and I could see this not ending well.
If I can tell my four year old she can choose her dreams then I can choose my waking thoughts too. I showed my nihilistic guests out and put in a few calls to Love, Peace and their long suffering cousin Acceptance.
How glad I am as I received numerous text messages later that night apologising for letting me down.
The things that happen to us rarely are in our control, what we can control though is our reaction to them. We do have choices.