My life sucks because ______ (fill in the blank).
We have all felt that way at times. The interesting thing is that when you mentally present yourself with this open statement, you will find an endless amount of ways to fill in the blank.
My life sucks because I failed my Math test.
My life sucks because my team lost.
My life sucks because my car broke down
My life sucks because I have a crappy job.
My life sucks because I lost my crappy job.
My life sucks because my best friend talked shit behind my back.
My life sucks because I have the flu
My life sucks because blah, blah, blah...
I’m not downplaying that shit will happen that will make you feel shitty. All I’m saying is that we will always find evidence to support open end statements such as “My life sucks because...” I know, at times, I am the master of the negative.
I also know the opposite is true. If you find reasons to be grateful, you can elevate your mood. You see, feelings follow focus. Focus on the good, you will feel good. Conversely, focus on the bad and you will feel as if your world is crumbling down.
This message reminds me of the movie The Sound of Music. (Bear with me for a minute.) In one scene, there is a thunder storm that frightens the Von Trapp kids and they all huddle together in one bedroom where their governess (played by Julie Andrews) sings the song “My Favorite Things”:
Raindrops on roses And whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things...
When the dog bites When the bee stings When I'm feeling sad I simply remember my favorite things And then I don't feel so bad
What Julie (yes, Jules and I are on a first name basis, at least in my mind) is trying to get across to the kids is that if you change the focus of your thoughts, you change the way you feel.
Think of it in these terms...
When life bites
When my day sucks
When I feel like I've been kicked in the crotch
I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad.
Being grateful for what you have can help calm both your mind and body. If you examine the lyrics in My Favorite Things, you can see that Julie is not talking about gratitude on a large scale, such as winning Mega Millions, driving a Bentley or being first in line for the iPhone 28. Julie is talking about being grateful for the little things; breathing air, being on the beach, playing soccer, eating bacon (or tofu - depending upon your tastes), having indoor plumbing, talking to a good friend, drinking coffee or Irish coffee, reading a book, living in an apartment or a house, enjoying a TV show, etc.
When you feel like everything is falling apart, try fill in the blank, “My life is good because _______”.