When I am with a client and they start to “go off,” I mean really make a spectacle, a part of me relishes it. I go to my happy place four hours into the future where I waltz into the bar, plop my purse down on the table, and tell my girlfriends, “You’re. Not. Going. To. Believe. This. Shit.” I then revel in their shocked faces while the shit-talking pours freely from my mouth like some kind of Mean Girls-style verbal diarrhea. Lord forgive me.
Like most women with a lot of sauce, the idea of embracing “positive thinking” summons images of girls in skirts made of wheat, singing Kumbaya around a campfire or literally stopping to smell flowers and staring up at the sun to bask in the radiance of the day. Basically, a fucking nightmare.
There are a few mental habits that I have embraced of late, and I feel better for it. So this guide is for my down-to-earth ladies who would like to bring a little positivity into their lives without having to learn to play the ukulele.
1. We are all just trying our best
This is your new mantra. Repeat it.
Judgmental thoughts towards others is a one-way ticket to brain atrophy and unhappiness. You are absolutely, one hundred percent entitled to your beliefs and core values. You might think that everyone should be vegan because eating animals is cruel and disgusting. You might think that the world would be a better place if everyone joined the republican party. You might think that religion, weddings, and having children are going to be the downfall of civilization. That’s fine. Blog about it.
But when it comes to dealing with people in a real, one-on-one way, there is only one thing you need to know: they are doing their best.
I can hear all the but… but… buts starting already. A person may cross your path who embodies all that you consider wrong with the world. They are six hundred pounds on a breathing machine while chain smoking and screaming at their nine children in tow. Their car is covered in every bumper sticker that directly offends your core values. They are wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while paying for their groceries with food stamps. Hear me clearly: as far as you are concerned, they are doing their best.
2. We are all just trying our best
No, this is not a typo. It just bears repeating.
People have fucked up, traumatic childhoods that they in no way chose. When you are beaten with a shovel by your dad, diddled by your uncle, and verbally abused by your mother, it fucks with your brain chemistry. When you are born to riches and splendor and loving parents but your great granddaddy was as nutty as a fruitcake and his crazy genes happened to show up in your DNA,
It. Fucks. You. Up.
People struggle and suffer. People have serotonin imbalances. People make bad bad decisions. People are cruel. But people are the way that they are for a reason.
3. We are all just trying our best
We all want the same thing: love, security, well-being, happiness. Do people make decisions that are counterproductive to this? Yes. But are you? Because in this moment, if you are deciding to hold onto your judgments of other people, you are committing the very same crime.
If you want a happy life and a healthy brain, every time you want to pass a judgement on someone else just stop.
Look at them and say to yourself:
They are just trying their best.
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