Yesterday I hit a road block in my happiness again. I had an encounter with a family member who typically can go through depressive stages after her manic ones. When she (and most people who experience manic/depressive flows in their life) get in this state, she tends to want to bring everyone else down around her.
I think we all do this a little bit, mentally ill or not. It is a bit of comfort when we are feeling rotten if we know someone else is feeling the same way. The difference is when someone is mentally ill the level of “misery enjoys company” that resonates in them is deeper.
When I encounter people I care alot about blatantly being mean and rude to me, it is hard to ignore those hurtful jabs. It is hard to ignore the undermining comments and low blows. It is hard to tell myself that they can’t help what they are doing, and that their mental illness goes deeper then I can understand.
Yesterday I did not handled it well. I felt terrible. I took everything they did and said to heart and internalized it. The feeling of anger, frustration and sadness drained me of all my energy. It was awful. I felt very low. I was playing the ‘blame game’ and looking at Court to do something to make me feel better. I know that is a near impossible thing to do when I am in a place of deep frustration. I started wanting people to join me in my misery. It was a full circle. I was doing exactly what had got me to this place.
This morning I have new outlook. A good nights sleep and a yoga class seemed to clear my mind and allow clarity to this issue. I though more about what I needed to do to not let myself get in that mental state.
I realized that another thing I can take from ‘parenting’ and bring in to my own life is the phrase:
“I am not ignoring you, I am ignoring your behaviour.”
I say this to my girls. When they are behaving in whiny or over demanding way, I simply say to them, I am not ignoring you, I am ignoring your behaviour. I know they are still wee things, but most times it works. They seem to get that they behaviour is not going to illicit the response in me they were hoping for and they stop.
I should really start saying this to myself, as a mantra.
When I encounter people that are trying to bring me down, I should just repeat it in my head.
I do not need to be angry or ignore them as a person. I just need to ignore the negative behaviour. I will not allow myself to give them the response they were looking for. I know it will remind me that I am in control of how their behavior has an effect on my mental state. I have the power to overcome the urge to join them in their misery.
Self-pity can be a very indulgent feeling, we all enjoy a little ‘poor me’ time. When asked to join someone in that state it can be hard not to. It is easy to wallow in my own frustrations, sit and think about how tough my life is. It is much harder to realize that, this is my life! These are cards I have been dealt. It is not meant to always be easy. These dynamics with my family and friends are the only ones I am going to get so I better learn to deal with them appropriately. I need to remember that I love the people in my life, I just sometimes wish it was easier to deal with them. But I need to connect to these relationship in a different way, look at them differently. I need to keep my own insecurities out of them and allow them to flourish as much as they can. I need to figure out how to make them the most fulfilling and happy they can be.
I can only change how I respond to the experiences in my life. I have no control over another persons actions, choices or life.
Even just writing this down has made it even more clear in my mind.
I am in control.
If I don’t want to feel bad then I won’t.
If I don’t want to be upset then I won’t be.
If I want to feel and experience happiness, I will!
It sounds so easy! but i know that statement is a little to strong!
The theory is simple, the practice is hard to maintain.
But like everything I have been doing to become happier, it is hard work! I know the hard work will pay off in the end.
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
PS. I changed the title of my blog to ‘morning meditations’. I thought it fit! Hope you like it!