It’s Still a Good Day, a Good Life

dreamstime_xs_70038545I think most of us get frustrated and sometimes angry with things that happen every day.  People are inconsiderate.  Things don’t go the way we want.  Stuff happens.  These negative occurrences can get in the way of us recognizing and focusing on the positive things that are happening.

To manage this, something that I have asked myself for years is: “If this is the worst thing that happens today, will it still be a good day?”  Almost always the answer is “yes.”  As soon as I realize that it will still be a good day, it helps me put the situation into the proper perspective.  It makes it much easier for me to put the negative incident behind me and focus on what I want to do.

Sometimes, however, what happens is extremely bad and no, it is not a good day.  The worst day of my life was when my father passed away.  Nothing would have made that a good day.

What I have recently realized is that when the answer is, “No, it is not a good day” a good follow-up question is, “Is it still a good life?”  I have only used this once so far.  I had fostered and then adopted three kittens.  I had them for less than four months and had to have two of them euthanized on the same day.  It was one of the worst days of my life.  Realizing that even with losing them, I still had a good life, even a great life, helped put things into perspective and gave some comfort.

If you can use either of these questions to help you with the difficult situations you face, please use them.

The Forest and the Trees

dreamstime_xs_50629251Have you heard the phrase, “Can’t see the forest for the trees?” What this means is that when we focus exclusively on the pieces, we can’t see the whole. This can apply to situations, people, and even ourselves.

Almost every situation is going to have positive and negative aspects. If we only focus on the negative, we won’t see the positive aspects of the situation. On the other hand, if we only focus on the positive or only focus on what we want to see, we will miss the aspects that need further work or development. We can only learn everything possible from a situation if we can see the whole as well as the pieces. We can only improve or change a situation if we see everything.

The same applies to people. Everyone has good and not-so-good aspects.  If we only focus on one, we won’t see the person in his or her entirety. Too often, we see what we want to see or what we expect to see, rather than everything that is there. It is important that we see all of the person.

We also do this with ourselves. We focus on certain aspects of ourselves and don’t pay enough attention to who we are as a total person. Believe it or not, we are more than what our body shape is. We are more than the mistake we made yesterday. We are also more than the roles and relationships that we have.

I encourage you to look at the forest that is every situation and every person (including you) and not just a few individual trees.