That Which You Hate

Okay Shelby, so here’s my question: 

If you hate being a secretary, why do you define yourself as that?

I get that right now you make your living being a secretary – you make a great living at it.  But is it truly who you are?  Or is it what you do to make ends meet?

It’s important to make the distinction.  And might help you from feeling so down.

I understand it’s difficult to say you’re a poet, a painter, or any creative entity, when in fact what you’re doing to pay the bills is secretarial work. But the problem with defining yourself as something you hate to do is that you are constantly aligning yourself with something negative. When we align ourselves with something negative, it reverberates throughout our inner and outer being.  It affects every part of us.  And the more we do it, the more habit forming it is, the easier it is for us to be sad most days.  When you define yourself as a secretary, or something you loathe, your whole body feels it.  You don’t say it with enthusiasm, you don’t say it with joy, you certainly don’t say it with power – you say it almost “matter-of-factly” or you say it with embarrassment. You say it with sadness, maybe even with a sense of hatred. How can you be in a place of “okay-ness” when you’re starting off so negatively?

Try a little test:  instead of saying to yourself: “I’m a secretary.”  Take a moment and say “I’m a painter.”  Don’t think of the financial implications or what your spouse or family would think.  Just say – whatever it is- out loud:

“I’m a writer.”

“I’m a poet.”

“I’m an artist.”

Did you notice the happiness?  The giggle?  Did you smile when you said it?  Did you feel a little silly, a tiny bit of joy?

That’s because it’s possible that WHO YOU ARE is very different from what you do for a living.

Stop defining yourself as that which you hate – and instead, make the distinction between what you do to make ends meet financially verses who you really are.

Now the real question is: do you know who you really are?

Bad Habit

We get so much negativity thrown at us all day long.  Just turn on your TV and you’ll see constant reminders of all that’s wrong in the world.  Someone is telling you what needs to be fixed or what you should do before something bad happens.  And it doesn’t matter what time of day it is either – even if you’re watching “happy” television like on TVLAND, the commercials remind you of those horrid wrinkles that certainly make you look old (and old is bad remember), that flab on your stomach must go!  And obviously there’s an enormous problem with men and erectile dysfunction. Not to mention you need medication for anything and everything.  You’re not eating right. You don’t have the right work-out machine; you have to watch this show or that because if you don’t, surely you’ll be missing out on something.  My favorite;  all those $19.99 do-dads that are going to make your life easier, because the frying pan I was cooking my eggs with was fine, till I saw their pan that cooked them “instantly” and without the burden of having to flip them!  OYVEY!  We’re constantly being bombarded with what we’re lacking and what we don’t have.  We never have enough, we never are enough.  We can always be better than we actually are if only…

Negativity is everywhere.  People talk on their cell phones complaining about something as you stand in line at the grocery store.  You log onto Facebook or Twitter and people’s status’ can depress you – even amongst those attempting to totally inspire (ever notice that one comment always shows up to start the negativity flowing?)!  Don’t get me started on the newspaper, radio, etc.

Negativity is part of our lives.  And it seems that most people take this all in like a sponge and have no idea that they’re becoming negative miserable souls themselves.   Then there are those that are “positive” all the time.  But it’s that fake positive.  They’re the ones burning “incense” and not noticing how bad it smells, hitting yoga as if it were a religion, smoking a joint as a cure to everything and swearing by “meditation” as the answer.  They’re one step away from looney, eating granola and living without access to radio, television and such. Their mantra is denial.  Nothing’s wrong with the world, it’s just “my” bad energy. Blah blah blah.  I’m not sure that’s the answer either. Plus, I hate yoga, incense and granola.

I’m not sure why negativity seems so rampant to me nowadays.  Maybe it’s a side effect of technology and this enormous amount of information that constantly bombards us that has made us more negative as a people, but something’s changed.  We’re more on edge, more unappreciative, definitely more defensive – everything is a battle.

We’ve got to take a step back.  Remind ourselves of the good – especially in the midst of the bad.  Work on being positive.  Find joy – not just in sports and grand gestures, but find happiness in the little things, in the everyday things and harp on that for the rest of the day instead.  Stop reacting to all the negativity, stop absorbing the bad stuff and instead repel harmful negative vibes and create moments of positivity.

I assure you:  Life is brilliant!  Yes, it may be short and at times it may be difficult, but it’s far more amazing than we ever realize until it’s too late.  It may have its downsides but all in all, waking up every day even if you have an illness, a financial hardship, you’re without a home, hungry, jobless, in a family dispute, away from your loved one, living in your car, suffering mentally or physically in pain – every day you wake up is still amazingly brilliant.  And do you know why?  Because the mere act of waking up every day poses yet another possibility. A chance that something will happen – that something can happen.  That’s the light I always grasp onto.  It could be as small as watching the sunrise or finding $1 when you do laundry.  An old friend could get in touch and remind you of a funny moment from back in the day, or you could win a few bucks in the lottery.  A piece of music can make you smile or someone could tell you they love you, or miss you, or need you.  A smile from a stranger while you’re walking down the street could be the light you need to change your day.  And possibility then becomes more tangible. You could watch a great movie, read a funny book or feel good because someone said your hair looks great.  It doesn’t matter what it is or how small the feeling of joy is, hold onto that feeling for as long as you can!  Ever notice how if someone cuts you off while you’re driving, you’re pissed for the rest of your drive AND you have talk about it to every person you encounter, post it on Facebook and make it the most important part of your day?  Why not learn to let go of that, and instead harp on the fact that your friend called you today and told you that they missed you or needed you – or that someone was nice enough to let you cut in-front of them as you made your way to the off ramp?  Why don’t we let that smile, or that joy saturate our whole day instead?   Post THAT on Facebook and make someone else smile.

Negativity has become a habit.  We need to stop.

I’ve learned that throughout my life things were easier to get through because I was always able to see the positive even if the negative was monumental and daunting. Choosing to embrace possibility over negativity inevitably makes you a more positive person. It’s hard to always do, but what I’ve learned is like with any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  And now, it’s just habit for me to see the glimmer instead of the doom no matter what the circumstance.  Don’t get me wrong, I still get sad sometimes too, but I tend to jump out of it quickly and dismiss negativity more readily.

Cliché or not, it’s time to stop and smell the roses –  and to make that the most important part of your day.

Be well.