I’ve never been great at controlling or managing my reactions to the actions of those around me. One minor action from someone can ruin an entire day. A larger infraction can set off a downward spiral that may take weeks to recover from. I’ve never really understood why I let this happen, even when I’ve come to recognize it happening. It has taken a long time to understand that how I feel has a lot to do with the environment around me. I let things that are out of my control take control of my emotions. Learning this about myself has set me on a path of learning how to retrain my brain. I need to learn how I can stop the bad from taking over my life.
One thing I’ve come across recently is the idea of ‘and’ statements or ‘yes, and’.
These types of statements give me the ability to acknowledge and accept the negative of a situation while also reminding myself of the positive.
It seems so simple, but when your brain is wired to focus on the bad it’s not easy to put into practice. I’ve been working hard at it the last week or so and it’s making a difference. Melissa’s birthday is always an incredibly difficult time, both leading up to and the weeks after. Last year I spiraled so far out of control I ended up in the darkest season I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t come out of it until 7 or 8 months later. This year I was determined to not let that happen. This year I decided to let the good overcome the bad.
On Melissa’s birthday I can double over from the pain of grief AND I can celebrate her the way she deserves.
I can be sad she’s not here to celebrate with us AND I can be happy watching her sisters pick out a stuffy for her.
I can be disappointed by the inaction of those I wish I could count on AND be grateful and thankful for the incredible people who do reach out to recognize Melissa’s birthday.
I can feel angry AND I can feel love.
I can be full of grief AND full of love.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. After all, grief is love and it’s important to acknowledge both.
Every negative emotion I can overcome is a step in the right direction. One step at a time.
I can’t control what others do AND I don’t have to let that control me.