The month of July hasn’t been very fun for me.
July has always been my favorite month. But this year I’m struggling with it because of a number of things that have happened that I found frustrating, or full-on upsetting.
I didn’t get to see any fireworks on the 4th of July this year. 😢
My house’s air conditioning unit gave out, just as a major heat wave hit. As you can guess, it cost quite a bit to replace.
A woman in the Trader Joe’s parking lot screamed at me because I didn’t thank her for stopping to let me back out of my parking spot (for the record, she was stopped for some time and I thought she was waiting for my parking spot).
I drove an hour in rush hour traffic to a doctors appointment, waited 30 minutes to be seen, only to find that I couldn’t have the procedure that I went there to have done because of several major details that the doctor failed to tell me beforehand.
Then a few days ago, while I was doing some much-needed weeding in my garden, I got stung by a bee. On the face, no less.
Y’ALL: ON. THE. FACE. 🤬🤬🤬🤬
As I sat on the couch nursing my bee sting, full of self-pity, I was spinning in thoughts about how much it sucked and how it shouldn’t have happened. I then started to think back to other recent events, determining which of them I should consider for The List Of Bad Things That Have Happened To Me This Month. ‘Cause darn it, there were a few.
July 4th. The broken AC. That self-righteous, entitled screamer lady.
The doctor’s lack of detail that wasted hours of my time. The rude Chick Fil A employee who walked away instead of taking my order.
And then of course the f’ing bee sting.
When we decide how we want to think about something (or someone) our brains kick into gear gathering evidence to prove to ourselves that the thought is true. It looks at circumstances all around us and filters out the ones that might not support that thought, tallying the ones that do support it.
Why? Because our primitive brains are trying to protect us. They’re built to look for danger and alert us so we can avoid pain or death, proliferating our species.
But we’re more advanced now. We’re much safer. Our lives are easier.
It’s just that our brains haven’t caught up. So we still default to looking for danger by way of negative interpretation.
As easy as it is to fall into that kind of thinking, it’s important to remember to put the breaks on it because it does not serve us. No matter how much we think it sucks.
The philosopher Eckhart Tolle says:
“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge.
When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power.
So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it.
All else is madness.
Even the most seemingly unpleasant situations – if you become aligned with it, something good will emerge from that.”
Remembering this, I consciously made a list of all of the many good things that have taken place this month.
Turns out it’s a pretty good list.
After all, it is July. 🇺🇸