What if?

Let me ask you a question. I hope you don’t mind. What if you’re having a bad day – do you get to take it out on the universe? Is it okay to berate everyone you meet, making them miserable? Not sure what your answer is but I know what I’d say. No. Absolutely not. No way.

I’ve had bad days. Lots of them them. Days when I feel like I’m hanging on to my sanity by a tiny thread, while dangling over a pool of crocodiles. I hope nobody has ever noticed me on those days but maybe they’ve had a glimmer of what I’m feeling. Hey, I’m human after all. I can’t hide it completely, especially from those closest to me. But it’s not okay for me to walk around with a chip on my shoulder, anger and spewing hatred.

Is it going to fix anything? Obviously, the answer is no. What its going to do is make it worse – maybe a lot worse. So why do it? Now, I’m not telling you to be stoic, holding everything in. We all need a good cry once in a while, or to punch a pillow, but we don’t need to let our emotions control us completely.

I’ve found a way for works for me. Most of the time. I decide to be happy. And in the moments when that’s the hardest, I confide in a loved one or a friend. Or I write it all down. Or I let the tears cascade, spilling over my cheeks without shame. Another thing I do is ask myself if it really matters or if its one of those invariably stupid moments when I’ve let my emotions dictate actions and feelings without engaging my brain. Will this – whatever it is – matter in a week or a month? If not, I know, I just need to let it go.

Its not easy. I speak from experience. The months and days wrapped around my husband’s open heart surgery were excruciating. I was up one minute and down the next. I was scared…no, I was terrified, feeling like my world was spinning out of control and there was nothing I could do about it. So I did the only thing I could think to do. I gave away smiles to strangers. They returned smiles to me. And those smiles were just what I needed. I clung to them like a drowning sailor with a life jacket.

You never know what a smile can mean. Give one away. The return will be priceless.

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