|This is me feeling pretty darn happy. No need to say the F word 50 times a day here.|
Several years ago, I used to say the F- word. A lot. Partly because it is a New York thing. [To my West Coast posse: Just trust me that NY can bring the F-word out of you unless you are really in a good place OR unless you never ride the subway, or never get your car towed (or stolen, with your new Bugaboo in the trunk), or never slip in garbage slime on the sidewalk & later stink so bad that homeless people move away from you on the train, or never get your car keyed or the bumper destroyed or side mirror ripped off, or never get screwed out of your deposit by a landlord, or never smell pot seeping into your apartment from your neighbor, or never have someone house squatting in your newly purchased apartment for 9 months, or never have to carry sheet rock up 3 flights of stairs on your back, or never have your new iPhone snatched out of your hands by a thief on a bike. These are all actual things that happened to me or my friends.] Between the intense New York life + all the trials that I was facing at home that were not in my control, I got very good at saying the F-word. Essentially, I had developed a short fuse. Clearly, I was not in a good place.
I came to realize that the big problem wasn't the word itself, but the energy that was being wasted when I used that word & the damage that the negative state of being & short fuse was doing to my life.
A wise woman (my beloved acupuncturist) taught me that each day, we have a limited amount of energy. We wake up and we get to choose how we use that energy. The biggest way to use up all of your energy in a real hurry is to feel anger, doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, no self-worth, annoyance, jealousy, stress, or unhappiness throughout the day because of who we are or the circumstances we are in or the way we are being treated (we are talking traffic jams, failed infertility treatments, incompetent doctors, unruly kids, parking tickets, bad haircuts, lost keys, argumentative spouses, dysfunctional people or family members, annoying coworkers or bosses, etc.)
If we choose to react negatively to these things, OUR AVAILABLE ENERGY WILL BE SUCKED DRY, REAL QUICK.
What happens next is not favorable......
- Our ability to cope with our own lives becomes near impossible. We develop almost a permanent short fuse and it becomes harder and harder to handle even little things in a healthy way.
- Our creativity and spirituality get zapped. There just isn't anything left to fuel it. (Have you ever noticed that? I am conscious of it now and I can totally tell that this is true!)
- Our health starts to deteriorate. You see, cells need energy to function. So if we are draining all our good energy by noon, our cells themselves struggle to even function optimally the rest of the day. Eventually disease, poor health, fatigue, depression, etc. ensue.
We need to PROTECT our energy and hold it near and dear, just like we try to save our money & conserve our bank accounts.
We need to choose wisely how to use it and not waste it on all that crap throughout the day. I loved learning about this concept and it made so much sense to me. It's so simple! But somehow I had never thought of protecting my energy in this way.
Sadly, most of my adult life, I have saved every dollar I could, yet I was wasting every last drop of my energy that I had. I can pinpoint back to those times about 5 years back and remember the loss of creativity, the complete inability to feel spiritual (I call it being brain dead), and the feeling that I was covered in a thin layer of glass that could crack at the smallest thing! My plate already seemed so full of all this "stress" and "sadness" because of the sad state of my first marriage or the early years of infertility, that serving others became the last thing on my list.
When you are wasting all your energy over long periods of time, you get so depleted that you start to barely get by. Trust me, I've been there. Making dinner for someone in need? Ain't gonna happen. Being a positive influence on those around you? Good luck. Dealing with unhappiness or unkindness from a spouse or trying to be cheerful during the rigors of motherhood or infertility? Oh, boy. But I later realized I was CHOOSING to be in a sad & lifeless state by my own reactions. And because of this, I could not make spiritual progress. In fact, I was deteriorating.
I was living with such a lack of a good energy stores, that I used to literally say the F-word in my mind 20 times a day, even for little things (i.e. due to missing a train, dealing with a crazy cab driver, finding myself in the rain with no umbrella, feeling like I have nothing cute to wear, feeling offended, feeling rejected, inadequate, etc.) What a sad way to live!
Once I realized that I had the power to choose my reactions and conserve my energy, just as I was conserving my money, my life changed. I made a conscious effort to "be still" during all those moments when I felt a huge sting in my heart or when I wanted to take this hard core city and shove it!
Friends, you really do have the power to do this. I am telling you, if you watch your reactions to things and try to conserve your energy by reacting positively, YOU WILL BECOME A HAPPIER / BETTER PERSON. I guarantee it. If you don't - trust me - it will not end well. I started with little things (highly recommended). Once you get going with it, you start building a lot of confidence in yourself & what you are capable of. Eventually you can work up to the point when reacting in a healthier way becomes your automatic nature. For me, when I tried this, I started to have more energy and life than I had ever remembered. And a side effect was that the F-word (and the emotions that go with it) slowly began to evaporate from my life on their own.
Luckily, this miraculous change in my life happened about a year before my husband left. So by the time he left, I had the training I needed to handle it in the best way that I could. See how helpful this new way of thinking can be? Just like a bank account of money, it's nice to have some built up energy and strength ready to go when you unexpectedly need it.
Sending you love,
P.S. I'm giving you all an assignment. :) For the rest of the day, think about how you are using your energy bank account - I'd love to hear about what happened when you decided to be a little more frugal (did it allow you to have more good energy for your spouse, kids, home....sexy time? ; )