Monday, October 15, 2012

Rain On Your Parade

Ever met someone who just loved to argue?   What about a friend who just seemed to sap the life out of you every time you were around them due to their incessant complaining, moaning and criticizing?   Have you ever gone somewhere feeling great only to have your attitude totally twisted by the time you left?

I know we all have had days that started off with the greatest of intentions only to have it sour after an incident or bad encounter with someone.  There are many, MANY people that really get off on stealing your joy.  They love it.  They can't wait to turn that smile of yours upside down and make you the recipient of their misery.  It's like a virus.  And some people go out of their way to infect others.

Some of those carrying the virus you can see coming from a mile away - the scowl, the knitted brow, the crossed arms, they're chomping at the bit to infect someone.  In others the misery lies dormant, just waiting for the right environment, the right word, the right person who just seems "too happy to be true" to come along and trigger an outbreak.

I once had someone tell me at a food store that I frequented that I was "silly".  Taken aback by his comment, I asked him, "Why would you say that?"  He said, "Because every time you come in here you're always smiling."  Excuse me?  Are you serious? 

I quickly responded, "That's not being silly.  I'm a very happy person - I'm alive, God is good, I'm having a good day... I mean, am I not supposed to smile?"

He said something that I honestly don't remember... He may have said something like, 'but you smile all the time' or something like that.  But I do remember driving the point home that I was NOT silly for smiling.

That sat with me for a little while before I finally let it go later that day, but that wasn't the last time someone used that word on me.  After buying a Barbie doll and talking about it with my young niece and my ex's daughter, I was called silly by the girl's aunt, my ex's sister.  She couldn't understand why I would be so happy about buying a doll.  What?!  What difference does it make to you?  And why would my being happy make you upset?  That's when I knew I definitely couldn't be around her.  Anyone who can't stand to see you happy is someone you should NOT be around at all.

So, as we start the week off today, I just felt compelled to share this with you guys.  Who knows what or who you may encounter this week that will just try your patience and nip at your resolve to have a great day/week.  Don't let ANYONE or ANY CIRCUMSTANCE steal your joy!  Don't allow ANYONE to rent space in your head or your heart!  Don't you let these infected people unload their misery on you because, trust me, unloading on you is the quick salve that makes them feel better (at least for that moment).  Meanwhile, now YOU'RE the one walking around upset, infected by someone else's misery.  You're the one replaying the offense, talking about how you should have said this or that, or done this or that... and back at the ranch, they're not even thinking about you.  Not even paying you one ounce of thought.  (Or maybe they are and they're pleased, having made your attitude do a full 180.)

Don't get me wrong, everybody gets upset and a lot of things can catch you off guard, but don't let it LIVE with you.  Walk away, sing a song out loud, go to the bathroom and shadow box - heck, treat yourself to some ice-cream, or a cheesesteak (wink, wink).  Do something to purge yourself of that poison.  Laugh louder!  Smile harder!  Life is way too short too let anyone rain on your parade!

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