If you participate in social networking at all, you have most likely seen a post by some friend ranting about their misfortune followed by: FML. For those who might not know, FML is an unpleasant acronym meaning “Fuck My Life”. We all feel this way to some extent at some point, but does one incident, one day, define our entire lives? The day doesn’t define our lives, but the attitude very well might.
Our lives are like some grand theatrical performance in that our attitudes are the stage for which everything else happens. So you had a bad day. The car broke down, the kids are sick, you’re broke; those things are just blips on the radar. They should not quantify an entire mindset about your life. But just like some great Gothic film, we let them set the backdrop of our day. You hear the deep, dark orchestra play. The fog rolls in. Then, just as if on cue, another “tragedy” occurs. But did you ever stop to think that something negative happened because you were being negative to begin with?
If I am already in a bad mood, I tend to look at things from a negative perspective. I’m snippy and short with people. I might be hasty in my decisions. Perhaps I’m concentrating so much on pitying myself that nothing else gets my full attention. So, yes, I drop my favorite glass on my foot. Shattering on impact, the glass slices open my foot and tea splatters everywhere. It can happen to anyone, but had my mind been where it should have, and had I not been stewing about the flat tire this morning, I might have been able to prevent it. Maybe I would not have backed into another car if I were not upset about the morning meeting that didn’t go my way.
We start running our bad times through our mind like a freight train running non-stop out of control. Then we plop down in our cozy chair and post about our misfortune on our favorite social networking site, and people feel sorry for us. That is where the payoff lies. We can gain attention and pity from kind souls whom are too nice to tell us to get over it. This compassion that people are showing for no real travesty in our lives is what feeds our behavior the next time the cards aren’t dealt in our direction.
I think this has the most terrible impact on children. We don’t teach our kids that sometimes you just lose. We teach them, by our own example, that if something goes wrong, you just complain about it and someone will be there to make you feel better. Our children are being taught that it is far easier to whine and complain than to be proactive and change a situation AND to change their state of mind. What we end up with is a generation of children who never learn to deal with their own behavior because no matter how devilishly they act, someone will feel sorry for them when that behavior bites them on the rear end.
My Grandmother used to tell me that I had about thirty seconds to complain. I could be mad, sad, or otherwise unhappy for thirty seconds. Then I needed to start searching for a solution. “Either fix it or forget about it”, she said to me. How wise she was. Those words have helped me through situations both small and large throughout my entire life.
It’s all quite simple, really. Negative thinking leads to more negative thinking. It’s like being sucked up in a vortex that you cannot escape. If you look at it from a scientific aspect, one force will only change direction with the aid of a greater, opposite force. So you have to put the brakes on and throw it in reverse. You have to be more positive than negative no matter the situation. Otherwise, that negative energy will girdle your entire life.
Everyone needs to vent. We all need someone to talk to about our problems and life in general. But FML? Sure, I’m game for that term, but with one important change. Rather than Fuck My Life, it should be FIX My Life. Anytime you find yourself in the midst of some Gothic set, change the scene. Shed some light on the situation instead of only complaining. Ask for advice from others rather than pity. I guarantee that many people want to say much more than they actually do when replying to your “pity me” posts.
It’s your life. You control it. Believe it or not, you may be the cause of many of the negative things that happen. Counteract that with positive thinking, and change your life forever. Easier said than done? Not really. It’s as simple as turning around and walking in the other direction. Embrace your new found attitude, and Fix Your Life!
Tammie Niewedde shares her life with 24, 21, and 16 year old sons. She also has a 2 year old grandson whose energy level reminds her exactly how old she is (40, and she owns that proudly!). In her home, you will find a 120 pound fur factory named Dexter and a few cats whom have decided that she is merely their staff. The root of her love for books, writing, and animals comes from being a child whose only siblings were books and her animals. She is a full-time student, mother, coordinator of all that is chaos, and a hopeless list maker. Most of her writing is creative non-fiction that describes her real life adventures. Her acerbic, biting sense of humor may capture your heart, or it may induce rage. Nonetheless what she writes is true to life. You can often find her hanging out with the kiddos, studying, reading, writing, and making lists…of everything! You can find her on Facebook!
Image Source: Sabino . under Creative Commons