This is one of those days when I’m feeling a little down. It’s a mild case and I know exactly what prompted my low mood. There’s nothing of major proportion going one-just an ongoing situation that makes me very sad. As my dear husband always says, it doesn’t matter what I do (in this particular case), I end up with the short end of the stick. It wouldn’t be so bad if the situation were at all predictable but it isn’t. I never know when I’m going to run into the wall. It’s unnerving to say the least and I end up with a lot of bruises.
I would give anything to be able to gift-wrap happiness for those I know who seem to be in short supply. But I’m learning that in the final analysis I can give “gift” happiness only to myself. While other people and adverse circumstances can negatively impact our lives (sometimes dramatically and sometimes for a long time as in the case of grieving), in the final analysis, we determine our own level of contentedness. Beleive me I haven’t quite got this right myself yet but I instinctly know it’s true because it’s a fundamental tenet of Christianity and all major religions.
Ultimately we are the ones responsible for our own sense of well being. It isn’t easy finding equilibrium when someone we love is miserable. For me, it hurts more than just about anything else I can think of because I have an insatiable need to make everyone happy. But we can’t, no matter how hard we try, make anyone else happy. (I think most of us know that intellectually.) Everyone has to mine their own gold.
With that being said, let me encourage you if you are feeling as I am today. Get on with your life. Get up and get moving. When you do, you will start to feel better and your mind will start to occupy itself with other matters. “Putter” as much as you need to ’till your “sputtering” dies down. Talk with a friend but then let it go. Constant rehashing makes it worse. Rumination (going over the same issue, ad infinitum) is a symptom of depression and can also trigger depression. Avoid it at all costs. It never helps.
So what do we do when those closest to us are miserable? For me, I do my best to keep own head above water knowing that someone has to stay afloat. I keep treading water until the situation improves while guarding my heart against further damage. “Gift” yourself some happiness today. It’s not insensitive. It’s the kindest thing you can do for them and for you.