Monday was a bad day. By bad, I mean the spiral out of control kind of bad.
Waking up was a chore in itself. Not was I only groggy but I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, too. I couldn’t meditate for more than four minutes because my brain was all over the place; dozens of thoughts and faces crossed through my mind, infuriating me more and more with each passing one. I then tried to get some work done but kept getting distracted by my emotions. I was angry, bitter and very very sad.
At first, I thought it was a case of waking up on the wrong side of bed mixed up with a little bit of PMS blues, and voila, here was the perfect concoction for a ‘bad day’. With this realization, I knew I had to turn it around, to prove my hormones and bed manners who’s the real boss. But that just made things worse.
I had a workout session scheduled that afternoon with my personal trainer. I hoped the adrenaline and sweat pouring through my skin would help me feel better, but I was in such a foul mood that I kept snapping at my trainer and being downright rude. And as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I felt guilty and ashamed. But I just couldn’t seem to control myself. My night soon snowballed into something I didn’t plan for.
After gritting my teeth through a dinner party my parents had hosted later that evening, I sat in bed mulling over my situation. Unhappiness, resentment, confusion and anger swept through me, taking turns in punching me in the chest.
In the midst of my emotional turmoil, my phone rang.
My boyfriend immediately sensed that there was something wrong, and in his attempt to console me, I broke down and told him how fed up I was of feeling this way. I sounded like a broken record going on and on about how messed up my circumstances were and how I was about to give up on everything. I knew I was being unbearable but, again, I just couldn’t stop.
An hour later, and I was laying in bed going over his advice, I realized something else: I was simply having one bad day. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt this way so intensely -sure, I’ve had moments of fear and doubt about the direction my life was taking, but I never allowed them to ruin 24 hours for me. I also realized that the day increasingly worsened because I had put a label to it and that I had then tried to change it.
Would things have turned out differently if I had just let them take their course? Probably.
Tuesday was a much better day. I woke up feeling elated. My meditation lasted for 17 minutes and I managed to cross everything off my to-do list. I ended up cooking a delicious lunch and planning a dinner with my friends. Tuesday was a good day.
The memory of the previous day lingered in the back of my mind but in terms of lessons learnt. Why was I so adamant on controlling the events around me? More importantly, why was I trying so hard to control my feelings and thoughts about the events taking place around me?
The answer to both is my ego.
Ego requires action to stay alive, and unfortunately we feed it everyday with attachment, greed, aversion and desire. On that Monday, I was became attached to the idea that I was having a ‘bad day’. I desired to control it, but I ended up suffering even more. Instead of seeing each moment as it was, an isolated fragment of time, I kept going back to my false epiphany ‘I’m having a bad day’, and hence, kept reacting with pain and frustration. I was basically going against everything my meditation has taught me about being mindful of my thoughts and actions. But did I have any regrets? Was I ashamed of breaking down to my partner and revealing my deepest darkest fears?
Instead, I decided to take it all with a grain of salt. Today was a new day, and with every new day comes the opportunity to become better in different ways. I acknowledged my actions but didn’t judge them because I knew that it would only bring back some negativity. I knew I had to move on and let the past stay where it belongs -in the past.
As the week came to an end, I looked back with a smile and thought what a great week that was. There were some obstacles, some tears and anger but didn’t they just pave the way for better days? Don’t our bad days just make the good ones seem even more exceptional?
Yes, they do.
We are all entitled to bad days. It is how we react to them that makes the difference; do we allow them to dictate who we are and what we should do in every negative situation, or do we allow them to run their course and then let them go?
Read more about my adventures and recipes for happiness on my blog!
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