Sunday, February 22, 2009


Like you've never wanted to pretend you were Mafia. (For those of you who don't speak Mafia Italian that reads: Forget about it).

Moving on.

Several years ago I was eating dinner with a boyfriend's family. I forget what exactly we were talking about, but his grandma made a statement that I found very interesting and it's always stuck with me.

She said something along the lines of this:

"When I was your age, we really didn't think about how things felt. We just accepted the way things were and went on."

At first, I thought this was so sad. What a horrible way to go through life--not feeling! But over time my understand of her words has changed. I don't think she meant that she didn't appreciate the things she had in life, or experience sadness, or anything like that. I think she meant that she didn't dwell on it, or personalize the things that just kind of happen in life.

For example, when I was going through a particularly rough period of depression in my life, I remember telling HH all the time how unfair life was. I was constantly saying, "Today was just a really hard day. Why do things have to be so hard for me all the time!" And the things that were so hard that day would be along the lines of Sweet P spilling her milk--twice!, having to make a phone call for church, Sweet P having a major blowout, forgetting something I needed at the grocery store, hitting all red lights on the way home, HH getting home late from work, etc. You get the idea. Nothing major. It's just that I took it all personal. Everyone was out to get me. I just knew it! Everyone wanted to make my life hard.

Every unfortunate thing that happened to me was proof to me that no one cared about me. Because if someone cared, nothing bad would ever happen to me. They would make sure it didn't.

You all have someone in your life like that right? Someone who makes sure people let you change lanes on the freeway, who tells you that you're nearly out of toilet paper before you go to the store so you don't discover it five minutes after you get home, who makes sure your child never throws a tantrum in public?



Okay, so it seems really silly now, but I genuinely felt that way. What does this have to do with my old boyfriend's grandma? I think those are the kind of things she didn't think, or worry, about. That's just life being life. If you take those little things personal, you'll be far too busy partying with all Self-pity to ever recognize Joy.


I've mentioned Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff. I love that book. I need to read it again. Anyway, in her book she three guiding principles in the lives of people who are truly happy. One of these is the Law of Universal Support. Meaning, believing that the universe is out to support you--not to get you. I love that. Love it.

When I keep that mindset, I can just forget about those little things. They don't even have to be ripples in my day. They can be nothings. Or sometimes, even funny things. When I remember that the universe is supporting me, those things don't feel anywhere close to personal barbs. How could they be? Why would they be?

I am Christian so "the universe" is mainly God for me. He is my Father, so it makes perfect sense that He wants to support me. Supporting me doesn't mean removing anything that might challenge me a bit (that would mean eliminating many opportunities for growth--but that's a discussion for another day). Supporting me means providing me with the resources I need to move past challenges no matter how big or small. And I fully believe that He has, does, and will.

But we are talking "universe" here. So, I interpret that to mean that everyone and everything else is included here too. And sometimes I picture the planets and stars cheering me on with pompoms and little flags. That's just what pops into my head when I think of a "supportive universe". So I'm quirky. So what?

Have I made the connection between Old BF's g-ma and a supportive universe for you? It's there in my head, but I'm not sure if it's here in this post. But now you have a glimpse of what I'm working with when it comes to what's in my head, so you can see how this might be a challenge for me. Let me try to sum up.

Don't dwell on the unfortunate things in life. I'm not talking about major, catastrophic things--that stuff needs to be dealt with and it's okay to be sad sometimes. But things that really don't matter. Things that have no long term effect on the rest of you life, day, or moment (unless you choose to react and hold onto the negative). Let go of those things. Let them roll, like water off of a duck's back. Ducks don't get wet, you know. There's a book about it.

Okay, so the opposite of sweating the small stuff and taking it personal, is to not think about it. Accept that it happened, and move on. You can move on because you know that the universe is here for your support. Just because things aren't going exactly your way doesn't mean they're going wrong. Have faith that the universe is rooting for you and will help things to work out--just maybe not the way you thought or planned. Believe that you have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over you, not to prevent anything bad from happening to you, but to ensure that you are provided with all you need to succeed. And He knows exactly what that is.

And if you do this, you'll open up a lot more room in your life for joy. I know it because I've done it. I still have days where I get caught up in feeling so "woe is me" and those days are just yucky and ugly. The good thing is, having experienced the peace and joy that come with believing the planets are shaking pompoms on my behalf, it's a lot easier to snap out of those bad days. And then you can't imagine the weight that's lifted off! If you aren't already doing it, give it a try. Shake off the bad and take a deep breath knowing that everyone and everything is here for you!

And picture Neptune holding up a "Go, You!" poster.

Don't you feel more supported already?

How do you "fuhgeddaboudit"? Or am I the only person who can take stuff like that personal? How do you remember that the universe is supportive and not threatening?

Thanks for all the love last week! I loved it! Keep those comments coming! Remember, this works best the more insight we have, so if you've got something to say, please share!

Have a delightful, supported week!


Spencer and Kimberly said...

I love how you say that Heavenly Father doesn't always prevent bad things from happening to you, but ensures that you are provided with all you need to succeed. That's a great way to look at hard times!

Ketchesons said...

There was a talk given at General Conference by Elder Whirthlin called "Come what may, and love it" It has given me a brand new prospective on life. It is amazing what a little sense of humor does to you.
Here is the link,5232,23-1-947-9,00.html

Linda said...

Such great advice for every one of us. Thanks! I like that you contrast thinking the universe is out to "get" us to recognizing that everyone, including God, is out to support us. That is a HUGE attitude adjustment.

And I appreciate that you focus on the small events of life. We are all going to have some major ups and downs, but we are also going to have many minor misfortunes. When we learn to accept them as a part of mortality (my mom used to remind me that into each life some rain must fall), we avoid giving these small annoyances the power to have a big impact on our attitude and disposition. When we change how we think, we change how we feel. Thanks again - love you!