What is Sadness to you?

sad-life-quotes-01Sadness is not the opposite of happy.  We experience sadness for various reasons:  When relationships are strained or when marriages dissolve, we feel sad.  When we don’t get that job, money we so much wanted, or when we do not win, we get sad.  The winning could be different things to different people.  For some it is winning an argument, for others it could be winning a game.  That is not to say we can’t be sad at all.  When dear ones pass on we feel sad because we know we would never see them.  This is a different kind of sadness and it heals with time.

Whatever the reason for sadness, I think, deep down sadness is another name forits-not-about-forcing-happiness-its-about-not-letting-the-sadness-wn

  • Expectation is our desire for others, unbeknown to them, to do what we want.  When that doesn’t happen we become sad.
  • Victimhood is the second stage of sadness.  It makes us feel that others do what they want without any consideration for our wishes.  Instead of thinking that we expressed our wishes to others.

sad

How to turnaround sadness?

Like anything else we have to train ourselves and over time we can master this skill.

  • Recognize sadness, the moment it starts
  • Think what triggered it. Like, what happened right before feeling sad
  • Think, which of the above two causes, expectation or victimhood, is at play and why
  • Cry if you can because it helps release bottled emotions
  • Listen to your favorite music and dance
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Write ten good things about a situation or person that upset you!

One American holiday I love the most is Thanksgiving because the differences vanish7574c57ecf87c42be45243e386484b89-thanksgiving-graphics-thanksgiving-quotes and everyone celebrates it. Why is it that we wait for Thanksgiving to give thanks?

Rhonda Byrne says in The Magic that every morning we should write ten things that we are grateful for.   My most favorite exercise is the one in which she says to write ten good things about a situation or a person that upset you.  It switches the energy from the person or the upsetting situation and the charge goes away.  At times I have written this ten good things list a couple of times because I felt so strongly about a situation.

thanksgiving-quotesWe could be grateful for people or the events that upset us because they are either showing us a mirror, i.e., reflecting back what we may have done to them or to others, of course, unbeknown to who upset us, or teaching us a lesson in self-love and keeping our power irrespective of external circumstances.15_16

 

Likely reasons for getting upset: The biggest reason for getting upset is allowing our ego to control us.  Ego either makes us arrogant or victim.  Even in arrogance we feel victim.  The best way to get rid of what doesn’t serve us is to ask ourselves questions.  I call this alternative strategy because opens up our mind and it’s different from always reacting to the same thing the same way.

Reason Ego’s play Alternative strategy
We didn’t get our way Anger Ask yourself, how or where have you picked this habit.
Why didn’t they listen to me? Self-pity What would you gain from self-pity?
Why does this happen to me only? Victimhood What is the real payback for this?
I was so good and they didn’t return the favor. Expectation Do something good without any expectation because others didn’t know your intention.
Outlook – My way is the only way Control Everyone has freewill to act how they want.

When we give thanks to any situation, despite not liking it, it changes us at a cellular level.  Gratitude makes and keeps us healthier and happier.

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What are you attached to?

Attachment is a human subconscious behavior that manifest in characteristics of being attachment-cartoonattached to something or someone. As children we have to learn to bond with our parents for our survival.  As grownups we replicate our parents’ behavior and we establish a pattern of relating or attaching to people and things like our parents did.  This attachment gives us the illusion of safety and love.   there is always a payback for our  attachment.  

6faf99c84b3535f3fb17d7b3bbc7cdf9Grown-ups we can get attached to:

  • Family or certain friends
  • Possessions such as a house, car and other things we buy because they show off our status to others
  • Addictions which give us momentarily pleasure
  • Religious ideology

Dr. Dan Siegel says Attachment could be:non-attachment_free_zen-597987  

  1. Optimal
  2. Avoidant Style – could be deadly for a relationship
  3. Ambivalent
  4. Disorganized

It important to realize what sort of attachment we have so that we can free ourselves of the shell and enjoy life to the optimum.

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Sadness and victimhood could be a vicious circle

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Humans need to have contrasting emotions and experiences in order to find out what we want and what we don’t.  However, we experience some emotions even though we do not want to.   Sadness is one of them.  Countless books have been written on achieving happiness.  To me their purpose is to avoid sadness and some other emotions that arise due to sadness.

I always feel sad when a family member leaves after a visit.  But sadness could be due to numerous reasons.  I think the biggest reasons for sadness are:

  • Attachment  
  • Expectations

 attachment-are-only-good-for-emails-not-good-for-real-6131441Attachment is part of being human because we are attached to our siblings, children, spouses.  We need that attachment for survival as well.  Attachment translates into loss and it could be another name for pain.  The problem occurs when get attached to things and start feeling they are part of our personality, or they should be part of our lives.

Sadness due to expectation results in victimhood.  This keeps us stuck in the past.  expectation-quote-1Additionally, when we expect something from others, we don’t recognize their humanity. When our expectations are not met then they make us sad and it can result in feeling a victim and ultimately end up in depression, if unchecked.

Of course it’s all right to feel and experience sadness but the emotion can have long lasting affect if unchecked.  Like a vortex it can suck us into a downward spiral, if we allow it.

Ways to handle sadness or other emotions is:fullsizerender-2-640x565

  • Acknowledge the emotion
  • Analyze the trigger point
  • Feel the emotion
  • Allow a certain time to feel the emotion – do not wallow in it.

I find gratitude is the best way to come out of sadness or any other emotion that we do not want.

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How do you express self-compassion?

Whenever I heard the word compassion, I always thought I have to be compassionate torumi-quote-1 others only.  What no one tells us is that in order to extend an emotion towards others we have to experience it first.  It reminds me of the time when going through safety procedures before the takeoff of the flight, they always say something like:  “Oxygen masks will drop down in front of you, in case of emergency.  Put your mask first before putting it on others.”

Self-compassion doesn’t mean we wallow in victimhood or self-pity or being selfish or mean.  When we treat others with compassion without practicing it for ourselves, we start feeling it as an obligation, which can soon turn into a burden and eventually resentment.   if-you-want-others-to-be-happy-practice-compassion-if-you-want-to-be-happy-practice-compassion-quote-1

Self-compassion is:

  • Relating to oneself kindly.
  • Gentle self-inquiry instead of self-criticism.
  • Allowing some time to be with the feelings and thoughts.

Self-compassion results in:

  • Happiness
  • Contentment
  • High self-esteem
  • Love
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Expectation is the seed of disappointment

“Everything happens for a reason” – ˆˆ A quote in spirituality

“Dearest, there are no accidents,” said the woman in the movie when she read her friend’s letter.

An out of town friend was visiting me today.  We met several years ago and then we lost coolnsmart-6302-1touch.  Thanks to Facebook we got connected again and I found out that she moved about a hundred miles away from where I live.  We had planned her visit several weeks ago.  I was so excited that I stayed awake until after midnight, shopping, cleaning and prepping things for our lunch.

This morning I had planned to cook lunch and prepare everything before her arrival at 10:00 am.So I excitedly soaked the rice as soon as I woke up.  Then I browned the onions and started preparing lunch.   I was dying to have coffee but waited for her.  Around 8:30 am, she asked if she could come at 9:30.  I told her 10:00 would be better because I had planned on picking something before she disappointment-quote-2-picture-quote-1came, and if she were to come earlier I wouldn’t be able to do so.  Then I realized how rigid this makes me.  I’m there to enjoy her company and we could go together to pick up the things.  So I told her 9:30 was fine.

So, I quickly had breakfast and started cooking thinking I should finish before her arrival. Soon she informed me that her tyre was punctured and she had to wait for the shops to open; at ten.  Then she texted me around 10:30 and everything looked rather complicated.  She suggested meeting where she was but I was so disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to drive.

All of a sudden I started feeling cold.  I drank broth, then orange and carrot juice.  16d824ad17393f489c7b785cee9a4396-high-expectations-girly-quotesNothing happened I was still cold.  Then I made coffee and started watching TV.  That’s when the woman said, “Dearest…”

The timing couldn’t have been more ironic because I had been thinking about writing a blog post on disappointment.

I thought how disappointment even changes physiology.  Disappointment usually leads to victimhood .  Expectation is the ground which breeds disappointment.   In my case it was not having good time with the friend.  I had visualized us catching up,  laughing and enjoying the food, etc., etc.

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We have to keep breaking our habits (that don’t serve us) until we are open to learning new skills.

We punish ourselves  when our mental pictures are not fulfilled, i.e.,  when reality doesn’t match with our pictures then we suffer. I was so attached to my mental picture of the day that instead of giving myself some time to adjust to reality I punished myself for why it didn’t happen.  Getting attached to our mental pictures means we multiply the reality with zero.  We do not leave any room for a change, as a result we get stuck to the picture that we cannot and are not willing to see or accept something different.

Of course there is nothing wrong in focusing on a joyful outcome.  The problem is when we affect ourselves when the outcome doesn’t materialize.

Expectation Reality Result = Playing victim
I’ll have good time. Now I’ll not enjoy. Robbing myself of enjoying the day.
He/she will be like this. He/she is a jerk. How can I enjoy life when I’m married to a jerk?
Boss gave the project to another person. Boss thinks I’m not good. I’ll show the boss… I fume for days on end.
He/she doesn’t respect me/love the way I expect. My picture may be different from others. How come I am not respected/love?

 

This is how a relationship should look like. Oh, why is it not matching my picture. My relationship sucks because of the other person.
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Have you ever been taken advantage of?

d34834_8655d6493d334beeb357a4b5b9c5a2f9mv2Person B was complaining about how she gave her credit card to a very trusting friend for a gift and told the friend the amount she could spend for the gift.  When the credit card statement came, Person B found out that the friend purchased things twice the amount B had told the friend.

Person B started moaning and complaining about how people always take advantage if you are nice and kind.

I told person B that I used to think that way as well.  But I realized that people taking advantage has nothing to do with the other person. Look at what’s happening in politics.  Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price used tax payers money to fly in luxury.  Here is another list of Trump administration officials who used chartered flights.  Allegedly Steve Munchin, the Treasury Secretary, requested a government jet for his honeymoon. Tax payers’ salaries are loose change for the above mentioned officials and yet they didn’t even blink when using other’s money.

The point I was making to Person B was that there will be people who will misuse funds and resources irrespective of whether the other person is nice or not.

Changing one’s mindset:  While, growing up, we may have witnessed people taking eeb3f12cdc8cebcb2e233035daf210acadvantage of each other, at home or outside, we have to remember that it’s our thoughts that make us feel taken advantage of. So, have some integrity for yourself.

How to remedy our perception: 

  • Create inner boundaries. This could be the hardest thing because we think others are responsible for our feelings.
  • Be self-aware. Ask ourselves if we are focusing on particular people who misused our resources. How many people helped me.
  • Do not paint everyone with the same brush.
  • Observe people’s behavior before letting them use your resources.
  • Think how others have helped you or allowed you to use their resources.
  • Learn from an experience and do not repeat. One such experience is too many.
  • Do not measure people with your ethical compass.
  • Do not put people on pedestal based on their education or appearance.
  • Have integrity for yourself so that you don’t live in a cycle of revenge or self-pity.

kindnessIf we allow other people to do whatever they want with our money, resources, time, not everyone will be careful.  Some will misuse them, not because they are taking advantage of us because this is who they are, not because they are taking advantage of (only) us.

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