there are sunshine people and there are rainy-day people.
we all have our own individual struggles. and regardless of how our challenges compare to other people’s circumstances, we all have daily stressors that we must overcome. i am not denying that life can be hard and that some days are just not our days. but i am also affirming that we have the power to determine how we respond, how we react, and how we move forward. our thoughts dictate our emotions, and our emotions dictate our acts. so even if your day really is bad, you can choose to see it in a different light.
and that is what i did today.
last night i stayed up late to finish writing a paper, this also meant that i went to bed late and had to get up earlier so that i could shower. but i woke up late. so in turn, i left my house late for my internship, and then i got stuck behind traffic and realized i forgot my lunch. there are few things that make me more anxious than not arriving on time (or early for that matter), so when i had seven minutes to get to the Veteran’s hospital and was still fifteen minutes away, (and not moving because of morning traffic) i told myself, “what a horrible start to the day.” i proceeded to believe that my day was ruined and started to think about all the ways in which the world was working against me.
my day was meaningful because i began to realize what i was doing. i was choosing to rain on my own day. yes, i felt like i had a right to be mad and frustrated. but i realized that the traffic didn’t owe me anything. it wasn’t everyone else’s responsibility to make sure i got to work on time or left my house early enough. and i began to understand that what happened had already happened. late was late, and there was nothing i could do to change how the morning had already gone. but i could change the way i was reacting. i could change what i was choosing to focus on. and that’s where the sunshine comes in.
today, i decided to be a sunshine person.
which means i accepted that i was not going to arrive on time and that i would have to find something for lunch. no big deal. more importantly, i started paying attention to what i was telling myself and how i was contributing to my own stress and storm clouds. i loosened my grip on the steering wheel and decided to find some good in the day. i decided to be thankful for the kind drivers who left enough room for me to merge or switch lanes. for the people who let me cross the sidewalk, even when their light was green. for the man who held the elevator so that i didn’t have to wait for the next one. for the other person who wished me a blessed day. you see, they didn’t have to do any of those things. and when you start looking for all the things that are going right, you start finding them. being a sunshine person doesn’t mean life always works in your favor or that you ignore the negative. it means that you accept things that you cannot change and choose to make your thoughts, reactions, and behaviors positive. of course it is not easy. but it is always worth a try.
we don’t have control over other people. we don’t have control of how they drive, how they look at us, or how fast they walk. and a lot of time, we don’t have control of how the day or life carries on. but we do have control over our own decisions, our own self, and our own thoughts and behaviors.
gloomy days are nice sometimes; you can curl up all day long and read or watch t.v. in your pajamas. but sunshine-y days can be even better, because you can go outside and play.
we all like nice weather. no wind, a bright day, warm rays casting down on our face.
…why not bring your own sunshine?