How often do you find yourself upset over small, insignificant things?  It happens to me sometimes, and I must admit, I hate it when I let that happen.  It’s a double whammy because I allow myself to get mad about something that doesn’t matter THEN I get angry at myself for being upset in the first place.  Talk about a complete waste of energy!

How do you stop those feelings from ever getting to that point?  And when is it okay to allow yourself to be upset?

Nobody’s perfect.  In a perfect world, we’d all walk around with smiles on our faces and be happy all of the time.  But that’s not the way life works.  We have good days.  We have bad days.  On most days, we have both good and bad things happen—it’s just the way it goes.  So many things are simply out of our control.  So what CAN we control?

We can control the way we interpret and handle situations.  I am learning this slowly but surely.  Two weeks ago we experienced a flood in our house.  Water was pouring into our kitchen.  The water we couldn’t collect was cascading into our basement.  We recently finished a big renovation of our home and this made the water intrusion even more painful.

A little over a year ago, this episode would have devastated me. But fortunately, perspective was with me that evening.  We calmly (yet hurriedly) worked to empty huge bins of water from our kitchen, used every towel in the house to soak up other wet areas and made the appropriate phone calls.  When the insurance company said they’d send someone out, I told my husband that we could wait until the morning, knowing that other people had much worse problems than we did.  An enormous amount of rain came down that night.

As we were cleaning up, I kept thinking about the people in Japan who had been victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.  I thought about people in the Midwest who have lost their homes during this incredibly violent tornado season.  I thought about our friend’s brother who lost his house in New Zealand to an earthquake.  Not only did he lose his house, he lost the lot that it once sat upon.  Can you even imagine?  Even though our house was a mess, we had a bed and a roof over our heads.  We were safe.  No one was hurt or missing.  It wasn’t that bad.

Losing your home would be horrible.  But losing someone you love would be devastating.

So the next time something bad starts to happen, try to put it in perspective immediately.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is everyone safe and out of harm’s way?
  2. Is this problem fixable?
  3. How could this be worse?

It’s amazing how differently you’ll look at the bad things that happen in your life.  Please share your stories about how you deal with life’s more difficult days.

Smile & Keep Perspective,