For the longest time I was one of those people that believed the entire World was against me. It seemed that one horrible thing after another just fell upon me; it wasn’t even the bullying at school and elsewhere that made me feel this way. It was a three-month period where my Father and Grandfather both died – the only Father figures I’d had in my life both passed away in a short period of time. It seemed that things just kept getting worse from there. I didn’t realize until my mid-thirties how much this period seriously affected who I had become, when something else bad would happen in my life my mind literally was at the point where it just “shrug” and think…yep…that’s about right. This thinking kept my depression at a peak … a Mount Everest type of peak. It left me beyond irritable, and I’m sure I was not the easiest person to be around. At some point, and honestly, I can’t even remember what the catalyst actually was, I came to one realization. This realization, once I completely understood it and realized its absolute truth, changed my mind for good. This realization? STUFF HAPPENS.
No matter how you look at life, stuff happens: things you can’t predict, things you never thought would happen, things you expected to happen that didn’t, things that made the entire World appear to have a guided missile system pointed directly at you…stuff happens! I’m not talking about those things that occur in your life that are a direct result of your own actions, but rather those occurrences that you had absolutely no control over. I am a smoker; I understand the health issues that can arise from being a smoker, so if tomorrow I develop lung cancer, I am not going to raise my fists in the air and scream, “WHY ME”! I know the risks every time I light one up. However, if it happens to be icy and I’m walking to my car and slip on some ice and fall, maybe tearing my knee to hell, that is one of those “stuff happens” instances. If you come home from work and find that there was a leak in the upstairs apartment, and your apartment is under three inches of water…well, stuff happens. I can come up with a few thousand more examples, but I think you get the idea. Sometimes, stuff happens, and you can’t do a thing to prevent it.
At this point, the question becomes – how do you deal with things outside of your control? Can you can instead take control of how your mind reacts to stuff happening? Instead of letting it ruin your day, month, year, life, you can control to some extend how unexpected tragedy affects you. When stuff happens you can’t control, instead of instantly reacting with emotion, your mind can simply remember that these things happen to everyone, and you can then formulate an appropriate response. It is a factor of life – the uncontrollable and unpredictable – and sometimes it just plain sucks and sucks hard, but instead of letting it control you, you CAN control how you react to the sucking.
I believe the above meme perfectly sums up the “stuff happens” philosophy … and yes, it is a philosophy. You can, as always, reach me at [email protected]. Contact me and let me know any thoughts or comments on today’s post. And, as always, I will be sending love your way.