A Different Perspective on “Hate” and “Bullying”

Taylor Swift was on to something with that song of hers… “Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate, I’m just gonna shake shake shake shake shake, shake it off.”  In other words, don’t let the negative energy of others bring you down and keep doing your thing!

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BUT there is another side to this “haters” thing that intrigues me and is often not talked about.  I feel we make others out to be these haters so easily.  You don’t like my outfit? Stop being a hater. You don’t like my lifestyle? Stop being a hater.  But are they really HATING?  Or have we just become WEAK?  Hate and bullying is a very real thing, but I fear we have turned every single disagreement, interpersonal conflict and unlike mind into an act of bullying and hate.  And I am sorry, but that does a disservice to people who have been real victims of those two things.  It does not compare.

Maybe you had somebody confront you recently and tell you something that hurt your feelings.  Maybe they told you that they didn’t appreciate the way you were acting or treating them and you didn’t agree.  Maybe it was somebody at work who told you they didn’t like your idea….do you turn these categories into hating/bullying?  Or do you open an adult conversation with that person and talk about it?  Since when has giving honest feedback and sharing feelings and thoughts that don’t align with others become inappropriate?  This is not hate.  This is not bullying.  This is adulthood.  And  yes, it can be really really hard sometimes. Who actually likes hearing negative things about themselves? NOBODY! But it is part of life and it is part of growth and working with others.

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Did you know it is now harder to fire people in the work place than it has ever been before? Why?  Because companies can no longer fire somebody for simply being a poor employee or being difficult to work with, it is too tricky.  Somehow a person will find a way to sue and tell the world how poorly THEY were treated and what a terrible place to work it was. Naturally, you will never hear that they didn’t show up for appointments or came in late all the time. They might even pull out a sickness or disability they had and call it discrimination.  WHAT? Makes absolutely ZERO sense to me.  And I have seen it happen in front of my eyes over and over and over again.

I have also noticed a trend in some of the circles I surround myself with that the people who often talk about being hated ON the most…are the biggest haters themselves.  Others that appear positive and encouraging on social media platforms, but then when in person have nothing positive to say about anybody. These people often make me sad and are not people I choose to become close to; because lord knows what they say about  an acquaintance like me if they are  bashing their own best friends. Some of the friends I cherish the most are ones that disagree with me and challenge me on a daily basis (cough, Mama J).  Sometimes we talk through it and still don’t agree and that’s cool.  I love them more for it. Because we can be real with each other.

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Writing this prompted me to of course look inward at myself. I keep a blog called “Blessed in the Mess”.  The purpose of this blog in my mind is to encourage others, share some of my stories, struggles and insights. I never want you to think I am perfect.  I never want you to think that I am not a constant work in progress. Because man am I ever, I have enough baggage to fill a whole plane.  Some days I wake up IN my crabby pants and don’t even want to put my happy pants on. Can I be negative?  Absolutely.  We are ALL guilty of this.  Because we are human.  But I just ask that you to really think about the next time you consider someone a hater or a bully. Are they really?  Or are they telling you something that maybe you need to hear?  Hearing things we don’t agree with or negative feedback is really hard, our first instinct is to throw our guard up and bash that person.   I promise you, I struggle with it too.  I welcome feedback on how I can improve as a wife, friend, manager, coworker etc. and stay strong when I am listening to the sometimes hard words about myself…but I often will go home and beat myself up for weeks.  But I need that, we all need that.  Because guess what?  NONE of us are perfect; but we can certainly use these moments to be the best we can be and GROW.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Agree? Disagree?  Would love to hear.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

Finding Your Happy

We all have those people in our lives.  The whiners, the negative nellies, the people who sometimes suck all the good energy out of a room without even realizing it.  No matter what kind of gold arrives on their doorstep they find a way to crap on it. Sometimes these are people we are close with…even worse sometimes WE are those people.alchemis

Do you find yourself wishing for things often?  Wishing you had a different body?  Wishing you could find a partner? Wishing your circumstance was different? There is nothing wrong with wishing, until you spend all your time worrying about what you don’t have instead of what you DO. That is no way to make a wish come true.  A thankful heart is a happy heart. Being thankful is the first and most important step in finding true happiness and to allowing amazing things that were meant for you to finally come into your life.

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No doubt you have read it over and over again, happiness does not come from things and it does NOT come from other people.  It comes from within.  It comes from YOU. Period.  I write about this topic a lot, because I feel passionate about it.  Not because happiness has come easy to me, quite the opposite. I know what it is like to be on the dark side. Feeling depressed and angry at the world. Throwing a pity party for myself every day. Wishing I could trade my life with anybody. Yes me.

It started by being a kid who was confused/hurt and not sure how to deal with my feelings.  That hurt turned into anger that I kept inside of me, except for the moments when I exploded and took down everybody in my path, usually my family.  That anger then turned into depression. This went on for years. My saving grace, even at a young age is that I have always been good at faking happy. Even some people closest to me in my life don’t know about the struggle I had for a very long time. Turns out faking happy is exhausting and leaves you being surrounded by people who think they know you, but don’t.  But I never wanted to bring anybody down, I wanted people to like me, I didn’t want them to know the real me because I didn’t like me.

Then one day I changed.  Not from counseling, not from medication. I just made a decision. I decided that I can control me.  I can control how I react, how I feel. Even if it means I have to fake it to myself until I believe it. I wanted to be the person people thought I was. I wanted to BE happy instead of faking happy.

I started by changing how I wrote. I had written in a journal since I was 7, but instead of venting my feelings, I changed it to writing things down I was thankful for.  Sometimes, it was just that I was alive and breathing.  That had to have meant God still wanted me here, right?  I changed my thoughts and in turn changed my life.  I still have setbacks here and there but when I feel myself going down that road I tell those feelings to piss off and find somebody else to latch on to.

In present day, I cannot imagine ONLY being thankful for breathing.  I fill up my gratitude journal daily… sometimes with pages and pages of all the blessings in my life! I am truly happy.  I love my life and the more love I GIVE to my life; the more abundance just keeps rolling in.  I wish everybody would tap into this secret.

I wish I could go back to myself in those early years and say, “Everything is going to be okay”.  But I think a part of me always knew I was meant for more than just being sad and angry all the time, those years of struggle are what gave me such a holistic perspective on life at a young age. It helps me see right through the students I work with and help THEM.

In 2015 I made a challenge to myself to hold to my gratitude rituals daily as they tend to be the first thing to get eliminated on a busy day. I must not forget that these rituals are what got me to where I am today and when I don’t take that time, I can feel the negative consequences. I now keep a word document on my computer open and every morning, the minute I wake up I look through my two devotionals, meditate on them for a bit and then I just start typing out my thoughts.  This document is literally just my thoughts rambling on paper, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes a little bit of both.  It clears my head for the day and I feel open and ready for whatever comes my way.  My journal that I physically write in everyday- is for things I am thankful for, exciting things that are happening and goal setting.

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If you struggle with happiness, I highly recommend starting a gratitude journal. It will change your life, I promise.  I also have some books/devotionals that I have read and re-read through the years that I adore. Simple Abundance, The Secret, Eat Pray Love & Jesus Calling Daily Devotional, to name a few.  I always pick up something new depending on where I am in my life, or sometimes I just need to be reminded.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂