It seems like this month is really determined to make this challenge challenging.
Has this ever happen to you: You set out to do something and it’s just like the universe is conspiring against you, making it incredibly hard to get closer to your goal, like it’s wanting to tell you “You thought you’d have to put no effort into this? Well here ya go, sucker!” BAM punches you and then it throws a huge bucket of shit at you while you’re on the ground and then dances on your head while singing a little song?
Well, here we go. I’m being tested by the universe!
(Ok ok, probably I’m not important enough to be tested by the universe, but I certainly feel like a VIP right now…)
I thought no complaint November would be easy. I had been monitoring myself for a couple of days and I only very rarely say negative things these days. I thought this will be a really easy one, I’ll go through it halo and angel wings intact, appearing smiling at the end of this month, telling you all how lovely it is and how peaceful and mindful and happy I am now. Namaste!!!
I haven’t complained much to be honest, but I also wanted to monitor my thoughts a bit more and it’s been a pretty angry month for me. Anger in general is not very productive, especially when you’re angry at other people’s behaviors, for example when they are rude to you and hurt you. You end up thinking about them for the whole day and while this definitely doesn’t change their behavior towards you, it ends up making your mood bad.
So what should you do about hurtful people? From a logic perspective, it would be best to ignore their behavior, ignore the people and forget about them. Nevertheless, from an emotional perspective, you want some kind of justice for their rudeness towards you. You want them to suffer for what they did to you.
But will you ever get the justice you deserve from them?
So what you do is you re-play the moment over and over in your head, trying to find a way to get back what they took from you, which is your happiness, while in the end they can never do that. How could they? There is just no way. (Also that’s a reason why it is so hard to accept when you are in an ended relationship where the other person dumped you.)
So, how is it possible to accept that there are people out there who can just go around and hurt people without being punished for it without going mad?
Well, religion seems to have a couple of answers, but I don’t want to ignore them completely here and focus on the logic side of things:
The feeling of you, yourself being hurt is at the end only in your head. It exists only for you and so you are the only person who can do something about it. There are two options that you have, you can a) hold onto your anger and get revenge or b) forgive and forget
a) Will get you into trouble because when you hold onto your anger you can not be happy. Anger+Happiness don’t go together. But you want to be happy, right? Then, if you seek revenge you also might end up at jail or some dark place, which is not where you want to be.
b) Will be difficult. Because it sucks being hurt by someone. So, what I like to do is look at it and see if there is anything in the whole situation that I can take from it and look at it positively. Anything at all. It might be really tiny, doesn’t matter. Anything!
For example, once I had some trouble with a landlord that refused to fix the broken hot water. It was winter time and I didn’t have a hot shower for about 2 months and they just told me that it’s too expensive and they won’t fix it. The whole situation really sucked, but then I figured out a way to deal with it. I took showers at the gym, I read through all kinds of contracts and researched a lot as of how to approach trouble with landlords. In the end I moved out, but the positive thing about this is that I got a huge knowledge about rental agreements and the rental law. I also learned how to stand up for myself and how to cover my ass when dealing with legal matters. Then I learned how to be innovative with hot water and find a solution to a problem. And I also learned that I needed to become a minimalist really quickly because of all the moving that was suddenly going on. It inspired me to speed things up and take the next steps towards a life with less stuff.
So yah, in the end it was a really positive experience. It wasn’t fun and it sucked at the time, but in the end it doesn’t really matter what happened.
If you look at things from a hindsight perspective, they are rarely as bad as we think things are now. So if your boss yells at you and your neighbor put his car in your parking spot, if someone gets the last muffin just before you can order it, relax and think about how important this incident will be in 5 or 10 years. Maybe that shitty boy/girlfriend of yours was never meant to be your soul mate and you only see that years later when you’re finally with the right person. Maybe that shitty boss of yours is a sign that you should start your own business which will make you rich and famous.
Whatever it is that makes you angry, ask yourself: “Will this incident matter 10 years from now?” Most likely the answer will be no and the only thing that is important is if it made you grow.