Feel More Flexible, Feel More Better
I’ve been writing here at Feel More Better for… a couple of years, now. Can you believe that? Time flies. And this post, today, is actually going to be my last one here. Two years of considering the life events and various other influences impacting my or my kids’ happy. I felt like I should be able to somehow sum it all up, for this last hurrah. There should be some secret I’ve learned or over-arching lesson that’s indispensable.
No pressure, or anything!
This is particularly hard for me to do right now, because I’m currently having a bit of a crisis over what, exactly, it means to be happy. I’m too old to believe in a notion of uninterrupted bliss; life is a series of good things, bad things, and plenty of in-between things. The trick is figuring out how to be yourself, be happy with yourself, and be happy with your life more often than not. Right? I mean, I think that’s the goal. So in two years of writing about this stuff, what’s the conclusion?
Here it is, at least for me: I feel better, happier, when I let go of what I think “should” happen, and am more accepting of what DOES happen, and also more accepting of my own sense of what I actually want. That’s it! Rocket science! Okay, not really. Still, how often do we actually achieve this, in the midst of the busy-ness that is most of our lives?
We talk a lot with my autistic son about being flexible, because he has a lot of preconceived notions of how things “should” be, and it can be very distressing for him when things don’t go the way he think they ought to. Sometimes I feel like my entire mission as his mom is to shepherd him towards greater flexibility so that he can navigate the world. He’s had to learn that a change in plans can’t ruin his whole day. Of course, I thought I was already plenty flexible, myself, when we started working on this with him, but I’ve learned an awful lot about myself along the way.
Maybe I didn’t melt down when plans changed, but I certainly developed my habits and expectations and found comfort in sameness. As I worked with my son, I began questioning my own inflexibilities. And then I started working on being more flexible, myself, and I don’t know… somehow it got all mixed up with being kinder to myself, kinder to others, and somehow, I felt better.
So if I want to take the time to prepare a nice meal from scratch, because it makes me happy? I do. And if it’s been kind of A Day and I suggest to the kid that he make himself some mac-n-cheese from a box because I don’t have anything planned? He does, and I don’t feel guilty. If I have a great day and do good work, I pat myself on the back. If I’m having a harder day, and don’t get as much done as I think I should, well, there’s always tomorrow. If someone does right by me, I try to make sure I let them know how much I appreciate them. And if someone “does me wrong” (using this as a broad term), I try to remember that I may not know their whole story. I’ll do what I need to do to take care of myself, but I try not to waste time being angry. Maybe they’re dealing with bigger stuff. Who knows?
Feeling better turns out to have a lot to do with how you look at things, and how kind you choose to be to yourself and everyone else. I used to beat myself up a lot for mistakes I made (real or imagined). I also used to get mad at others for mistakes I thought they made (again, real or imagined). These days, I’m more compassionate all around. I’m more flexible; I’m more forgiving. Do I have it all worked out, am I in a constant state of happiness? Not yet. But I’m working on it, and feeling better as I go.
Not bad for two years, right?
Any parting words of wisdom to share? How are you feeling more better lately?
(for more Mir, go here)
(A personal note from us @ Feel More Better: THANK YOU, MIR, for 2 years of speaking your truth and helping us think about our own. XO, seth and eva)