You’ve probably heard the saying, “Sh*t happens.” It’s hard to miss it… You see it on bumper stickers and hear people say it in any number of situations. Maybe you’ve even caught yourself using this phrase.
It’s true that stuff happens in our lives. It could be sh*t or a rose. Or it could be both.
But sh*t doesn’t have to happen.
In fact, whether you see…and smell..sh*t or roses depends on your mindset. More specifically, it depends on how you interpret what happens in your life.
Stop Seeing Sh*t
Your life will “smell” a lot better when you stop looking for and focusing on sh*t, and, instead, look for and focus on roses. Doing so takes a shift in how you think and what you believe.
But you can create this change consciously. Take the first step by noticing when you interpret events as horrible or bad. Also, notice when you determine an event or situation is one from which you can learn and grow.
The Best or the Worst Thing that has Happened to You
With practice, you might make a big leap from “This is the worst thing that ever happened to me” to “This is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
If that type of leap seems impossible, consider the stories you’ve heard of cancer survivors or patients, divorced individuals, and people who come through major accidents and claim the trials and tribulations transformed their life for the better.
The difficult situation they experienced taught them how to live rather than survive. They learned they were strong enough to get through and thrive. Their ability to appreciate what they have increased.
Change Your Interpretation
If you tend towards “this is horrible” no matter what happens, it’s time to work toward a new way of interpreting life. Not sure how you see things? Answer these questions:
- Do you interpret circumstances negatively or positively?
- Do you approach the situations in your life with anger or acceptance?
- Do you see events with discouragement or hope?
Of course, your interpretation may change in different situations, but you have the power to decide how you will interpret those situations.
3 Ways to Stop Seeing Sh*t so Often
Here are three ways to interpret events through a new lens.
Every evening journal about what happened that day. Rank the day’s events on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “horrible” and 10 being “fabulous.” At the end of the week, reread your journal entries and rankings. Did your week have a lot of sh*t or a lot of roses?
This type of journaling exercise will increase your consciousness about how you interpret your life experience.
After a week or two, add a second journaling exercise: Journal about how you could see what happened in a through a different lens. As you do, you’ll start to notice the good in the same events and consider that they might not be as bad as you thought. The silver lining will become more apparent.
2. Reality Check
Another thing you can do is ask yourself if your interpretation is accurate or real. When something happens, and you go off the deep end with negativity and hopelessness, take a deep breath. Then ask yourself if your reaction is appropriate or if you are overreacting. Doing a reality check can change your interpretation quickly.
Even if a situation is tough or horrible, you can change your interpretation by looking for a positive result. For instance, you can ask yourself how the event could help you grow or change for the better. What might you learn that will help you live more fully going forward? There is a silver lining in every situation. You just have to train yourself to see it.
It’s true…sometimes sh*t happens. But you can take a look and a sniff and decide to be an alchemist. Change the sh*t into a rose. Then take another look and sniff…and notice how much more beautiful and sweet your life seems immediately.
How do you interpret the events in your life?
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