It seems that over the past year I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. No major traumas just the daily work of figuring out life. Because this is no easy undertaking, I found myself increasingly frustrated – with myself and others. And by frustrated I really mean lacking in patience and general tendency toward anger rather than positive vibes. I wasn’t happy for me and I really wasn’t happy for anyone else. And then recently things changed. I became the perfect person overnight! It’s truly amazing. Ask my husband – he’s baffled by the immediate change. Not true. Not true at all. I didn’t become perfect. I’m still trying to figure things out. I still get frustrated. But somehow I’ve stumbled upon a secret, I have taken up a new mantra that manages to turn my rising antagonism into a more general positive outlook. It is known to few as the “I wish you well” mantra.
It’s a shame that I’m not more Polly Anna, that it’s not innate in my nature to always have rainbows and puppy dogs on my mind. I often envy those that can look at the world in this way. It seems blissful, a little naive, but totally and completely blissful. These people only see the good in others and are often completely calm in traffic. Instead I’m often looking for the loophole, the other shoe to drop, the real motive behind an action.
As you can imagine, this natural mindset has its setbacks generally known as “the grass is greener”, “woe is me”, and “I suck” or “You suck”. I found myself getting irate with the Facebook updates that called into question people’s sanity, intelligence and overall good will toward mankind. Or getting annoyed with the outliers in my life who often seem to have it all together and though play a minimal part in my life had suddenly become the main antagonist in my life ’s work of comparison. But admittedly there is mostly me and my own disappointments, failures, anger, etc that brings everything aforementioned into sharper focus. The result of course is unfathomable annoyance at the world in general; “the look” – the one that betrays my every thought – are you stupid, are you insane, why are you bothering me, and on; and generally rude and unsociable behavior. There has to be a healthy balance of knowing that some people do suck, sometimes I suck but that generally life can be and is good.
Enter “I wish you well”. It is not a collect $200 before you pass go. I still question motives, behaviors and attitudes. It doesn’t mean I am no longer annoyed by the occasional outlier or even those closest to me. My standards are still impossibly high for myself and others. Disappointment, failure and anger are still along for the ride. Somehow though when accosted with the beginning of ill will toward others, I remind myself that I wish them well. And suddenly, all is for the most part well. I think I have realized that somehow in wishing others well, I am also wishing myself well. It seems selfish, but for the time being it has changed my outlook on my life as well as those around me. I hope this mantra lasts. I feel like a more pleasant person at least some of the time.
**Disclaimer** This mantra has no effect when dealing with children or pets. I’m still trying to figure out what mantra will help me respond to the child in the backseat counting to one hundred over and over as loud as possible while on a 5 hour road trip or to the dog that emits a single bark every 20 seconds while it stares at the backdoor when it’s ready to come back inside. I’m not sure what mantra could overcome such obstacles. If you’ve figured it out, please share.
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