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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grave Equals Grave

I was trying to come up with a catchy title for what's bopping around in my brain today. The words I'm hearing were spoken by my daddy when I was a little girl: "don't take yourself so seriously". Of course, I could have used that, but I wanted something catchier so I goggled synonyms of the word serious (this took a while as I spell synonym all sorts of ways: synonim, sinonim...anyway, you'd think I'd learn). Here's what I found:

austere, bound, cold sober, contemplative, determined, earnest, funereal, genuine, grave, grim, honest, etc...

The word 'grave' sort of caught my eye. I guess because I know that if we take ourselves too seriously, it leads to stress which in an unhealthy amount can lead to health problems which eventually lead us to our death or our grave as you will. That's the moral of today's story...take yourself too seriously or spend too much time being GRAVE and you'll wind up in the grave.

Now, if you've read any previous posts, or you know me at all, you know I'm not about pointing out a problem without bring a solution. That's why the blog isn't stopping with the moral of the story. Let's talk about things we can do to help be the opposite of serious...which brings me back to the thesaurus for antonyms of serious:

playful, non critical, soft

We may be onto something here. If we play more, judge less, and go for 'soft' instead of 'hard', we may just find ourselves laughing more and stressing less. Play doesn't come natural to every one, and if you aren't sure how to play you may want to borrow a toddler. Once you have one, if you aren't sure what to do with them just tickle them and see what happens. Children don't care if our clothes match, if our hair is combed, or if our breath stinks. Children care about bear hugs, tickle fights, and marshmallows. Next time you make a cup of hot chocolate, throw in some bright colored mini marshmallows and you'll likely finding yourself smiling. Make the same beverage in a bright colored coffee mug and you might even laugh. If that's too much for you, start small. Before heading to the office, toss on two different socks; you'll be the only one who knows your socks don't match and if you think about it as you go about business, you'll smile about your little 'secret'.

Ultimately, we don't want to take ourselves too seriously, so we don't want to judge ourselves so harshly. This is really about us, right? The answer is 'sort of'...if you're like me, you're harder on yourself than you are on others. It's hard to give ourselves a break, but if we start giving others a break first, it will change our thinking and allow us to be easier on ourselves. For example, I hate being late. If I'm late, I feel like I'm sending the message that I don't care, that I'm too busy for you, and I grumble at myself all the way to where I'm going and I rehearse my heart felt apology while devising a plan to make sure it will NEVER happen again. I have friends who have been five minutes late for every gathering we've had over our 20 year friendship. I know they care about me, I know they're not too busy, and I know that life just happens...I don't judge them at all, so when it's my turn to be late, I try to remind myself that it's okay. I don't need to stress, grumble, or make excuses - they love me as I am, and I need to let it go. If people don't love you in 'raw form', when you're late, or when you have no money in your wallet, they simply don't love you. It's so easy to understand when you look beyond take that internally and say "I love me without make up, I love me even if I'm late, and I love me even if I'm broke" as you love yourself more, you'll judge yourself less and that stress and seriousness will melt away like a soft squishy marshmallow.

The next time something goes wrong in your life (and trust me it will...probably within the next five minutes), try to find the humor in the situation - be playful with it! If you can't control it, play with it...and if you can't control it or play with it...avoid it! No one needs to be so grave that they end up in the grave!

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and plenty of playfulness! ~Crystal

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