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Don't Harp on the Negatives

Nobody wants to have a bad day. Nobody wants to find  themselves in a bad mood. If we had the choice, most of us would choose to be happy. But sometimes we forget that we have that choice and without realizing it we choose a bad mood over a good one.

Life is not perfect and no matter how much you wish they would, things will not always go your way. There are things in this life that are beyond our control. Bad things can and do happen.

While we may not be able to always control what happens to us, we do have control over how we respond to them. You have the choice to respond in any number of ways to a bad situation. You can choose anger and resentment, you can choose depression, or you can even choose happiness. Choosing happiness may not make sense at first in the midst of an  unfortunate event, but it really is an option.

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Picture of Morrie Schwartz
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The author Mitch Albom is perhaps known best for his bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie. The book is a real life personal account of the author's  experience with a man named Morrie Schwartz in his final weeks of life as the two reconnect and discuss various life lessons.

In an article written about him, Albom quotes his friend and mentor who said, "Well, I believe it now. I know I will die. I just want to decide how. Raging? Screaming and kicking? Or maybe quietly, holding the hands of people I love?"

Morrie Schwartz understood that choice. He understood that he had a decision about how to feel in response to his terminal diagnosis. He understood that whether he went screaming and kicking or holding the hands of his loved ones, he couldn't change the outcome. But he could change how he felt about the time that he had left.

Schwartz also realized that we as humans are emotional beings. We need to express ourselves. But he realized that there need to be limits.

Also  in his article, Albom cites another reflection that Schwartz had on life. "Let sadness, grief, despair, depression, bitterness, rage, resentment - all the negative emotions that arise in you - penetrate you. Stay with them as long as you can or until they run their natural  course. But do not brood about them."

In other words, it's okay to be upset by bad news. It's okay to be sad and feel down. It's okay to get angry or feel depressed. Those are natural emotions that we need to work through. But there comes a time when we need to  move on. There comes a point where harping on those emotions will do more harm than good.

So express yourself without holding back. Let your feelings out and your voice be heard. But once you've done that, let it go and focus on moving  on. Once those emotions are out of your system, keep them out. It's normal to have bad days and to even re-experience past hurts, but to the  best of your ability try to encourage yourself to focus on the good, the present, and a brighter tomorrow.

Morrie Schwartz was dying, but chose to focus on the time he had left with those he loved the most. Whatever you're dealing with and as bad as it may be, life goes on. Will you choose to harp on the negatives or accept  them and move forward?

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