Soap Opera or Sanity – What Will I Choose? Guest Post by Jane Beach

One of the surest ways to keep peace and happiness at bay is to surround yourself with grumblers. You may know a few of them—they’re difficult to please because they’d rather complain. In fact, they seem to thrive on it! Gossip and fault-finding gives them lots to talk about. For some, negativity has become their identity, and often they don’t even realize they’re doing it.

At one point I became aware to what extent I had become a grumbler. My life was filled with drama, and I was the first one to complain about it. Of course, I attracted others who wanted to join me in my, “Ain’t it awful?” rants. Negative situations seemed to find me, giving me even more to grumble about.

Finally, I became fed up with my misery. I wanted to be peaceful and happy more than I wanted the attention I got from complaining. Taking charge of my new intention, I told my fellow grumblers that I needed to quit complaining. It was awkward; we had nothing to talk about, and soon they quit coming around. I was quietly relieved! It was so much easier to appreciate the good in the world when I was in the company of others who were doing the same thing. Soon, more positive situations started making their way into my life, and I had even more to talk about! Gratitude became my new topic of conversation.

As I’ve gotten older and wiser, peace of mind has continued to become a priority. I asked, “Where is there drama in my life and what am I going to do about it?” I realized I was still hanging onto control, trying to shield loved ones from painful situations, even if they brought it on themselves. Letting a family member or friend experience the consequences of their behavior wasn’t easy when I really wanted to save them. I thought I was helping, but in reality I was interfering with their opportunity to feel the consequences of their behavior, get themselves out of the mess they created, and know the self-confidence that comes from succeeding. If their situation was messy, it was part of an important lesson. Their drama belonged to them, not me. We each get to find our way out of the holes we dig for ourselves. It’s how self-worth is born. I began to question, “Is this situation mine to fix?” If the answer was no, I restrained from offering my opinion (not easy!) and began the process of backing off. It’s important to know what belongs to me and what doesn’t. If it’s none of my business, I take a deep breath, relax and let it go.

As I changed, my life changed. The less I responded to drama, the more peaceful my life became. It’s okay to choose peace, to be the center of my own world, to heal whatever feels broken and say yes to what feels right for me. It’s okay to fill my life with self-compassion, understanding, forgiveness and love. Today I smile easily and often, expressing my joy and heartfelt gratitude for life, just as it is! The energy of my joy is far reaching, letting others know it’s okay for them to be happy, too.

The only one who can choose peace and happiness is me. Today I choose wisely—I’m worth it. So are you.

You can reach Rev. Jane Beach on Facebook here.