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Cultivating Happiness In Your Life

Nov. 16, 2015 Huffington Post

There are many people in the world with amazing, magical qualities. I have my own, very special magical gift. I can, for a seemingly endless amount of time, re-play a bad experience over and over in my head . . .

I Gotta Grudge

It’s almost like a loop tape, screening the same bad memory. Repeatedly. And as an added bonus, I replay what I would have said if I only had been on top of my game. Me, at my pithy best, telling who ever, in all my articulate glory, just how wrong they were, how offended I was, how bad they behaved or whatever.

I can easily do this daily. I’m magical like that.

Of course, I never replay the really wonderful events. Like the fabulous fruit salad I had at the wonderful party at Aunt Betty’s. And me, assuring her in all sincerity it was the best fruit salad I’d ever had, and how the warmth and love in her home was filling me with such joy. Do I replay that conversation over and over? Do I imagine Aunt Betty’s headstone carved with the words “Best Fruit Salad in the World” and “So Loved By Niece Kimberly”?

Never. Not once.

And folks, therein lays the problem.

Why, oh why do we do this? Hang onto the bad stuff and sweep joy under the rug like yesterday’s crumbs. Are we just a bunch of angry ingrates running around looking for the next grudge to hold?

Nope. Turns out we’re programmed this way. It’s science.

Find Lunch, Don’t Be Lunch

It has to do with our brain.

Long ago, think cave man days, it was very important that THE BAD THINGS registered higher on our radar. Screw up once and you’re lunch. No second chances.

We’re programmed to really register negative consequences, it’s just how we’re wired. Your emotions run high, your stress hormones start pumping out, every fiber of your being is on high alert, heart pounding — and it’s just a co-worker being a jerk. No lion in sight.

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