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Bad Things Happen: It Doesn't Have to Bother You

you have a choice on your attitude
❝You don't have to turn it into something. It doesn't have to upset you.❞ -Marcus Aurelius

It's bright outside, but I forgot my sunglasses. I didn't realize it was going to be so bright. I'm with our dog, Bingo, on our daily after lunch walk. There’s a nice trail around a pond near our house that we frequently go to on our walks. Bingo runs around off-leash, smelling the smells, and I get some exercise and some vitamin D.

After about a minute of not seeing Bingo running around, I turned around to see where she is. Unfortunately, I see her at the edge of the pond rolling around in something. I've been around long enough to know that she's not rolling around in rose petals and lavender. I run over to her to stop her, and all of a sudden it hits me, whatever she found absolutely stinks - and she's covered in it!

This is a bummer because she just had a professional bath at the groomer yesterday. Plus, I just got back from two weeks of jury duty and have loads of work to catch up on; I don't have time to wash her right now.

Imagine yourself in this situation. There are at least a couple of ways that I could have responded to this situation. I could have gotten angry, both with Bingo and with the Universe. I could have played the victim, wondering why this always happens to me. This could have put me in a bad mood. This could have ruined my day.

Instead, I recognized this as a situation that needed my attention. This is only a bad event if I make it a bad event. As we walked back home, I thought about the mildly amusing story that I'll be able to tell people because of this. We got home, I gave her a bath, and I went about my day.

Now, this story about Bingo rolling around in...whatever she was rolling around in...it's not about finances. However, the lesson about choosing how to respond applies to any seemingly negative events that happened to us.

You Have Some Control Over Your Attitude

You have control over your attitude. I know that can be an unpopular opinion, but this is absolutely the case.

Before I say too much, I want to make sure this is perfectly clear. I am not suggesting that you push away your emotions. I am not telling you to ignore any feelings. I do not deny that we have automatic thoughts, most of which are negative. What I am saying, however, is that you can learn to pay attention to these feelings and emotions in such a way that they don't last as long. Feelings and emotions are there for a reason; they give us information. It is not helpful to dwell on any of these negative feelings or emotions, though.

Mindfulness is being completel