“Get yourself to the woodshed young lady.”
I knew it was coming but still the words sent chills down my spine . . .
I’d mouthed off without thinking one too many times. I’d criticized, badgered, blamed, and shamed. No amount of “but I was just trying to . . .” was going to help me now.
I was in for a “talkin’ to” . . . or worse . . .
The woodshed. I knew what that meant . . . there would be no place to hide, nowhere to run to, no one to rescue me, and it was going to hurt.
Why couldn’t I just stop it? Why did I have to be so stubborn, so triggerable?
Staring at the ground, I started walking.
I could hear her inside as I got close to the door . . .
Slowly dragging my feet, feeling my head getting heavier with each step, the tears were already prickling the backs of my eyes when I opened the door.
“Come on in.”
“Close the door.”
“Sit down and look me in the eye.”
It was all I could do not to just start bawling.
With her eyes locked to mine she started . . .
“I love you.”
The breath I hadn’t even realized I was holding left my body with a whoosh. She continued . . .
“You haven’t done anything wrong.”
My tears could no longer be held back, and as I wailed, she whispered . . .
“It’s going to be alright.”
She waited until my sobs subsided. Then with just a hint of a smile she added . . .
“Now go find your joy.”
I hugged her goodbye and as I walked out the door, I heard: “Come back as often as you like. I’ll be right here.”
Released from the burden of my self-abuse, I remembered her instructions to “find my joy.”
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen it. I couldn’t remember what it looked like, and I had no idea where to look for it.
Then a butterfly flew by and I smiled. A bird sang out and I giggled. Back in the house, the picture I found in an old junk shop caught my eye, and then a photo of my family at play, and I got it.
Finding my joy was as simple as looking around my life. All the mementos, all the people, all the clothes, even the dirty dishes could remind me of joyful times.
What about you? Have you been hard on yourself lately? Or has life just felt hard?
When we let them, each item in our lives can not only trigger joy, but deep appreciation for who we are. Everything good in our lives is only in our lives because of decisions we’ve made and actions we’ve taken.
When we remember that, joy and gratitude are easy to find.
If on the other hand, you’ve misplaced your joy, perhaps it’s time you took yourself to the mindset woodshed and gave yourself a good talkin’ to.
I highly recommend it. Often.
Hugs to you, Jackie
p.s.: Thanks to Positive Psychology we know that optimism makes it easier to remember the love, acceptance, perspective, and direction found in the woodshed.
My gift to you is a source of perpetual optimism that helps other people’s judgements, opinions, and expectations slide right off of you.
The gift is a vision board on steroids and the session is called “Leaving Shouldville.” You’ll be able to watch it on the bottom of the landing page: www.LeavingShouldville.com
There’s also an offer to experience a 10-day free trial of the customizable library of over 100 different sessions. Please enjoy the journey.
Homework: watch a Positive Prime session for 5 minutes or more every day until next class.
Note: Whether or not you keep the customizable subscription, you’ll always have free access to both the “Leaving Shouldville” and “Being Happier” sessions.