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BAD DAYS ≠ BAD LIFE

One of the things I've noticed lately is that, for some people, life in a small town can feel like living in a box. On some days, the bad days, the four walls of that box feel as though they are closing in around you. This was especially felt during the lockdown.

Subsequently, I've noticed that for some people, when that box begins to feel like it's closing in around you, a natural tendency is to conclude that the cards dealt are the cards dealt and so you begin to feel that you have a bad life.


It is really important to know that bad days ≠ bad life.


In the vibrant canvas of human existence, it is all too easy to allow fleeting moments of adversity to cloud our perspective and convince us that our entire life is painted in hues of despair. In this post, I hope to remind you of the other side of this perspective.


When a bad day strikes me sometimes, its weight will drive me crazy. I get frustrated with myself for allowing myself to get bent out of shape and while I do my best to mask bad days when I am out and about in my community, I do have this tendency to sometimes ruminate a little bit too long on the negative, bending Jeff's ear about what happened to me, how I felt, what I did, what I said, and lamenting and wondering if this pattern of misfortune will continue on and on and on day in and day out.


Jeff & JM

Jeff in his beautiful way, always brings me back. Always.


He reminds me of our life here in Eureka Springs and how enriched it is, and how grateful we are, and how the best is yet to come. For the millionth time, he tells me he loves me and that all is well. All will continue to be well. He makes certain that I realize that "this too shall pass" and that the good days certainly outweigh the bad. He is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me.


The human mind is a truly remarkable canvas -- our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions blend to create the masterpiece of our experiences. Yet, this canvas is delicate and easily swayed by the winds of circumstance.

Imagine your mind as a scale, with one side holding your bad days and the other, your good ones.


Our perception is governed by a cognitive bias known as "negativity bias."


This survival mechanism, etched into our DNA through millennia of evolution, causes negative events to have a stronger impact on our psyche than positive ones. This is precisely why consumers tell ten people about their "horrible customer service experience" at Target and only one person when the "service was exceptional."


It's as if ... (I'm dating myself with this analogy but I'm going for it) ... it's as if our minds are Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive. (Ha! Do they still even make Teflon?) This innate predisposition can lead us to magnify the significance of a bad day and minimize the influence of the good days that surround it.

Over the last 5-7 years, I've taken up the practice of joy-scrolling. Here's an example: I had a really unproductive, frustrating meeting at the office that I needed to go well. When I got back to my office, to help let that circumstance pass, I took out my phone, clicked on the photo gallery and scrolled. I scrolled for about five minutes and it took my mind off the issue.


For the last few years, Jeff and I will sometimes say to each other, when either one of us encounters a bad day. "Just scroll through the gallery of your cell phone, Babe, you'll feel better in no time."


It totally works!!

Consider this: life is a mosaic, a beautiful assortment of experiences that vary in color, shape, and texture. Each day, each moment, contributes a tile to this magnificent artwork. In this vast mosaic, a single cracked tile (a bad day) does not define the entire masterpiece (your life).


It's vital to zoom out and appreciate the complete mosaic, acknowledging that even though some tiles may be broken or faded, they are an integral part of the grand design.


Our emotions are not binary. They exist on a spectrum, a guidance scale, flowing seamlessly from one to the next as we move from circumstance to circumstance. Just as a bad day does not signify a bad life, neither does it negate the existence of good days.


Embrace the complexity of your emotional experience; allow yourself to grieve, to heal, to celebrate, and to thrive. Remember, it's okay to have bad days - we ALL have them - but it's essential to acknowledge their transient nature.

"This too shall pass."

While I tend to be a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and I often fluctuate between #1 - 7 on The Emotional Guidance Scale most days, when I find myself over in the blues and purples of the downward spiral, I quickly do what I can to work my way back upward.

I have learned that joy-scrolling in my phone's photo gallery is an incredible way to get me from #10 to #1 in a very short span of time.


Our current emotional state is always a transient not a constant.


Sure, a bad day can cast a shadow so imposing that it obscures the possibility of brighter days ahead but please remember where you live, who you love, who loves you, what and who you appreciate and most of all remember, emotions are fluid, ever-changing, and impermanent.

We live in beautiful Eureka Springs!!

Resilience

Consider the many different narratives that have shaped human history: tales of triumph over adversity, of rising from the ashes, of resilience in the face of insurmountable odds.


These stories endure because they strike a chord within us. They remind us that bad days are not verdicts; they are catalysts for growth, perseverance, and self-discovery. Embracing the narrative of resilience allows us to craft a life story that celebrates not only the sunny days but also the storms weathered.


The Best Is Yet To Come!❤️

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