A: You don’t. She already knows it but prefers not to participate. Continue to “let it go,” and enjoy her company when she decides to join you. Be grateful for the time you do have with such a quality friend.
Q: You recently said that your “condition is not dictated by your circumstance.” But I don’t see how that can be true. Could you elaborate?
A: Of course! I don’t mean that things don’t disturb or depress me. But I do mean that I work hard to keep an attitude of gratitude so that rough times are kept in their proper perspective. I prefer to control my response to things rather than be under the control of the things themselves. So I try to remain mindful and on the lookout for lessons and opportunities hidden within the difficult circumstance.
Last year was a whammy. My beloved mama was very ill and died in the summer; tragedy hit our home in September with the violent deaths of friends; and there were other challenges as well. An associate of mine couldn’t understand why I wasn’t talking about much of this on my Facebook page. There are several reasons.
First of all, social media isn’t the place to broadcast every feeling, thought, and activity. Privacy and restraint and mystery should abide in some corners of our lives. In fact, we need to consider how our Facebook posts reverberate beyond our little world. More folks than we realize are being influenced by our words. Each utterance carries energy and intent; never underestimate its power or how far it travels.
Whether on Facebook or in real life, it’s just plain inconsiderate and harmful to whine and wallow. It drains your battery, attracts more misery, and becomes a habit of being. It’s also a poor example for others. Most of all, it focuses your mind on the negative so that you’re only thinking about your problems instead of maintaining a serene, big-picture perspective.
Thomas Dreier said it well. “When you talk about your troubles, your ailments, your diseases, your hurts, you give longer life to what makes you unhappy. Talking about your grievances merely adds to those grievances. Give recognition only to what you desire. Think and talk only about the good things that add to your enjoyment of your work and life. If you don’t talk about your grievances, you’ll be delighted to find them disappearing quickly.”
Note to readers: Due to the overwhelming response to last week’s question about dogs eating off of people’s plates, I’ll devote the next column to your comments. Thanks so much for your input.
Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at thecrackerqueen.com.