Before You Put Yourself In The Doghouse, Remember It’s Okay To Have A Bad Day
A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years. ~ Byron Katie
Forget about waking up on the wrong side of the bed, yesterday, I woke up in the doghouse feeling confined, small, and helpless. A self-inflicted ‘toss and turn’ kind of night replaying the thoughts glued to my brain that I’m living my life wrong. Everyone else seems happy and successful. Everyone else is climbing the ladder, creating families, earning more money, making a difference. Mattering.
Ruminating thoughts of trying to be someone big enough or good enough to matter, while feeling like the universe benched me and forgot to put me in the game. Yeah, I’m living life single and on my own terms at 43, yet paralyzing thoughts of “life will never change” and “it’ll always be this bland boring routine” got me feeling ‘same old, same old’ and just wanting to quit.
I’m human. I trip up and land right in a huge pile of self-created shit every now and then, overanalyzing and mentally trying to identify how I can be big enough or good enough. At the same time, I also judge myself that I know better and I shouldn’t be doing this anymore.
“Stop making shit and stop stepping in it!”, I tell myself.
Everyone has bad days and instinctively somewhere deep inside I know this, yet when I’m angry and making disapproving trouble for myself, I do not allow for any grace and I throw myself in the doghouse. “Get in there and be quiet!” Some days I am the queen of the doghouse, best damn dog in the neighborhood.
They say to be patient with yourself as you teach an old dog new tricks…well, this bitch is trying.
Like chewing a gnarly dog bone of contention or peeling the layers of an onion, I go through many layers and cry a few stinging tears before I get to the deeper layers and heart of the issue. Why am I being so hard on myself? Why do I choose to believe what I think, instead of inquiring about my heart and asking for its truth? Because what’s really true is that there are going to be days that are hard and that’s okay. More truth: one of the best new tricks to learn is just to accept a bad day as it is and try not to change it. It’s okay to have a bad day or two. It’s okay!
Again, you are human. It’s okay to have a bad day in the perceived doghouse. Why not spend some time looking around at the walls, asking yourself why you find yourself here, what you like about being here (there has to be some habit that involves feeling safe with limits), and what you don’t like about being here (there is a part of you that prefers freedom and self-forgiveness). Maybe there will be a moment with those questions, where things suddenly don’t seem as serious as they did before and you even manage to laugh.
Why do we make things harder for ourselves when it’s already feeling hard? The key is to let yourself out of the doghouse and step into the fullness of your authentic self as it is in the moment. It’s about deliberately and authentically choosing how you want to feel, how you want to react to setbacks, and then continuing to take your feelings and thoughts forward. Remember, we all have bad days and having a bad day doesn’t replace the need to give ourselves even more love.
Be you. Period. We all are just trying to be ourselves and do the best we can even if we feel like we are failing. The mind and the ego are capable of creating their own narratives, which you as their owner typically completely identify with. The punitive remarks…”I’ve failed” “I’m no good” are just ways to keep you stuck in the doghouse.
If you’re having a bad day, remember it’s all a part of being human and that’s okay. Don’t focus on trying to change it or analyze it, let it be. You can feel it: cry, yell, and then do other things. It’s okay to have a bad day, it makes us fully appreciate our good days.
And when you go to bed at night, let yourself off the hook. After a hot shower, a cup of tea, and feeling your skin in clean sheets, I hope you think to yourself, today was a bad day, and tomorrow is a new day to unleash new and full potential.
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