Want a Happy Ending? Stop Doing This

 

It’s easy to get caught up in talking about our sad stories. We talk to our friends, lovers, spouses, hair stylists, psychologists…anyone who will listen. And yet, how often do we get a happy ending from doing that? Not often.

Sure, it feels good to vent, especially to someone who validates that we were the victim. We walk away puffed up, after being reassured by our “team” that we were right and the other person was wrong. I’m not saying we shouldn’t share our sad stories with others, but there is such a thing as oversharing.

Oversharing is when you tell your sad story too often. When you do this, you don’t resolve your sad story, you become it. Repeatedly feeling these negative emotions and talking about them causes new neural pathways to form in your brain. In turn, your sad stories and negative emotions play like an old movie projector in your mind. They loop consistently, giving us nothing but a bad case of the blues.

I’ve been going through this myself lately. I’m having a difficult time processing a hurt that continues to nag at me. And no matter how much I talk about it, I don’t feel better. In fact, I feel worse because I bought season passes to the sad story movie marathon playing in my head.

Wondering where my happy ending was, I realized that I hadn’t been praying for one. I wasn’t asking God for peace. Instead, I was stoking the fires and keeping the wound open by rehashing my sad story over and over again.

Finding a happy ending to a sad story comes down to asking yourself one question: have you prayed about it as much as you’ve talked about it?

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Prayer, when done mindfully, can be a potent therapy. Prayer (or meditation) help because they turn us inward where can delve deep into the root cause of our pain. We often mistakenly believe that it is the other person, the offender, who creates our sad story. We feel powerless and like a victim.

But once we realize that we are the writers of our sad stories, happy endings are inevitable. It is how we choose to deal with the hurt that determines how long the sad story plays on the movie projector in our minds. Perhaps Mother Teresa summed it up best when she said, “You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

So take it Upstairs and see what happens. With a little forgiveness and a lot of perspective, odds are you will find the happy ending you’ve been looking for.

 

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When I heard that Gloria Steinem is celebrating her 80th birthday this week, I couldn’t believe it. About twenty years ago, I was a college student and Gloria Steinem was my hero. You see, I was a feminist – a real feminist – not your everyday, run of the mill, bumper sticker feminist. (Although, my […]

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I was interviewed recently by ABC News about the health benefits of coconut oil. A long time fan of this tropical oil, I was excited to share all the wonderful ways I’d found to incorporate coconut oil into my cooking and beauty routines. I like it so much and believe in it’s health benefits that […]

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“Me? I won? Did they really call my name?” I stumble out of my seat, kiss my adoring husband, and after what seems like an eternity, I finally make it to the stage steps. “Don’t fall,” I tell myself repeatedly. Chances are if I did, I wouldn’t look as graceful as Jennifer Lawrence. And truth […]

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Los Angeles. The city of angels. The home of celebrities. The place where dreams come true. Where movies are made and stars are born. In L.A., stars light up the city streets night and day. And on a recent trip to the West Coast, I had a chance to stargaze from the Hollywood Hills to […]

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She’s Yours, But Not to Keep

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I didn’t want to be the one to make the decision. I hoped my husband, David, would make it for us. But as we sat on the sofa with Nilla, our sleeping, thirteen year old golden retriever, neither of us was ready to say goodbye. A few minutes later, she woke up and looked at […]

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For the past three years, right around Valentine’s Day, someone I’ve known, loved, or admired has died. I began to wonder if this was all a strange coincidence, or worse, a cruel joke that the Universe was playing. How thick the irony, that so close to the day of love, such heartache and loss could […]

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