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?
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.