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I thought that I would share that I had a very good day with my mom on “our day” this week. She was in a great mood (wow), and I could not believe at the end of the day, how much better I felt, because she wasn’t grumpy! I didn’t feel so exhausted when I got home. My emotions were not all over the place.

I have been working for awhile on not letting myself be pulled into someone else’s negative emotions, but it is very difficult. I seem to be greatly affected by the mood of those I am around. It is so easy to take on depression, or sadness, or a bad attitude. One of the hardest things to do is to remain positive, when you are around someone who is very negative. It is extremely easy to find yourself taking on their emotions.

With my mom, I have tried to empathize with her moods, or any pain she might be having, but still not let her bring me down. Some days it works, and some days it doesn’t. But it is something to be aware of.

I am also learning that I can’t make someone else happy. Particularly when dealing with my mom, I have felt as though it is my responsibility to see that she is happy, but it’s not possible. Each person is responsible for their own happiness. I believe joy starts on the inside, and most days it is a choice, pure and simple. The challenge is to find a way to remain stable, while being around an unhappy person. Believe me, it is not easy, particularly if you have to be with them for long periods of time.

If you are with someone that you can walk away from, it might be a good idea to go and do something else, until they have a change of attitude. I can’t do that in my situation, but I will sometimes try to change the conversation, or suggest that we do something else.

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons that I have learned in counseling, is that I cannot make my mom happy, and I can’t give her immortality-though I would love to do both. When I fully realize those things, then I am relieved of a lot of pressure that I put on myself. And aren’t we really our own worst enemies? I have always been a people pleaser-trying so hard to make everyone happy, and sometimes losing my own happiness in the process. Can you relate?

At the end of the day, I know that I am doing everything I possibly can to make my mom’s life better, and to see that she is properly taken care of. I feel peace about those things, and that is all I can do.

But since we had such a nice day together on Wednesday, I told her that I would come over on Sunday afternoon and take her to the craft store, eat supper together, and then take down her Christmas decorations. She seemed to like that suggestion, so hopefully, we’ll have another good day.

The lesson here is a good one for all of us. Try not to let other people’s gloominess and discouragement make you feel that way also. If you can’t walk away, take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and keep smiling…

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