Category Archives: Sad Times

Rising Above Negative Messages and Criticism

Light escape

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

~ David Brinkley

Most of us have heard the childhood chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

The words of others do sting at times though.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I hear negative messages or critical remarks from other people and I take it to heart.

Believing the wrong messages from others or yourself can ruin your day.

Or your life.

Other People’s Opinions

The opinions of other people are just that – their opinions.

There is no reason for you to believe negative messages from other people. They don’t know everything, and they don’t know more than you.

Motivational speaker Les Brown was given the label “educable mentally retarded” at a young age. But a person crossed his path who changed his life and taught him a very important lesson – that he didn’t have to believe that message.

He could choose to believe in himself whether or not others believed with him.

As Les says, “Don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.”

Learning that lesson allowed Les Brown to transform himself from a young man that some thought of as slow to a very successful motivational speaker, writer and former politician. These are goals he would not have accomplished if he had believed the opinions of those who didn’t see the greatness and tremendous potential in him.

There is greatness and potential in you as well. It’s time to shrug off anyone who tells you anything else.

Hold your head up. You can rise about criticism and negativity.

Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by what happens to be me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Believing the Right Things

The thing is, we all choose what messages we choose to focus on.

If someone tells you that you are unintelligent or ugly or too fat or too clumsy or too anything at all….so what?

It’s only their opinion.

You can have a different opinion. You can believe that you are someone who is unique and special, someone who has plenty to offer the world.

No matter what anyone else says.

Throughout your life, some people will be in your corner and some won’t.

Each time someone says something negative, critical or discouraging about you, it’s like you are standing at a fork in the road. You can choose to listen and be bothered by it. Or not.

The late Muhammed Ali said, “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

What a great way to approach life.

It’s time to expect the best of ourselves and the universe.

If people throw negativity your way, hang onto the positive, wherever you can find it.

Let your light shine.

25 Thoughts to Lift You Up on Gloomy Days

Water Autumn RipplesSome days it feels like it doesn’t pay to get out of bed. You may start the day by arguing with your spouse or your kids, or your car won’t start. A passing motorist may cut you off or express hostility toward you for no apparent reason.

Let’s face it. Not every day can be a good day. When you’re feeling down, reading a few uplifting quotes can help to lift you up.

Overcoming adversity starts with changing your thoughts. Take a deep breath. Better days are coming.

Focus on uplifting thoughts such as these:

“Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you got a bad life.        ”

                                                      ~ Author Unknown

“Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.”

                                                        ~ Hugh Miller

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

                                                         ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.”

                                                          ~ Robert H. Schuller

“Let us be of cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those that never come.”

                                                           ~ Amy Lowell

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.”

                                                           ~ Sigmund Wollman

“People are resilient. After all, every person born has recovered from nine months on life support.”

                                                          ~ Robert Brault

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

                                                         ~ Maya Angelou

“Every flower must grow through dirt.”

                                                        ~ Laurie Jean Sennott

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

                                                       ~ Napoleon Hill

“I am one of those people who just can’t help getting a kick out of life – even when it’s a kick in the teeth.”

                                                       ~ Polly Adler

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.”

                                                    ~ Author Unknown

“By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s I mean.”

                                                  ~ Mark Twain

“No one really has a bad life. Not even a bad day. Just bad moments.”

                                                   ~ Regina Brett

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

                                                     ~ Albert Einstein

“There’s nothing wrong or evil about having a bad day. There’s everything wrong with making others have to have it…with you.”

                                                    ~ Neil Cavuto

“Difficulties strengthen the mind as labor does the body.”

                                                      ~ Seneca

“Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.”

                                                        ~ Og Mandino

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

                                                     ~ Barbara de Angelis

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it…. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

                                                       ~ Eckhart Tolle

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

                                                      ~ Samuel Beckett

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

                                                      ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Your highest self is revealed in your lowest moments.”

                                                    ~ Matshona Dhiliway

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

                                                      ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful Strive to be happy.”

                                                      ~Max Ehrmann

 What are your favorite uplifting quotes? I invite you to share them in the comments.

Break the Habit of Worrying

 “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

Worry. Can you think of anything that burns up so much of your life for no real purpose?

I admit I can be a worrywart myself. For example, if one of my daughters is late coming home, I may start to imagine that she has been in a car accident or that some other catastrophe has happened.

It’s silly, and I’m very conscious of that silliness.

I’ve been working on breaking the habit of worrying. So much of what I worry about hasn’t happened and isn’t ever going to. I know I’m not alone in having this bad habit.

Can you relate? How much of your unhappiness is caused by the habit of worrying? Of all the ways you can spend your time, worrying is one of the least productive.

Worrying is a sense of uneasiness, often accompanied by imagining or expecting the worst. When you are worrying, you think that something bad may be about to happen. Your mind continually returns to a dreadful, imagined scenario in your mind, and you can’t seem to let it go. You might stay stuck, completely focused on this figment of your imagination. Your thinking might become obsessive and intense.

As Erma Bombeck said, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

Why Worrying is so Bad for You

 A sense of impending doom can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. When you are caught up in worrisome thoughts, your anxiety level rises. You may feel threatened and out of control. When others tell you to snap out of it, you don’t feel any better. In fact, the more you’re told not to worry, the more worried you may feel.

If you worry frequently, the hours you spend worrying are being wasted rather than being spent on something more productive. But that’s only a small part of the reason worrying is bad for you. You may feel so anxious that you may turn to medication, alcohol, cigarettes or food.

Some people are so consumed with irrational thoughts that they are unable to focus on their job or other responsibilities. Worrying and anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as headaches or muscle tension. It can even lead to dizziness or a fast heartbeat. It can make you a lot less productive.

Replace Worrying with Better Habits

It’s clear that spending a lot of time worrying about things that may not happen, or things that are inevitable that you can’t change isn’t doing you any good and doesn’t lead to a happy life.

Use the energy and increased alertness you feel to do something productive. Scrub your kitchen, weed the garden, walk around the block. Work out with weights or do any form of exercise.

Worrying about something far in the future is wasting the gift of this present moment. Bring back your focus onto today. Try to picture a positive outcome rather than a negative one.

In life there are things you can control and things you can’t. While you may not be able to eliminate the worrying habit completely, you may be able to reduce the time you spend worrying. Try telling yourself that you are only allowed to worry for five or ten minutes and then you are going to have to do something else.

As Mark Twain said, “Drag your thoughts away from your troubles….by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

Worrying often makes things look worse than they are. You might not be able to simply tell yourself to stop worrying, but see if you can replace the habit of worrying with something better.

John Lubbock said, “A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work.”

Let’s find something better to do.

Spreading Happiness When We’re Feeling Sad

Broken Flowers
“The greatest gift we give to someone who loves us is simply to be happy.”
~ Robert Brault

Some days it’s easier to be happy than other days. We suffer disappointment and loss and it shows all over our faces.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have our way all the time? In a perfect world, we would always have plenty of money and be surrounded by love. We would be free of aches and pains and have no memory of hurts or disappointments. All the traffic lights would be green. It would never be cloudy or rainy or too hot or too cold. Cars would never break down, strangers would never be rude. There would be no illness or death or unemployment. We wouldn’t have to be afraid of not getting what we wanted.

It’s not a perfect world.

When we choose to dwell on what isn’t perfect in life, we allow our inner peace and contentment to slip away. Worse than that, when we carry an aura of gloominess or sadness, our negative energy quickly spreads to others. Frowns can be as contagious as yawns to everyone we run into, including strangers and those we love the most.

When people we love see us frowning or scowling, it may be hard for them to hang onto their own good mood. Suddenly their smiles become frowns too.

Hanging onto what is good

Life is like an hourglass and the sands are slipping through imperceptibly. In spite of today’s imperfections, there is still plenty to be happy about in this one day.

What is good in your life today? Did you have the opportunity to listen to your favorite song or to walk through the park? Did you enjoy a good meal or get a hug from a child?

Hang onto what’s good.

And remember to smile.

When our hearts feel wounded or sad, we can remind ourselves that the people we love need to see our strength and courage. Even if we feel gloomy, we can practice pretending to be happy.

Can you find the strength to smile at a dozen strangers today?

Can you bring some positive energy the people who love you?

Sometimes pretending to be cheerful can make us feel a little more cheerful.

Whatever bad times we are experiencing, they are temporary. They aren’t the end of the world.

Better days are coming. And everything is going to be ok.


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Why Be Sad When It Rains?

rain on water “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Years ago, the Carpenters sang a song called “Rainy Days and Mondays.” In this song, Karen Carpenter crooned “rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”

Does it really have to be that way? Do we have to feel down just because it’s raining?

To some, rain brings with it a sense of dreariness and sadness. Everything appears gray. People want to curl up indoors and avoid getting wet.

My dog, at six years old, still tries to avoid going out in the rain. My teenage daughter on the other hand, loves rain. Nothing makes her giggle so much as going outside, turning her face to the downpour and getting soaked.

To her, gray is beautiful.

Which brings us back to the #1 rule of learning happiness.

The old cliché states that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Likewise, joy and happiness are reactions you choose, no matter what your circumstances.

Just because it’s raining – or it’s Monday – doesn’t mean you have to have a bad day. It doesn’t mean you have to revel in sadness or grumpiness or even anger.

Without rain, the grass turns brown. The ponds dry up. The fish die.

Without rain there are no rainbows.

Some people don’t get reactive to rainy days until there are several of them in a row. Then they start to get caught up in the sense that it shouldn’t be raining anymore.

But the truth is that everything is the way it’s supposed to be.

Life is full of beauty and perfection.

Rain has its own beauty. The smell of rain is the scent of the earth and air being cleansed. If you close your eyes and listen to the drumlike patter of the rain on the roof, the sound is very soothing.

Everything is as it should be.

The rain will pass.

Let it rain.

Joy and Lessons Within Loss

Smile“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

                                                                                    ~ Dr. Seuss

Life is full of losses, and losses can be painful. Most of us have experienced the loss of someone or something that was important to us at some point in our lives. Some losses are more crippling than others, such as devastation from a tornado or hurricane or the loss of someone very close to us, or maybe the loss of our own health.

But inside every loss is the memory of a happier time, and the memory of those times is a gift, in spite of the loss. And inside every loss is the closing of one door so another can open.

The memory of whatever moments of joy we have experienced should be savored and cherished. Losing someone or something doesn’t need to tarnish the memories.

Just because something is temporary doesn’t make it bad.

Losses are painful but we are still alive – so we must look for the lesson in the loss.

As we go through our lives, some losses are inevitable, such as the loss of our childhood. When we choose a career path, we may be closing the door to other career choices.

Many of us experience the loss of our parents or grandparents, or maybe a cherished pet. We watch our children grow up and move out. We may lose possessions such as a totaled car, or we may experience loss from a fire or storm.

In the end, all of life is temporary, and that makes it so important to learn to embrace today.

We can smile in the midst of loss. We can remember the good times and trust there will be other good times.

As Sufi Epigram said, “When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left.”

photo by: Moyan_Brenn