Yesterday evening my soon to be teenager (!) had a bit of a melt-down. She had gotten a haircut the day before and suddenly had a pang of regret. “It is too short, I can’t make any hair-do now, I look so ugly, etc”. First, I tried to calm her, tell her that it is really pretty and that it looks great (it really does!). Didn’t help. Then I tried to rationalize with her, trying to put things into perspective, there are children out there who doesn’t have clothes, food, parents and your biggest problem is your haircut. Didn’t help. Then I lost my patience and told her to go to sleep and that I really don’t want to hear about it anymore. Didn’t help at all.
Finally, I told her we have two options; either we can dwell on how terrible is it and sit down to cry together (this got a laugh!) or we can deal with it, get used to it and either get to actually like it or if not, be comforted in the fact that it will grow again. Helped a little.
The thing is that in most things that we do, we have an option of how to look at it. We can focus on everything that we don’t have or that we think that is missing in our lives in order to make us happy. Or we can focus on all the good and all of the things that we already have, to be happy and grateful for that. In my opinion, the second approach tend to save us a great deal of grief, energy and money.
And the thing is that proportion is often key. Things are almost never as bad as they seem and we often do not need a lot, or anything at all, to make them better, especially when we are talking about a 3-centimetre haircut that no one noticed anyway… ?