Mornings are the worst.
It usually goes like this:
My alarm goes off somewhere around eight o'clock, around which time the cats realize I'm awake and commence with a spit facial. It's a good fifteen minutes before I can will my body out of bed, and in those fifteen minutes, I've already developed the arsenal needed to make today The Worst Day Ever.
Some of the most common thoughts are of how there's always too much to do, and why bother? It doesn't matter anyway. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still grump-inducing.
But there's always one or two jabs in there that can make or break my day if I let it. Typically these revolve around that handful of people who--it never fails--really tick me off.
You know the type. You have them, too. We all do. Those people who, for whatever reason, you just don't like them.
And not only do you not like them, you can't stand them. The loathing is like a poison oak rash on your soul--even when they're not around, doing things to irritate you, you have that constant itch to seek them out, so you can get that hate fix you've been craving.
I write that, and it sounds horrible. And it is horrible. But that's how I feel sometimes. It's not personal--in some cases, I don't even know them. And while one or two have gone out of their way to make their mutual loathing known, the rest don't even know I exist.
It's no different than hating on Taylor Swift because she wrote the wrong kind of song, or hating on Beyonce, because…well, you don't know why, you just know you really don't like her.
And first thing in the morning, when I'm already a crankified, surly thing, it's hard not to give into that hate itch. To look some of these people up, or say mean things about them, or even spend a few moments fantasizing about how one day They Will Get Theirs.
But if I do? There goes my day. Not only that, there goes any shot I have at being kind to someone.
Because when you're preoccupied with hate, that's all you can see.
So now when those thoughts creep into my morning routine, I shut them up the best way I know how:
By making a list of kind things, positive things, I've seen in those people.
Because it isn't always the other person who has the problem. Sometimes the poison stems from how you choose to see them.
And by choosing to see the best in people, even when you really don't want to, you'll learn to see the best in yourself, too.
Which is all hate is about, I think--seeing the things you dislike about yourself reflected in other people.
What are some things you do to keep yourself from sinking into the quicksand of negative thoughts?