Keep Smilin’ with Rosie Preston – The art of turning pain into gain

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By Rosie Preston

I learned the hard way how to handle painful situations since for many years I was the biggest cry baby ever. It was only after I hit my late 30s when I started to get tough and not let what people said hurt my feelings. Most people seemed stronger, but I was almost always on the very brim of tears, as if expecting such situations.
Several such situations happened when I worked with a company whose employees did not show much positive attitude. One person was working as a director at a daycare center, while another was at an exercise spa for ladies. I was shocked and surprised, because I went in with the expectations that I was going to love the job or the classes I would be directing. Instead, I was met with cold shoulders. But I pushed through and I stayed. Because I learned the workplace was a place to act in a professional manner and not a place to make new friends, I turned this pain into gain.
So, my advice is to learn those lessons early and to teach your children to believe in themselves. If it happens at an early age, it will be helpful for them in future situations. If I could give my grandchildren and great-grandchildren a word of advice, it would be to always be kind but don’t expect someone to repay you with the same attitude. Also, learn to know within your heart and soul that any negative person does not define you.
I recently had a negative situation with a person who was employed by a service where I had to return a package. A lady at the front desk would not believe me when I explained that I had not opened said package. I admit that I was not quick on my feet. I later realized that I could have just walked away instead of paying the return $25 shipping fee. After she took my box, I asked for her knife. Then I took the top of the box, cut it with the knife, and said, “Now it’s been opened.” I take someone not believing me as a personal insult
Earlier this week, I went to the same business in a different location to return another box. The lady asked if I had opened it and I replied that I had not. Politely, she took my box. I was prepared to take an oath if I had to call a supervisor.
What makes a good day turn into one where you find yourself scratching your head and wondering what this world is coming to? Moreover, how do you tell your loved ones that it is a fact of life. Most of all, how do you prepare them? A part of me that I usually never let show is anger building inside me. If you’ve encountered a negative person, it’s easier to let it go and walk away instead of experiencing mental anguish. You can always wish them well from a distance. It is not healthy to hold uncomfortable emotions inside, as it can cause harm to our mental and physical health.
Many years ago, I found myself in a situation working with a lady who previously expressed to me in several ways that she was going to be hard to get along with. During one particular day, she said something that cut like a knife. Some nights I found myself reliving every hurtful moment of that encounter, but I finally imagined myself putting that pain into a huge fireball and throwing it to the heavens, asking God to take the sadness from me. Guess what? After several weeks, it worked.
That strategy is still something I use on the days when I do not wish to keep such pain. I lift my arms to the heavens and ask God to take it from me. We could choose not to hold a grudge or choose to have ill feelings. Oftentimes, something has been repeated to me that went down from person to person just like the childhood game – gossip. We would sit in a circle and whisper something in each other’s ear, and as we got to the end of the circle, the outcome was very different than what was originally said.
It is true that despite the fact that you thought they was going to last forever, friendships end. Many times, something has been repeated that is not even true. These types of situations can and do happen with family or neighbors. Recall the story behind the Hatfields and the McCoys, neighbors in the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia, who could not get along through three or four generations.
In my life, I continue to stay in touch with fun and positive people. There are several people with whom I can laugh with when we talk on the phone. One new friend lives near Huntsville, and her son dates my granddaughter. We will not be talking but about five minutes when we are laughing so hard. Her name is Stacy, and we hit it off like we had known each other forever. When my granddaughter asks me what we find so amusing, I assure her that it is not about her! To find a new friend at this age is wonderful!
Where would we be without pain? We would certainly not know how to define its opposite, which is love, forgiveness, and kindness. In asking the question of how to handle pain, I can truthfully say that sometimes circumstances happen that will take a very long time to process and involves some kind of loss. But don’t give up hope!
This is where prayer is valuable. Pray for the individual and pray for God to give you the strength, willpower and determination to get through it.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Keep smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at rosie.preston@yahoo.com.

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