My favorite color is orange, so you can imagine how this time of year brings me so much joy with all Of the fields of orange deliciousness appearing, as pumpkin patches spring up throughout our neighborhoods!
I love pumpkins. I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin flavored anything sets my taste buds all a flutter and generally Sends me into a tailspin of geeking out over everything to do with the holidays.
That being said, despite the gorgeous patches of orange, the heart-warming jack-o-lanterns that the kids carve, the autumn displays of beautiful gourds and squashes, and the delectable seasonal eats, sometimes you just find a rotten pumpkin that if you aren’t careful could turn your stomach and turn you off to pumpkins altogether.
I think people can be a lot like pumpkins. We all know there are some people who, no matter how hard we try to not let them affect us, can sometimes inject their “rotten pumpkin” personality into what was otherwise a lovely day. Maybe it’s a co-worker who’s always complaining, or that one person in your social circle who always seems to have the latest gossip and something unpleasant to say about someone or something, or even worse; maybe it’s a relative that just gets under your skin!
We try to fake a smile, or laugh their mean-spirited behavior off, but on the inside we are cringing and our skin begins to crawl as we plan our quickest exit strategy.
I am happy to tell you that I have good news that can help you deal with those rotten pumpkin moments in your life without driving yourself crazy and without having any explosive encounters with the object of your frustration.
Firstly, one of my favorite quotes by Mahatma Gandhi says “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” In other words, if you want to see less stress, gossip, or negative energy in your life you only have one thing to change and that’s your perception. When that person starts to introduce their rotten-ness into your existence simply decide to change your mind. I have a mantra that I say out loud in situations that seem to be hopeless and that is “I am willing to see this differently.”
Sometimes simply deciding to shift your perception of the situation is enough to change the negative to a positive. Perhaps by seeing the person who would usually get on your last nerve as someone who has their own life problems and may be overcompensating for them, you can have compassion instead of anger and see with more loving eyes the entire circumstance.
Another quote that I love is by John F Kennedy and it says “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Let’s face it, No matter how much we complain about the things that we don’t like in our life, it isn’t going to change the situation. The only thing that we do have control over is our own thoughts and actions. If we continue to complain about that person who makes us crazy with their negative behavior, all we are really doing is feeding into the negativity we perceive and adding more negative energy by our own moaning! Instead, if we decide to “light our own candle” and shed our own light, maybe that would be enough to raise the general vibration of the conversation and turn a complaining-fest into a really pleasant, uplifting, and meaningful dialogue.
And finally, usually when there is something about someone who is rubbing us the wrong way it is almost always a divine appointment that is mirroring back something about ourselves that we haven’t come to terms with emotionally. So, I would suggest asking yourself what you can learn from this experience …what lesson could this encounter bring to you? If you can look at the situation as a learning experience it opens up an opportunity for you to experience personal growth thereby bringing more light, love, and happiness into your life and the lives of those around you. One of my favorite authors Gabrielle Bernstein says “The Universe is our classroom, and when we accept our role as the happy learner, life gets really groovy”. I love the idea that if we look at a challenging encounter with someones’ “rotten pumpkin” personality as an opportunity to learn and grow we immediately move from our role as victim to victor because as long as we can take something good away from any situation we have a reason to be grateful, and gratitude sets us in a place to attract more experiences to be grateful for.
So next time you find yourself happily exploring the pumpkins of your day to day life and you find a rotten pumpkin, remember to be willing to change your perception, light your inner candle, and ask what lesson you can learn from the circumstance. When we begin to take responsibility for our own happiness our lives truly can be very, very groovy!=