Chip on the Shoulder?

imageOne of the themes that has been around in this time of niggles & headaches is about that chip on the shoulder that we sometimes carry. It’s a belief in ‘life is hard’. This can easily follow on to believing that ‘no one has had it harder than me’. The underlying feelings associated with this belief are lack, misery and self-pity. One of the difficulties with believing in ‘money’ as a real thing is we accept structures built around an idea that we have to earn our way through life. If we don’t ‘earn’ then we are undeserving and if we don’t earn enough(whatever that may mean) we are also going to struggle for whatever we feel we need. We look around and compare ourselves and what we have with other people. Funnily enough we never look at those who might appear to have less. We always make our comparisons with those who have more!

Over time we start to build a chip of resentment. Constant comparison leads to competitions that we sometimes fail to win. The chip gets a little bigger every time. We keep comparing. We start to tell ourselves that life is so hard it’s impossible to win. Eventually we are thoroughly miserable with this hard life. Enough to start to tell ourselves that no one else is suffering in the same way. It’s like the only competition we want to win is having the toughest, most challenging of times. Finally, the chip has got so big we feel obliged to sabotage our lives. We turn into moaning Minnie’s ready to twist even the good stuff into a negative energy. Our world view is fixed. We become hard to be around or to listen to. We pay little attention to anyone else’s challenges or issues. We stop connecting with people and we find ourselves alone in a grim world. Life has become very hard indeed.

You might recognise periods of your life in that description. Or recognise people around you who are like that. Sometimes it is a person or people who are really close – a partner, a family member, a colleague. They carry their chip with pride. No matter how optimistic you are being they fight against seeing any good in the world. It is wearying to be around them but we love them, we want the best for them and fight long & hard to rescue them from their misery. Until it finally dawns on us that no matter what we do they want to stay in that life is hard place. They want to believe that they are having the hardest time. We feel sad on their behalf, frustrated that they seem stuck and deflated because nothing seems to help. Often we have to walk away from the chip on the shoulder people in our lives. We have no more options to offer, energy to give or patience to keep listening to their world view.

Why would anyone want to live like that? It’s a question I put to my Guides when I started to recognise the chip type. I was surprised by their reply. The gently reminded me that before I came here to be human I sat around the planning table with those very same spirit people and agreed to be part of their journey just as they agreed to be part of mine. For their own evolution they wanted to experience a life with little or no hope or optimism. They agreed to be with me so I could see the impact of that kind of life choice. They also wanted to offer me a choice too. It’s easy to let a chip build up. Resentment and bitterness are the building blocks along with envy, jealousy and anger. Every day we  encounter situations and people whom we judge. We make comparisons and we decide who we are based on those comparisons. The chip on the shoulder people give us a clear example of what happens if we immerse ourselves in our judgements of others. They are a clear sign of what happens when hope and optimism die. When our dreams are extinguished. When we refuse to believe in ourselves and life any more.

It was a sobering thought. How many times had I carried a chip on my shoulders? More than once they replied. There is the challenge. Recognising the chip is there (or even more than one!) and taking action within yourself to remove it. Being clear about focusing as much as possible on the positive side of life. Converting from a pessimist into an optimist. I do believe that there is a personality tendency to be more one that the other. What matters is how you recognise your inate tendency and work to make sure you are focused on hope. I came in as an optimist but have certainly drifted in and out of being pessimistic. The chip on the shoulder people have been part of the choices I’ve made. We can all be influenced by others for many reasons. Recognising that carrying a chip certainly does make for a hard life we can look for those around us who remain cheerful, positive and ready to face the future with a smile.

Taking it one day at a time pay attention to your beliefs. Make sure that you are open to a day of positivity. If you find yourself thinking or feeling life is hard check for the chip on your shoulder. Turn your attention to all you hope for no matter how small that ray of hope seems. Keep optimistic and life will be easier than you could ever imagine.

Day 202 of my blogging challenge.

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