“What’s for ya won’t pass ya“. Whether you made a pig’s ear of your Leaving Cert, you failed an interview or your boyfriend has just given you your P45, it’s all part of a bigger plan for your future. Try to remember a time where you were disappointed in the past and you will most likely reflect on the event with the opinion that you dodged a bullet. I like to think of my college boyfriend…A cheating toe rag from Kerry who dumped me like a turd in a toilet when I was 20. At the time I thought my life couldn’t go on without the fecker. I went into proper ‘Fatal Attraction’ mode and thought I’d spent the rest of my days pursuing him but after the 2nd arrest and barring order I kind of got over it (KIDDING…about the arrests and order that is). I can’t even contemplate how awful my life would have panned out had we stayed together. I imagine there would have been an inexplicable case of herpes and a lot of little Kerry people coming to our door wanting to meet their Daddy. Nightmare! Thankfully that rotten yolk was not for me and is well past me at this stage.
“Don’t tell me what they said about me. Tell me why they were so comfortable saying it to you“.
People who crawl to you with stories about negative things people said about you should be immediately red flagged in your mind. People don’t trash talk unless it is in the context of a conversation. There might be some exceptions (like if you have just gotten to know the informant and they explain that they were anxious about befriending you because they had heard something false about you) but generally your enemies are sensible enough not to talk shite about you to your established friends unless your friend gave them an opening to do so. Be aware of these #shadyfeckers. They are what West Corkers refer to as ‘shhhnakes’.
“Laughter is the best medicine”
Maybe you have just gotten a giant bill through or the bank vultures have all debited your account condemning you to a diet of canned and preserved foods from the back arse of your cupboard until pay day. Are you being harassed by a mentally unstable neighbour? This might appear more of a tragedy than a comedy but i assure you there is a giggle to be found in every situation. I like to make video clips for my friends where I communicate my trauma while the camera angle takes in my double chin and the snot in my nose. If you have seen ‘The Blair Witch Project’ you will be familiar with my editorial style. When a local lady who hates me tried to eyeball me through her car window yesterday, I tried to hold her stare in the hope that she might lose concentration and clip her wing mirror off something…Even imagining it was a hoot. Would life be easier if I wasn’t occasionally pauperised and the victim of a drive by stink eye? Maybe, but I have no control over that so it’s easier to take ownership of my reaction. Laughter is always the best reaction…Unless you are at a bedside vigil or a burial. People get very touchy in these situations.
“Please yourself and then at least you know someone is happy“.
My own mammy lives by this. Depressed people were depressed before you showed up. Even if someone casts blame on you temporarily, when it seems you have done nothing to provoke it, they will change their mind when they are in a better head space. You just have to be patient and understanding. There is no positive outcome to you martyring yourself for their cause. You might just come across as a condescending ‘do gooder’ if you assume that you are the miraculous cure to all the issues that they have spent years battling and you will end up being taken advantage of or resenting the fact that they don’t appreciate you enough. You can have empathy without sacrificing yourself and you aren’t going to make anyone happy through your own suffering. Some people are unintentionally toxic and convince you that you can but they aren’t thinking straight. Friends who only contact you to know if you can do them some sort of favour but offer you nothing in return are a waste of your precious life. My husband and I assessed a relationship we had with someone who only called or texted to ask us for help with stuff and we were aware of the fact that if there was any delay in our response, she would complain about us to the group she was in charge of in spite of all our efforts to accommodate her. We decided we would genuinely wish her well in all of her endeavours and really mean it but that we needed to focus our time on our pursuits because then at least we knew someone would be pleased. As much as we admire the person, it kind of felt like nothing would ever be enough. Until she wins that battle with herself, our efforts are pointless. You can be supportive without giving up your own joy. Keep a check on your relationships and make sure you are pleasing yourself first. No point in everyone being miserable. It’s a bit like oxygen masks in a plane crash. You can’t save other people until you have tended to yourself.
“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you hadn’t learnt yet”
Everyone is entitled to mess every possible situation up once. Your first time being unfaithful, doing drugs, getting sacked, losing your kids in the supermarket, divorce, committing a crime (bar murder…you should never murder someone…That’s always very rude), hurting a friend, and so on and so on. Until we have a reference point, it is bloody hard to know what not to do. You almost need to experience the negative consequences before you learn. When children slap their sibling, we don’t get really angry until after we explain that it is unacceptable and they are still walloping him or her. Sometimes we are adults before we make a specific boo boo for the first time so we haven’t been conditioned not to do it yet. There are some uniquely disciplined people in the world who rarely veer off course but for the rest of us wayward mortals, we need to learn first. It’s hard when you are at the wrong end of someone’s mistake but unless you have a squeaky clean report card you probably need to make like Elsa and ‘Let it Go’. Do yourself a massive favour and forgive yourself as well as everyone else. Once you accept responsibility and say you”re sorry, whether the other party forgives you or not should be an argument they have with themselves. You need to offload the guilt with the apology and move on. It’s not going to change what you did in the past and it’s only going to be an obstacle in your future.
They are the top 5 mammy sayings that have kept my head happy and I have shared with clients over the years.
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