Sep 13, 2020
One of my favorite singer/songwriters is Mary Chapin Carpenter. I’ve been hooked since her 1992 hit “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”.
There’s always a line or two in each of her songs that makes me either laugh or cry. The lines in that song that always made me cry: “For 15 years she had a job and not one raise in pay. Now she’s in the typing pool at minimum wage.” I was newly engaged and then newly married and not even sure what she meant exactly, but the way MCC sang “MIN-I-MUM WAAAAGGE”, I could just tell that woman in the song was hurting.
These days, 28 years later, when I’m working in my kitchen I ask Alexa to shuffle songs by MCC. One I heard recently that I wasn’t very familiar with yet had a line that made me laugh right out loud: “Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug.”
Man, do I feel like a BUG sometimes!
There’s this principle in scripture that I love; It says “It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (Book of Mormon, 2 NE 2:11) Another good one: “If they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:39).
I find that opposition everywhere: Day and Night, Hot and Cold, Happy and Sad, Connection and Loneliness, Birth and Death. One the had me stumped for a while: Mosquitos. I could easily see the negative side – but what was the positive side of mosquitos?? The only thing I’ve been able to come up with? Food for bats.
Anyway, Before I decided to become a Life Coach I followed a couple of podcasts produced by Life Coaches Jody Moore and Brooke Castillo. I heard both of them talk about the idea that life is 50/50. Meaning 50% positive and 50% negative. I was immediately on board.
Up until that point I thought I understood opposition pretty well. But this idea of just expecting life to be 50% negative was mind blowing. I had been going through life thinking that anytime it was difficult, something had gone wrong. But that wasn’t necessarily true. I was just in the 50% negative part.
We can of course act in ways that propel us into the 50% negative, or perhaps make life more like 75% negative. But I’ll save that for another post.
Accepting the negative side of life, actually INCREASES the likelihood of feeling happy! Crazy huh? That’s because when we’re no longer afraid of and avoiding that side of life, it’s not as painful. When we’re not in pain we tend to be happier.
The last lines of The Bug chorus say it perfectly; “Sometimes it all comes together, Sometimes you’re gonna lose it all.”
Either way, consider nothing’s actually gone wrong.
P.S. This principle of 50/50 is just one of the amazing tools I use as a Life Coach. I offer a free 45 minute session in which together we can find out if coaching could help you in the areas of your life you just feel stuck. If you are a Caregiver, you may be experiencing an additional layer of frustration. I’m here to help. Click the link below to schedule your free session!