Are We Hardwired for Misery? A New Year's Resolution - DreamsCo

During my holiday vacation, I returned to my grandmother's house to find my mother broken-hearted and near tears. Unfortunately, during this holiday season, I knew this moment would come. I had hoped that this visit we would be spared this particular holiday tradition, but alas no such luck. Family drama struck its deadly blow right across my mother's cheek and ricocheted to slap me in the face with its mighty swing. Another trip home where my mother and I curled together in the sadness of our loss. Without going into details, the drama's outcome was that I didn't see my niece's angelic smile that lights my world with giggles. Her silly stories weren't told while she sat on my lap. I didn't get to see her eyes sparkle when she opened the pendant I bought her.

It didn't have to be this way, but it was.

It made me think about how much time people spend harboring stupid vendettas, re-telling how they've been hurt, and living the pain of the past. As I walked through stores and stopped at the coffee shop, I saw the stress in people's faces. While visiting friends, I heard the stories of heartache experienced during the year. I turned on the television to the news broadcasting world horrors.

Why is life painful and why do we harbor the hurt? Are we hard-wired to seek negativity?

As I retold the family drama, venting my frustration and hurt over and over to anyone who would listen, I pondered the fact that I was letting this stress overtake my vacation. It shadowed my holiday spirit. I carried the torch of someone's drama and gave it power. No matter how much I wanted to stop, I didn't seem able.

It was supposed to be the season of peace and love - a time of forgiveness and the celebration of family and friendship. Yet for many it was filled with stress, drama, and life falling short of expectations. Why?

I don't have answers. I'm beginning to lose my faith that mankind is filled with goodness. I'm beginning to believe that people enjoy their drama more than happiness.

I don't want to be one of these people. I want to love life with every cell in my body. I want to cherish all that is good from the crunchy white snow on the ground to the yummy peppermint hot chocolate I'm drinking while writing this.

I've realized this journey of going after my 101 dreams come true is more about learning to live from joy, fascination, and wonder than it is about accomplishing a list of dreams. This journey is about changing my hard-wiring to focus on happiness instead of misery. I think I might have a long way to go before I stop getting caught in the updraft of the soap operas around me, but this year its my New Year's resolution.