The quest for happiness is never ending. There are endless ways to achieve a life of contentment and joy. One of those ways is to learn and accept that the ball is always, always in your court.
When I put it like that, without any context, the phrase seems almost too good to be true. But that’s because it is too good to be true. In life, we all want things to go a certain way. More specifically, we want it to go our way – our career, health, friends and family and anything else that matters to us.
But as we all know, life isn’t that easy. We can try our hardest to navigate the world so that the pieces of life fall neatly into place for us. But unfortunately, there will be some pieces that’ll stack up where you don’t want it to go… or perhaps some parts won’t fit perfectly together. There are so many things in life that are out of our control.
When things don’t go our way or live up to our expectations, we can feel an array of negative emotions. We can feel hurt, upset, disappointed, angry and sad. We think back and wish that it could’ve gone another way. In our emotional angst and desperation for the situation to have another outcome, we undergo a cycle of self-depreciation and negative thinking.
But it is important to remember that, while we couldn’t control what happened, we can control our response to it. The ball is always in our court after the initial serve and what we do with it is the crucial set point.
For many of us, we cling onto the negative emotions. We harbour the negative energy of what had just happened. Our mind is bathed in feelings of anger, sadness, betrayal, jealousy and hurt. We hold onto these feelings even though time has passed and the other person has seemingly moved on. What we’re doing is nothing but hurting ourselves.
So when we start letting go of these ties to the past and start accept the present moment, we can really take the reins of our life. We can choose to respond positively, choose to move on and relish in the freedom and happiness that ensues.
In saying that, it is important to allow your body and mind to process the negative emotions. It’s healthy and necessary to form a natural resistance to something that doesn’t go our way. But we should also learn to welcome forgiveness and letting go of it once it has passed.