Why I Prefer to Drink the Kool Aid Over Haterade Any Day

I just heard a quote from Brene Brown today: “I’ll never know whether people are doing the best they can or not, but when I assume they are, that makes my life better.”

It was right around age 30 when I chose to no longer give anyone else my power (essentially what happens when we view others as taking something away from us, or ruining our day, or life, for that matter.

Most disdain is, in fact, based on ignorance: that guy who cut us off, that inconsiderate woman, those rambunctious kids.

We judge based off assumption, past experiences, ingrained beliefs.

Sure, we need our judgement to keep us safe when we’re in harm’s way.

But that lady in the grocery store who actually didn’t see me, whether she missed the sincere apology or not, isn’t planning an attack.

I have two choices:

Get fired up and make a scene, if not outwardly than inwardly, and I’ll be sure to tell my friends/mom/sister later.

Or … Give the lady the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she has a sick kid at home, or she’s taking care of her mom. Or maybe she’s a company mogul and has a lot on her plate. Besides, she barely hit my cart.

Writing it all out, it seems obvious we would choose choice B, but we don’t.

Time and time again, I have conversations with people where they are complaining about people that mean little to nothing to them.

I’m always so confused, until I remember back when I used to give others my power too. I get it.

It’s something to fill the space. We bitch. We moan. It’s what we do.

Well, bitching and moaning is a frequency I’m moving away from. I don’t feel good when I take it in and I certainly don’t feel good when I give it out.

I prefer to drink the Kool Aid instead.

The more I’m reminded that everyone is doing their best in the moment, the more I’m apt to let things go. That dude that just cut me off probably didn’t see me anyway.

Besides, NEWSFLASH, it’s not personal.

There is no vendetta against me.

What many of us don’t understand is that when we’re on the bitch and moan frequency, one that played all the time in my mind, the universe kindly gives us all sorts of things to bitch and moan about.

When I flipped the channel, it was instant–I’m not kidding, I had a whole lot less to complain about.

Sure, I still get pain-in-the-ass camera speeding tickets, parking tickets, other surprise bills, strange diagnoses, etc, with the best of them, but I don’t take it personal anymore.

The camera didn’t have me targeted. The parking ticket person is after all just doing his/her job. The ailment didn’t have a hit on me.

I use this analogy a lot with clients, I’ve borrowed from Wayne Dyer: There are 86,400 seconds in a day. We sleep up to 8 hours of that away, so about 28,800 seconds of snooze. Let’s, for this metaphor, change the difference to dollars. That means we wake up each day with about 57,600$ to spend. We have to use it all. No saving allowed.

Each second we spend on things we don’t like and don’t want, we’re throwing that money away, filling up our carts with gobs and gobs of junk we don’t need. And then we’re left wondering why there’s no room for abundance? Luck? Possibility?

Now, I’m no Pollyanna. There’s still shit that pisses me off, and people who annoy the hell out of me, but that reaction (biological response) takes about 90 seconds to course through our bodies, after that … I’m choosing to hold onto it.

But what about people at work; they’re actually toxic? I hear this a lot.

Leave! No one is holding a gun to your head.

I’ve left several jobs on the basis: “I wasn’t feeling the love.” A lesson I learned young from a good friend, Thadius.

Would you spend 8 hours a day in a box full of toxic waste? I think not. I hope not. How is it any different?

Speaking of waste, I wasted a lot of time when I was young. I had a lot of amazing experiences and learned a whole hell of a lot about how not to live, therefore my time now is very precious to me.

I have a mission in this life and too many positive like-minded people who love me to love right back. I’m so full on things I enjoy and creating the best life I can lead that frankly I don’t have time for the complaints department.

I’m not passing judgement here, because the thing is, bitching and moaning is such a socially acceptable and celebrated behavior we don’t even know we’re moaning when we’re bitching.

One of the first things I do with almost every client I work with is a complaint cleanse. We look to negative thinking, speech, self sabotage and work to cut the shit.

Nearly every response is, “Holy shit! I had no idea I complained that much.”

Another aha is that they come to realize how unattractive it is. They get a glimpse of the alternative frequency.

I know it’s funny to be snarky, bitching and moaning can literally be someone’s only jam. And it’s addicting. It’s so hard not to respond to someone else’s crap with your own crap. Misery loves company!!

It’s all about protecting your space. I’m beginning to be a ninja with mine.

NOW, all that said … please don’t take this as we should bottle up our shit. Quite the contrary. It’s super healthy to have at least one person in your life that you can say every once in awhile to, “Do you mind if I unload my shit on you for a sec?”

When we ask permission, they can ground themselves in their space. That way literally they’re not taking in your garbage.

I’ll give you an example:

When I was writing my book in Hong Kong, my now wife, Elisa, would leave for work about 7 am. I’d start my morning slowly, tea, breakfast, book, tai chi. Then I’d go to the beach and meditate. I’d spend hours back at the apartment writing. I’d take a break to go to the gym or pool and then come back home to my peaceful spot, incense lit, to write some more.

Right around 5pm Elisa would come in like a hurricane: her coworkers, the rude people on the train, the smelly city, the students, the this … the that …

She’d literally vomit all over my zen nearly every day, until finally I put my foot down.

I’d be all agitated and annoyed and didn’t know why. And then it hit me. It’s her shit in my lap!

We laid some ground rules and it hardly ever happened again. Instead, she’d ask permission, and in so doing she was more conscious of the bitching and it got shorter and shorter each time.

I may be hammering this point a little hard home, but I can’t tell you how often I see people giving away their power. For someone who spent her whole life a victim of her surroundings, circumstances, people, I see it as my mission to help others take back theirs [power]. I would be remiss if I didn’t.

I’m aware that I’m competing with the “coolness” of snarky and jaded, but as many of us have already learned that’s usually a facade covering up even more crap. Most people want nothing more than to be happy. But happiness doesn’t fall from the sky … it comes from within.

We are, after all, just tiny balls of energy, occupying a massive ball of energy, hurtling around a fiery ball of energy in space. The sooner we realize we’re all made up of the same stuff, the more we’ll come to understand, and dare I say it, have compassion for each other.

Cheers … to the Kool Aid!

I leave you with this: Have you ever done a complaint cleanse? Wanna try? 7 days. Let’s do it.


Much Love,

kat hurley

Thanks for reading! Always appreciate your responses;)

Originally published at kathurley.com on March 16, 2016.