Get Off My Elevator: By Lori Armstrong
Next floor – Peace
I am not referring to the type of peace that comes with the physical space within an elevator. My message resonates within our individual and unique head space.
Although head space cannot be seen with the human eye, each one of us feels the challenging triggers when our personal mindset is compromised. The unfortunate downward spiral can be the result of a poisonous thought, disingenuous person or petty social media drama.
I recall the days of my childhood, wanting everyone to love and respect me, realizing with every year my hippie dreams were merely unrealistic pipedreams. Not everyone was going to like me; no matter the depth of my kindness or compassion.
Being a shy girl filled with fantasy thoughts of changing the world did not help my cause as I usually became a target for the glorified bullies. I observed an ugly pattern begin to reveal itself. I was taught to respect my elders, share and be nice to everyone and in return, you will have friends. I had plenty of friends, seeming to be a magnet for the wrong type of friends. What I was not taught is that not everyone is meant to be your friend; not everyone belongs in your head space; and that is okay.
The teachings of my parents and the era in which I was raised didn’t encourage unfriending anyone. The friendship rule was just the opposite. The belief embedded in my brain was to forgive, let it go and that sort of nonsense. Be nice. Play nice. I did not realize I could still be nice without allowing the monsters to enter my head. While forgiveness can be a wonderful trait of tolerance, there were options beyond the depth of my innocent thoughts and I was grateful to understand that as the years passed.
Years flew by and when I had children of my own I began to see that perilous pattern rear its ugly head. Here we go again.
I did not have a degree in child psychology or have all the answers by any means, but I did my best to imbed the lessons I had learned regarding friends. I planted seeds in their forming brains. Life is short and you should fill your head with people that make you feel good about yourself.
It was almost as if I could see the blinding beam of light over their tiny noggins. They have seen the light and I continued my message whenever the moment presented a need for motherly wisdom.
If you are spending time with people that constantly make you feel sad, it’s time to let them off your elevator.
Of course I was hearing my own words, knowing I still owned unfinished business.
As parents we have years of experience traveling down many of the same roads our children will embark. We see them headed toward a cliff and our instinct is to solve it or change it. With a heavy heart I explained some of the cold hard facts of life regarding friends – because let’s face it; relationships do not get any easier as we enter adulthood.
While there is not much empty head space in my brain, I choose to fill my cerebrum with positive content, drama-free conversation and quality people. I may not always succeed but remain dumb as a fox. Toxic people can come in all shapes, colors and sizes, resembling wolves in sheep’s clothing; even your eyes can deceive you.
My mother always told me I learned the hard way. I think it was faith in people for all those years. It took me forty years to change the toxic habit of being kind to those who not worthy of my naïve generosity. Identify what you can control, move forward without looking back and without feeling guilty.
We do our best in this life and nothing is always fair or certain. But something will always remain steadfast and true…a positive head space is vital for a healthy mind. Make changes and good choices. No one will do it for you.
Next floor – Peace.
Being a true-crime writer for the news, I balance the chaos in my brain by writing children’s books.