A couple of days ago, I started to notice that I was in a funk.
Like, really in a funk.
Cranky. Angry. Defensive. Hopeless. Lost.
Then, in one morning, several people pointed out that I’ve been less than positive for quite some time. That they were worried about me.
See, I’m not particularly hard-wired to be positive. It’s something I have to work at. It’s something I have to remember to be sometimes.
Sometimes I’m just poopy because I forget to wake up and smile. And then I forget to eat breakfast and smile. And then I just forget to smile.
But this time … this I could trace back.
Here’s the story of The Sad Magnet. I hope you enjoy. It took
me my crack design team a good part of 3 hours to come up with the illustrations.
The Sad Magnet
Illustrations by: Crunchy Betty
Story by: Crunchy Betty
Two months ago, someone said some mean things to me.
They weren’t particularly true. They weren’t anything I asked for or wanted to hear. They were just mean.
They were like a sad gift. Full of mean stuff.
And instead of ignoring them or letting them go, I accepted them. I decided to make them a part of my story. A part of my life.
So I put these words – these ideas and sad things that weren’t mine to begin with – on and carried them around with me.
At first, I didn’t know it was a magnet. It was just something I pulled out and looked at sometimes.
Because sometimes I like to feel sorry for myself.
Little did I know, when I pulled it out and looked at it, the magnet would start to attract more sad things.
The more I looked at it, the more sad things would fly to it.
Sometimes they were real things, but most of the time they were just more sad thoughts that seemed to come out of nowhere.
Things like: “If he thinks everything I’m doing is dumb, everyone else probably thinks that, too! Nobody likes me. I suck.”
And then, not only did I have the first sad magnet to carry around, but before long I had 20 new sad things, stuck to the sad magnet, that was now a part of the story I was telling myself.
Eventually, I told the sad story to other people.
And those people would pull out THEIR sad stuff. And we would attract more and more sad stuff.
All because of the one stupid sad magnet that I’d accepted.
And not let go.
For a long time, it just felt like life was sad. Like everything was going wrong, and I had no control over it. I was buried in all this sad stuff (that started with an untrue, unhappy story that wasn’t mine to begin with) and everything began to look like sadness
Then, over the course of a couple of days, some really nice people noticed and talked to me about it.
And then, instead of just feeling more sad, I started to notice it, too. And I thought back through all of those sad things that were stuck to me, all the way back to the beginning conversation. The one I hadn’t let go of.
One of my friends told me to smile more. “Try smiling every half hour,” he said. And I did.
Every time I smiled, it felt like a sad, stupid thought dropped away.
Every time I smiled, I felt lighter.
Every time I smile, I get closer to being able to throw away the sad magnet.
To let it go. Away.
It was never mine to begin with, anyway.
And when I’m not weighed down by all the stuff the sad magnet attracted, I can enjoy my life (and the new stories I get to tell myself) so much better.
All of this could have been avoided, though.
The last two months could’ve been happy and full of progress.
All I had to do was one small thing:
The next time someone says something negative to you or about you, you don’t have to accept it.
You don’t have to make it part of your life.
Never accept a sad magnet from someone else.
The next time someone tries to offer you one, think of this story, and just let it fall on the ground.
(Remember: It’s too hard to have fun with tiny people on poorly-drawn hills if you’re sad.)
Not a sad magnet
You are wonderful! I’m bookmarking this specifically to cheer me or someone else up in the future.
This was great! Thanks…you are an amazing writer…
yeah fucking right
Thanks! I needed the reminder as much as the laugh 🙂 If you’re not already an author, please consider it: I would gladly buy your book.
Just found your blog. Let’s just assume I’m going to like and share every and all of your posts from now on. You relate on a universal level and you express it so precise as you feel it. And…you have a post on coconut butter. Adding you to my hero list…my virtual hero. I have real life heroes too you know?
I read this the day you wrote it and loved it.
I feel a little sad tonight over a no longer happy friendship and came looking for this piece of illustrated goodness to re-read before I go to sleep tonight and let go of this sadness…
Thank you for putting yourself out there for all to see, Betty. You are a gift!
Kulsum at JourneyKitchen
Thanks for this! A friend send me the link and I guess I just dropped a sad magnet 😀
fantastic post Betty!
you are amazing…and hilarious…
and I love you in the best possible way that one person can love another person who haven’t met in person without it being all weird and freaky.
thanks for the reminder, especially since this last week has been really, REALLY tough for me…as in, I actually said OUT LOUD that I hated my job…which might be true, but I try to always be thankful for because I know it could be worse…
Bravo! That was so lovely:)
Much much love to you!
That was awesome! love it
i don’t know you, but i love this story and i love your blog!
Love this post. It’s so true. Sad magnets suck as do the people that hand them out. Just so you know, you are so good at what you do and I love you and your blogs. Mwah!
OH my oh my… I LOVE this post. Funks can be so hard to shake off, thanks for illustrating (literally!) what we need to do with them. I’m glad you were able to kick yours in the behind! (big hug)
I love what Beth said above about choosing a “happy magnet” instead, or taking that sad magnet and turning it around so it repels sad stuff instead of attracting it.
See, I get furious when people say that kind of stuff to me (which they do all the time). Ah, the glories of working with ungrateful people. I’ll stay angry for the rest of the freakin’ day, and it causes me to snap at the people who ARE nice, and that offends them, and so on and so forth. But it’s not easy to let go of that, until I’ve stewed over it properly. By the next day, I’m usually fine.
The exception is when it’s a family member (which I’m REALLY hoping was not your case, because that is really the cruelest thing). I just get so disgusted and so so sad when that’s the case.
But later, when I’m over it and thinking clearly, I say to myself “You know, it wasn’t fun at the time, but this is something that I can look back on and learn from.” And, from the looks of it, you have learned from the experience. *huggle*
FANTASTIC. I’m a new subscriber, and I’m tickled pink to discover that you’ve got such range.
I was just thinking of your Xylitol post this morning, really pushing it around in my brain.
Then I find this COMIC!!!! I love your comic, and I think you should do it for REALS. Seriously. The sad magnet necklace. Childrens/Adult story. And all the weird things that stick to it. DO IT!!! You’re a whiz. You can do anything, obviously.
True food for the soul. You are a wise woman. Good job for snapping out of the negative thought pattern…it’s easier said than done. xoxo
AGREED! I call those types of folks TOXIC cause that’s all they’re good for. We all need a good cleaning/refresher sometimes!
Thanks so much for this! Every once in awhile I need to remind myself not to let one negative thing color everything else in my life. Now, I have a great analogy (and some fantastic visual images) to help me remember!
And, for the record, whoever it was that said such mean things to you is wrong. I think this blog is fantastic. I think it is so important to find fun and creative ways to be healthy and “green”, and you do a wonderful job of that. I love how accessible this site makes homemade products. Thank you from the bottom of my newly crunchy heart!
Thank you for telling your story. You should be proud of yourself for taking the negative experience and turning it into a such an inspiration for all of us. You made my day!!
Love it!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. I think in illustrations/stories such as this one! It’s how I process. I think I will choose a Happy Magnet instead. May I do that? Grow your illustration??!! I think I have anyway but I will give proper credit for copyright purposes and all royalties! HAPPY for you that you’ve dropped the SAD magnet! :o)
Perfectly described. And so often those people who disapprove of us and what we do are our loved ones themselves. Though they do love us in their own way, the fact that our dreams hardly ever coincide with their expectations from us, causes them to say negative things they don’t necessarily mean. And it takes more of an effort to ignore the sad magnet when someone close to us is giving it. But there’s still hope and your wonderful article to get us back on the right track (Your article is bookmarked and resting in my ‘Chicken soup for the soul’ folder). So yay! Thank you for this post 🙂
Hi Read your story about the magnets. What I had always viewed unkind words from others was that:::::I truly felt sorry for the person, as I feel that the negative thinker has an inner problem. That person is very unhappy with himself or herself, and in order to fulfill their own desires, they try to pass on their problems to others. Feel for their inner unhappiness, and then just go on your merry way. Stay positive…….Stand up for what you believe, even though you stand alone. Be Happy which brings Better Health.
For the record, Betty, I love what you do and I love you. Your passion for life and your particular interests/talents are very much appreciated by me. When I’m telling my husband about a new thing I learned from your posts, I always call you “my Crunchy Betty friend.” A little creepy, I’ll admit, but I think you’re awesome! It’s great that you’re out of your funk. I think everybody needs to be reminded of that at some point. Thanks for sharing another uplifting post!
Thx that was really cute! Though totally real. I appreciate your address and I will remember your little stick figures. 🙂
Thanks for that, I needed it! I’ve been in a bit of a funk myself. Time to move on 🙂
Great story and to the point. I enjoy all of your Friday writings. You’re a very good writer!
What a great story and what a great way to make such an invaluable point. (loved the edgy, raw factor to the drawings as well) 🙂