I've had this blog post in my head for days and then at least three posts popped up on my Face Book feed that totally aligned with my thoughts.
Is your life really such a bleak dark hole of misery that you can’t look around and find something…..even one thing that makes you feel thankful? It’s not; I KNOW it’s not. Even in my darkest most desperate moments, and I have definitely had some….. I have always been able to look around and spot the things that would brighten my way, that filled my heart with joy and that made me glad and grateful.
So why, why, WHY do we spend so much time talking and drawing others into conversations about the negative? Because it’s easy. It’s an automatic default and once we give in to it the spiral begins. If we routinely give in then it becomes our natural response to everything in our lives.
Darkness is just the absence of light. The light is always there, but we put our hand over our eyes and block it out. Our thoughts create whatever space we dwell in and those very thoughts are something we have absolute control over if we are willing to make the effort.
We can spend our time talking about terrible traffic, fear, lack, the sniffles we woke up with, pollen, riots and confusion, pouring rain, being busy and overwhelmed……..
We can spend our time noticing the sunshine, seeing beautiful patterns in the rain, being aware of the people who are doing good in the world and helping others, grateful that we have work, a home, people in our lives, just plain glad to have two arms that do the work, two legs that take us where we are going, a voice to speak with, a smile to offer others……..
Getting control over where you focus your energy and your thoughts is just like taking charge of your diet, your exercise and your direction. It’s a discipline and one that we have to stay on top of. Developing mental muscle takes work and consistency. You have to be deliberate about it. When you decide to take charge of those thoughts and shift to the bright side, just like exercise, the more you do it the better you feel. The more you do it the stronger you become. The more you do it the easier it gets because you grow comfortable with the new pattern.
Negative patterns of behavior are all around us. Reading our feeds on social media, watching or reading the news, listening to conversations around us; all are weighted on the negative side. I’m not denying the existence of challenge or negative things, but I am acknowledging our choice to dwell there or move on. Being positive often gets judged as “Polly Anna” or lacking in substance, even inauthentic. Those positive people just need to “get real”. Absolutely not…….show me a positive person and I see someone who is very intentional about where they place their energy. That’s a person who knows from experience that there is greater reward gained from taking note of the sky than in dwelling on the car that just cut them off in traffic. That’s a person who has experienced living in a negative world and CHOOSES to live differently.
All you have to do is shift, then shift again. Become aware of when you are moving into that negative space and replace it instantly with something else. Go into active mental muscle training and start watching the light around you get brighter and brighter. Work becomes easier, relationships become easier, dealing with issues or challenging situations becomes easier……..
Give it a shot!! It’s so worth the effort and once you find that pattern and consistently live it, you won’t want to retreat to the dark side again!!