It’s amazing the little things we get upset about. Any one of us could be standing in line at the grocery store and it could be moving along fine. Then, the person ahead of you pulls out all their coupons and delays our progress.
Then, they pull out an out-of-state check which prompts the cashier to call the manager over to verify it.
And while this is happening, we’re getting less and less patient. Then we might think to ourselves, “How much longer is this going to take?”
We might get angry or even resentful towards them or even ourselves for getting into the wrong line in the first place.
Today’s quote is by Ernest Holmes and it’s this:
“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it”
How often do we reflect on what else is happening in the world? Lately, things have been happening that have been quite awful and in fact, it’s probably some of the worst news that you could hear. And when comparing the devastation of national or international events with a delay at the grocery store, it really puts things into perspective.
If you’ll allow me, I want to use this article to plant something inside your head to help you get through these hard times.
Many of us can narrow down bombings and shootings to the thought: “That’s how the world is going and it’s getting worse and worse…”.
What I want to plant into your mind is that, No, that’s not how the world is going – that’s only what’s happening in tiny segments of the world.
What’s happening is that there are people in this world that are just doing evil things.
But, that’s not how the world is going.
That’s what those people are doing to certain other people in certain places in the world.
But the world itself has a lot of good things going on in it, but it can be hard to see those things when we are repeatedly exposed to bad news.
When you’re on Facebook and you see a political or controversial post, you might very well get sucked into the conversation. And typically, there’ll be at least one person “trolling” around in there saying inflammatory statements just to turn us against each other.
Think about how many conversations you’ve been a part of where some third-party “someone”, especially online, says something that really upsets one side or the other. Then after that, the conversation takes a turn for the worse, pitting “us” against “them”.
You start reading comments like, “God said this in the Bible!”, then someone else says, “That’s great, if you believe in fantasy!”, then the person responds, “You won’t think it’s fantasy when you’re burning in hell!!”
So on and so on.
Almost all of these conversations are pointless and based on our perception that we are being personally attacked.
Almost always, when you feel like you are getting attacked online, it’s not personal.
There’s nothing personal about someone hiding behind a screen purposefully intent on irritating you, then sitting back laughing while you try to defend yourself.
Someone comes along, stirs the pot, and the topic becomes very heated, then eventually, the conversation fizzles out with everyone walking away upset in some way.
My girlfriend has an interesting theory that I’d like to share with you:
What if the people that are doing the most evil in the world today (I’m sure you can come up with many names or many groups) are entering our social circles and getting involved in our conversations for the sole purpose of pitting us against each other?
What if they are breaking down our foundation of bonding and connection, forcing us to take sides?
Do we really know who is stirring the pot?
Do we really know who is rocking the boat? I’d love for you to keep an open mind when you find yourself in any type of hot debate, and take a step back and figure out if you are being pitted against someone else purposefully.
When we’re separated by states, countries, or continents, how much easier is it to want to be against someone else? How important is it for you to “take a stand,” and how far do you want to take it?
And how important is it for you to be right about something that you’re really not directly involved in any way?
The world has more equality now than ever, and so many people are working on things so that they get better and better. The better the world gets, the more opposition that you’re going to see.
Unfortunately, not everyone wants equality. Not everyone wants peace.
Individuals and individual groups spring up all the time to try to take our peace and comfort away from us, so we just have to realize that there are people out there that don’t want us to be happy.
Are you going to let those people dictate how you deal with your emotions?
When bad things happen, and they will happen, maybe we should stick together in support of those who suffer instead of fighting about those who caused it. We’re all here to get through another day, week or year – why do we have to be attached to being right and making a point so that other people feel bad?
I think people are inherently good. We all start off good – we start off as innocent, then our minds get programmed by those around us by the people who brought us up and those we hang out with.
As we get older, our minds are more and more influenced by our environment and the people around us. Our origins are good, which is why I have faith in humanity.
I have faith that even though something terrible happened today, one hundred thousand good things will happen tomorrow. But it’s hard to find people sensationalizing the good things in life. It’s so easy to tune into and relate to, the bad.
Where are you tuning your thoughts? Where is your focus?
If you’re continuing to focus on the bad, what about those people around you that are looking for hope? How about friends and family still stuck in the negativity of what they witnessed in the news?
When you start focusing on the good going on, you can be a positive influence on those around you. A lot of people have had it pretty rough and they can’t see past their own pain and only see pain in the world.
It took me a long time to develop gratitude. I really never felt grateful until I reached my thirties. It was hard for me to feel that way, and I had to learn gratitude by seeing the pain of others by experiencing the stories that others shared with me.
The more you hear those stories, even though a lot of what you hear is bad news, the more you get to reflect on the world you live in.
When you look online or on TV and see all the bad news pouring in, it’s okay to feel bad. It’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay if you feel the urge to do something about what you see.
But there’s going to be a point where healing has to take place. You can’t carry all the negative news with you, so you have to let it pass. It doesn’t mean you don’t take action if you feel the urge to do so, but don’t carry it around just to stay in misery.
If you feel the need to hold on to the bad news, remember there might be people hurting around you that you may need to be there for.
For example, when someone loses a child, the entire family is devastated. They need to go through a huge grieving process for, probably, the rest of their lives.
The grieving needs to happen. They need to cry. They need to be upset and mad and be where they need to be just to let all these thoughts and emotions come out.
Then the more that’s released, the more the pain decreases and they can start to be there for each other again. They can start focusing on what they have now and who needs them now.
Even if you’re completely alone and have no friends or family, you still need to be there for the number one person in your life: You.
I realize that may sound silly, but it’s absolutely true. If you can’t be there for you, then even with people around, they won’t be able to be there for you either.
A good analogy is handing your money to a homeless person who doesn’t know how to use money resourcefully. If they spend it on alcohol and cigarettes, then they’ll be hungry in a few hours. And until they help themselves to stay protected and stay fed, handing them money may not be in their best interest nor help them in any way.
You can’t help someone who doesn’t help themselves first.
Others cannot help you until you help yourself. And all that means is that you start living authentically and start honoring your personal boundaries (if you’re not already doing that).
Start with one small step of living as your true self.
There’s nothing worse than moving through life living the way others expect you to be.
There’s nothing worse than living inauthentically.
I realize you have to be careful around some people when you’re practicing authentic living, as some people are truly dangerous to be yourself around. They may be aggressive or violent so you have to make the right choice for yourself.
The challenge is that we are typically scared of being our true selves…
“I’ll lose my job if I say that!”
“My husband/wife might be mad if I express my true thoughts or emotions!”
“My girlfriend/boyfriend might look at me weird!”
“People might think I’m less than who I am.”
The truth is by not being authentic, you are less than who you are. Choose to be yourself and you will automatically live authentically.
If that means you are holding onto a secret and you just want to tell someone about it, then maybe it’s time to do that. If you’re holding on to anger or fear, then maybe it’s time to share that!
The more authentic that you live the less negativity and resistance you hold on to. When something bad happens in the world, be angry, grieve and let it all out so that the next day you can start living life again.
I know this isn’t possible everywhere in the world. I know that there are some places that experience war and other terrible things on a daily basis. Stories we hear like refugees crossing the ocean and losing their life because they want to get out of a situation that’s unbearable for them.
Yes, I know there’s a lot of pain in the world today.
And I want you to know it’s okay to feel okay. It’s okay to experience that pain and express it. It’s okay to feel what you feel, let it out, then let it go and move on because you don’t want to carry that negativity around with you.
The more you carry, the more you spread. The more negativity you carry, the more you hand the baton of misery to those your interact with. If you are holding on to anger, pain, fear, shame, and other pain, it comes out in many ways.
I once believed I was really good at hiding anger and fear. Then one day, when I was married, my wife said she noticed the emotions I was trying to hide. I told her there was no way she could sense what I was feeling inside, but she knew something was up!
What was up was that I was holding on to anger and sadness, along with some other stuff. And as soon as she noticed me “shift” (go from happy to hiding sadness), she could tell.
I thought no one could tell. But they can. My wife just called it as she saw it.
You probably notice “shifts” in people, too but never say anything. You are probably right – it probably did happen.
We cannot hide from our own feelings. And if you are carrying around the negativity from the news, from the past, or from something else, it’s time to express and release as much as possible.
Don’t hold on to secrets that bring you down. Don’t hold on to thoughts that keep you unhappy.
It’s okay to feel okay, and it’s okay to feel everything else that goes through your mind and body. Life happens to us every day. Some of it is great, and some of it is downright awful, but as the saying goes: This too shall pass.
Don’t get focused on the bad stuff. Know that there is a lot more good in the world than bad, but we tend to get stuck on what’s bad. Once you aim your thoughts at the “good” side of the ratio, you will be more emotionally prepared for yourself and those you love.