It is easy to be caught up in my own little world of existence - problems at work, things that don't go well for me, people that hurt my feelings that I feel are supposed to care enough not to. And it is even easier to be caught up in the negative of everything: the things that DON"T go well, the praise and thanks people DON'T say, the return calls I DON"T get.
And all these negatives build and build on themselves until I am angry, frustrated, upset, no patience and not wanting to be nice or kind to anyone. But the bottom line is: I allowed this to happen to myself- no one else did. I allowed myself to dwell on the negative- I listened for the words of condemnation, dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
I have a choice: I can choose not to listen
I can choose to search out and listen to the words of encouragement, to the words of love that friends and family say to me, to the small acts everyday that are kindness or caring or love or just because. I can make THAT choice.
It isn't really an option anymore- not really. To choose to listen to the constant negative and derisive words that are scattered across the television, radio, cell phones, telephones, internet, blogs is to condemn myself to a living hell of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. This leads to an underlying anger which is then felt in every single interaction I have with anyone all day long. And by the end of the day, I am exhausted and weary from it all. How has this helped me? How have I grown because of this? How has my creativity been energized?
The truth: it hasn't. It has been even more stifled than before and the words that others might say: "You can't do this, you can't succeed, you don't know how, you aren't smart enough" fly like magnets to my mind and stick there preventing me from going on- stifling me- frustrating me and corrupting my abilities.
I have a choice: I can choose not to listen.
Problems will always happen..I can choose not to allow them to immobilize me or anger me.
People will not act or say the things I want them to...even the people I love very dearly- I can choose to be understanding and loving in spite of this.
People at my work may complain about me- I can choose to not let it bother me..they do not know me as a person- they do not know the depth and breadth of my existence or the person I am.
I have a choice.
I write these words for myself and for those that may read them. There are people who are struggling to keep a roof over their head, struggling from debilitating physical and/or mental illnesses and problems. Nothing that I write here will change that however, I offer a suggestion- a different way to look at things.
Ever received something unexpectedly- out of the blue- not something big--but something that surprised you and made you feel good? Did you smile about it all day? Did it make your heart feel lighter? Did it change your mood and maybe even soften how you spoke to others? Did it put a smile on your face that someone asked why you were smiling and you just said.."Because.."
I have a choice to rise every morning and look at the world believing the best will happen that day and hoping for it. And I have a choice to make good things happen for others: nothing big or earth shattering..but..maybe I pick up a toy that a child dropped and the child stops crying and the mother smiles. Maybe I say 'thank you' to the person who is cleaning the toilets at a public bathroom. Maybe I ask to speak to a manager at the grocery store or restaurant or bank or wherever I am and I compliment the worker that waited on me.
I have a friend who went to Las Vegas recently. She was at the Venetian sitting in one of the restaurants and a young couple walked in by themselves- she was in a wedding gown and he in a tux- it was obvious they had just married. She thought maybe this was their wedding meal but they were by themselves. She called the waitress over and asked if this was the case and was told yes- but it was hard to know very much because the couple did not speak very good English. My friend told the waitress to bring over their bill.. she paid for it and wrote on a small piece of paper- "Be happy." The waitress delivered it to the couple and she said they looked quite bewildered and looked around the restaurant for any sign of who did it..then they laughed and smiled and kissed each other. You should have seen the smile on my friend's face when she told me of this. She was beaming.
Words of encouragement, caring, a gesture or action that conveys caring does not cost money..it only takes an extra minute of time and an extra few minutes of thought. The repayment however, is huge. The feeling of happiness, no matter how small, in knowing you made a difference, even to one person, is immeasurable.
Some people have the belief we don't do acts of kindness for someone else- we do it for how it makes US feel..I say..does it really matter? If both sides benefit..all the better.
I have a choice...