It’s often so easy to fall into negativity, self-criticism and morbidity. ‘Oh woe is me and the world is going to hell in a handbasket!’ If I focus on the news, the dramas around me and what others tell me I ‘should’ know about, then I am liable to fall into this view of life. However, I have discovered that I can just as easily choose to focus on positivity, self-esteem and optimism.
For some reason, focusing on the first, the negative aspects of life, is viewed as having a realistic attitude toward life and looking at the positive is seen as ‘airy-fairy’. I am being a realist when I look at the war mongering leaders in the world, but rather naïve when I look at the benefits of nuclear energy and nuclear medicine. In one part of the Serengeti the headline reads, “Gazelle brutally attacked and murdered by pack of thug lions!” On the other side of the Plain, the headline is, “Lioness brings food for her family and shares her fortune with others.” How is one more realistic than the other? Both are true. The perspective is what is different. How can I say that one is more ‘real’ than the other?
I can’t. I cannot know the ins and outs of my Higher Power’s plan for this world I find myself in. My judgement is inherently flawed because I am unable to see the whole picture of what is going on. Perhaps I can look at my Higher Power as a drone flying above the city looking down at the car I’m driving. Right in front of me, a couple of elderly folks are slowly making their way across the street. She drops her cane and the old man puts his hand on my car to support himself as he bends over to pick it up for her. I’m late, I have a meeting to get to and these old fogies are making me later. How bloody frustrating! Hurry up you old SOB and stop marring the shine on my hood!
Up above in the drone, my Higher Power is looking down. He sees all of the traffic in the city. He see that two blocks ahead of me a distracted mother is about to run a stop sign and head through the intersection at a good clip because she is taking her sick child to the hospital. That car makes it through and, after the people in front of me finally get to sidewalk, I make my way up the street and get to my meeting safely. My attitude, my frustration, my judgement of the people crossing the street wasn’t necessary. I can’t see what’s around the corner. I know my Higher Power can. The wrinkly old dame dropped her cane and saved my life.
I have a very important choice in life. That choice is where I focus my attention. The human brain can only focus on one thing at a time. I choose to focus on the positive aspect. I choose to look at the good, the wondrous and bright things I encounter in my world. That doesn’t make me unrealistic. That doesn’t mean I am denying the hunger, sadness or poverty in the world. It means that I am not going to allow those things to depress my spirit. The joy I encounter is just as real as the sadness you discover. I am quite capable to discovering your sadness too. Trust me, I have a PhD in depression and used it for many years. The point is, I don’t have to. I can choose to see the glass half full, or half empty. It’s the same reality, just a different perspective. Or, I can look at that glass as ‘refillable’! Wow, that’s a whole new concept that goes beyond the half full/empty scenario!
I know that life isn’t all rainbows, unicorns and butterflies. I also know that it’s not all mud and snakes and demons either. Focusing on the first makes me happy. It fills me with joy. It give me a reason to spread happiness. That is what I want in my life. I know my Higher Power has my back. I know that I will always be looked after. I know that I will be able to get through everything in life, until I don’t. Meanwhile, I choose to focus on the positive angle. Happiness, joy and freedom are what I want in my life. What do you want in yours?
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Last week I was staying at the beach, and love the beauty God created.