Negativity and pessimism has a pretty hard time existing in the same space as compassion and gratitude. When life would come at me with all it’s challenges I used to be really good at wallowing. Through years and years of self reflection I have since cultivated a new default. Love. Compassion. Gratitude. In that order. Sometimes it kicks in right away and sometimes I have to manually push start but either way the end result is patience and happiness. At the end of the day what matters most? For most of us, it’s how we feel. Not what’s happening to us or around us but simply the emotions that those circumstances invoke.
Our inner light, or inner darkness, is a very powerful force. How we see the world and how we allow it to affect us, in turn, dictates our emotions and ultimately our behavior. Think back to the last time you had a bad day…How was your attitude? Who did you affect or interact with? Now think about the last time everything went wrong and yet, somehow, you weren’t phased. Did you wonder why? Because you chose to be happy and I will bet you did that through love, compassion, and gratitude. That could mean that you simply gave love, compassion, or gratitude to yourself. Or maybe you gave it to someone else. Let me share a brief example. I have a friend that has a special needs son and one day I asked her, “weren’t you upset when you found out he was autistic?”. She simply smiled with compassion in her eyes and said “after losing the baby before him, I was just grateful he was alive”. My perception was forever changed. My old belief of: when something bad happens I’m supposed to feel like crap changed to just because something seems bad doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate something about it. The new thought was a game changer.
I began seeing examples of it everywhere. You can talk to 10 different people with cancer and they will ALL have a different attitude. Some will feel like their life is over, others will feel like it was a blessing because they became closer than ever to their families. And some will feel like they have slowed down for the first time in their life to appreciate the little things. When we remember the power of our perception and our thoughts that’s when we are truly able to tap into our inner light. So do yourself a favor and when it feels like everything has gone to shit practice a little more love, compassion and gratitude. XOXO
Control is a very ambiguous word. We all want it in some fashion. Some people want more than others, me being one of them. I like being in control of my environment, my career, my relationship and my life. But I find myself reminded by the universe that the only thing I am ever truly, in control of, is my behavior and emotions. From how I choose to respond to how I interpret and perceive my surroundings. I know I’m not the only wants to have the power of what happens around me or even when or how it happens. The truth is, we have no control outside of our own behavior and once we surrender to that everything becomes a lot less stressful.
Many of us are familiar with the self-depricating statement, “if I worked harder…[I would have gotten the job, the house I wanted, etc]”. Sometimes we can work harder to ensure we get what we want, but other times we have done everything in our power and it just doesn’t work out. That’s the point to let it go. Finding peace, and power, in our choices can help us lead happier (and less stressful) lives.
We all have those moments where we want to blow up or stand our ground. Someone eats the last of your leftovers in the fridge or someone cuts you off on the freeway then goes 45mph when you’re already running late. There is constant stimulus around us, constant stress. There is always some drama and plenty of chaos. That’s one way of looking at the world. It’s not wrong, just ONE perspective.
We can all get stuck in the “why-does-it have-to-be-so-hard” or “why-did-they-have to say/do-that” mentality. That gray space that feels like you really are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. I know, I recently moved in. But that’s only ONE side of the coin. The other is realizing that every stressor, or external stimulus, is a perfectly orchestrated opportunity from the universe for growth. It’s a gift of choice. You can CHOOSE to rise above it and feel much better about your actions and responses down the road (because you picked the delayed-gratification of the high road). Alternatively, you can have an emotionally charged knee jerk reaction that may feel warranted and justified in the moment only come back to bite you later. Either choice is your own, or my own, to make. Neither is right or wrong per se, but one will keep you feeling more authentic, genuine and in control down the road than the other. I have had to remind myself very recently that when I’m feeling defensive or ready to battle it’s really good idea to check in with myself, take a few breaths and remember that when the initial adrenaline passes I’ll feel better if I took the more mature, calm, high road than reacting based on fight or flight.
When was the last time you reacted without thinking about your response? Did you rise above the problem and address it objectively? Did you feel like your responsible for your response or out of control? If you could change one thing about your response to the last stressful situation in your life what would it be? Love you all. Be easy on yourselves. Always feel free to share your thoughts 🙂