We all need that one person who is always there in our time of need. Recently for me, that someone has come on the form of a seventeen year old girl who has been tutoring my son through algebra and now geometry. It’s amazing how one small person can make an enormous difference in someone’s life. Not only does she help him get through worksheets and exams but she takes a tremendous amount of stress and worry off my hands. So tonight, on this last day of November, I am grateful for this girl and hope she finds someone as reliable in her own life as she has been in ours. What are you grateful for tonight?
Today I will not get angry, frustrated or stressed about the things I have no control over. I will find the humor in the most challenging situations, even this one. There are many things I can live with that my mind tells me I can’t. The sky is not falling. The cat in the tree is not the end of the world and this picture will give me something to laugh about one day. Maybe today will be the day. Thank you cat for putting things in perspective for me. Everyone is a lesson. Every experience is a chance to react in a new way.
I love this time of year. I just feel better in every way possible. I have more energy. I feel happy and my depression seems to go into hibernation. I love giving and sharing and family and just the thought of Christmas makes everything inside of me feel a little tingle. I also make a concerted effort to see God in the people who are the most challenging for me. I actively try and be the better person I long to be and every minute that goes by, opens my heart a little bit more. That being said, I often have to protect myself from negativity and people who have bad attitudes and bad intentions. I just turn them off, say a small prayer for them and disengage. Feeling good is rare these days. There is so much around us constantly trying to suck the happiness out. Somehow this time of year I am able to find that sweet spot that some might call balance. How do you feel this time of year? Why?
I do believe we don’t have to look very hard to find something we need to work on. The last few days have taught me that no matter how we respond to something, the end result will remain the same. I used to freak out over things and I guess I probably still do but I am desperately trying to get better at staying calm. Every night I calmly remind myself that even though the sky may appear to be falling, it is really safely in place. I am actively focusing on not making things a bigger deal than they need to be. Last week, my dryer broke. Not the best timing right before a holiday but what could I do? A few days later my car broke down and needed a new battery. That same day we bought a computer that resulted in making forty minute trips to and from the store for three consecutive days to find out our brand new computer was oddly broken. I could have been crazy but I quietly repeated to myself, the sky is not falling. Sometimes we have to wade our way through some temporary setbacks until eventually life gets back to being as normal as possible. It can be exhausting waiting for the normal to roll back around but fighting against what is will not benefit anyone. Why spend precious time having a bad attitude when the only thing that will do is make everyone around us miserable. One thing is certain, we can work on having a healthy reaction to the unpredictable curves thrown in our direction or we can let ourselves be overcome with crazy. The choice seems simple.
I have to say I’m a little bit disheartened today. Earlier I saw a post and innocently left my opinion in the comment box. I had no idea that my intention to say hi, I’m here to a blogger I hadn’t chatted with in awhile would turn into a political ambush. I’ve experienced this on Facebook but for the most part, my experience in the blogging world has been a positive one. I honestly feel it is one of the few places that someone isn’t waiting to attack or berate me for having an opinion. Today was not the case. It saddens me that we feel the need to do one of two things when someone’s opinion differs from our own. First, we either demand they explain themselves to prove they are not the idiot we think they must be or we demean and insult them with big, fancy words until the rest of the squad comes in to finish the job. Why can’t we simply accept that we think differently than other people? Why do we feel the need to make assumptions and characterize who someone is based on a simple sentence?
I simply will not engage in this anymore. I will not allow people’s anger, hatred or negativity into my thoughts or soul. I wrote a post recently titled KEEP OUT. It is a mantra and a visualization I do to protect my own mind and heart. Today I will repeat there words. Hatred. KEEP OUT. Anger. KEEP OUT. Confrontations. KEEP OUT. Today I will practice ahimsa. Do no harm. That means no harm to myself or others through my words, thoughts or actions. Yes today I will move on. Will you practice with me?
I was reminded today how hard it is to keep myself in check. Often times, I have the best intentions. I look forward to the weekend or getting out to do something with family but sometimes the best intentions fall by the wayside. I was in a great mood yesterday. Sometimes I am able to step away from all the stress and just breathe again. That was my plan for the last two days. Unfortunately I absorb all that is around me and if I don’t find a way to reach that place of balance, I crumble. After hours of spending time around someone completely disengaged followed by another who dumps his responsibilities onto everybody else, I slowly deflate. The negative energy just consumes me until I become it myself. So my good mood has slowly come to a close. It’s easy to say that other people aren’t responsible for your happiness but I argue that the people around me are often responsible for my unhappiness. There are some people in our lives that we cannot just dismiss or remove. We can’t delete them like they are some random Facebook friend but at the same time we cannot allow them to destroy our happiness or inner peace. I am not looking for sympathy or having a pity party. I am writing this post as a reminder that who we are affects everyone around us. Our mood, our lack of concern, our negligence, our bad attitude, our words and especially our actions are equally if not more powerful than any positive we think we put off. Just ask yourself today, what is the energy I am bringing to this place? How am I affecting the people around me? It’s the only way to finally understand just how much we are all connected.
Let’s face it, I’m not so sure people have been feeling very thankful lately. Sometimes our ability to feel gratitude is dependent on how well things are going for us at a particular time. The truth is, the times you are feeling your worst are the times you need to reach out and find at least something everyday you can be thankful for. Today, I am grateful for the blogging community. The way we respect one another’s views while at the same time challenging one another to think about something differently makes the world a better place. Thank you for the loving, inclusive group that you are. My heart is full. What are you grateful for today?
In a world where the negative seems to be winning out, I offer this story of hope. My daughter is 17 years old. Every night her friend group debates a topic in a closed group. They are very diverse in their thinking and each of them has very strong opinions. She allowed me to sit in on their group. I was absolutely amazed at how respectful these kids were toward one another. They were allowed a safe place to express their beliefs without being bullied or ridiculed. Tomorrow I am hosting their “Squidsgiving”. They call themselves group squid and tomorrow, although they are very different, they will sit at the table to share a nice dinner and break bread together. I could not be more proud or grateful that these are the kids my daughter shares her deepest thoughts and most special moments with. They are an example to all of us. They are the hope we so desperately need.
I am sitting here in my living room watching Christmas lights dance on my ceiling. Yes I know it’s early but there is something very calming about lights and a tree and a warm fire emitting from my fireplace. I needed a break from the world going on outside. It’s safe here. No one is judging or fighting or screaming opinions at one another. We are just spending time together and we are happy. Every one of us. My kids are actually in the same room with me and my silly daughter hooked us up with her Christmas music playlist. She is dancing around like a crazy child. These are the moments you know? When my family is together and singing and happy and I am feeling so grateful for this beautiful moment. I will let this sink in. This is what it’s all about. I hope I am extending this peace out to all of you. Have a great night.
I love to evolve. Maybe even to the point that it’s painful. Seeing so many insults being flung among people lately, I have finally recognized how important it is to respond positively and respectfully. I’m not one to think before I speak. In fact, I am honest to the core and sometimes that can be extremely hurtful to anyone on the receiving end of my truth telling. But tonight, I have committed to a new gentleness in my speaking. I can choose to be critical or I can choose to be quiet. I can choose to make someone feel bad or I can say something that will make them smile. Don’t we all need to feel good these days? Don’t we want the people who make us feel special and tell us we do something right around us more than someone who always makes us feel like everything we do is wrong? Don’t we need to hear, of course you can rather than I don’t think you can? I did it tonight. I finally made the conscious choice to keep my criticism to myself. We need to give more compliments, more pats on the back and use more words to make someone smile. We can make little changes than can mean the world to the people we interact with. Let’s hope I can carry it through to day two.