Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Happy

What You Think About, You Bring About...

Sometimes, despite their lack of modern technology, such as indoor plumbing and electricity, I envy the Brown family, a.k.a. the Alaskan Bush People. "Why?" you ask. Because they are practically oblivious to the world around them. They don't hear the negativity that floats around on social media, the news, or in general conversations, so their life is a bit untainted. "But we need to know what's going on in the world," some say. "Don't be blind to the things happening around you." Um... why not? The Brown family has no clue to what's going on, or modern technology, none of them having phones or computers, and they seem to manage just fine... happily, might I add. News will happen whether I follow it or not, and to be honest, I'm much happier when I don't. I'm on a 'need to know only' basis with the news, and that's enough for me.

As an author, I am often on social media. If it wasn't for the need to network and communicate with my readers, I probably wouldn't be on any of it. I find myself, often times, shaking my head at the myriad of negative posts, which are pointless and do nothing but bring others down. You don't like that gays can now marry; we get it. You don't like Obama, Trump, or Hillary; yeah, we know. You don't like your neighbors, or your son's girlfriend, yada yada yada. And it's not just in social media; it's everywhere. I sometimes find myself not even wanting to talk to people because I know something negative is going to come out of their mouth, and to be honest, I don't want to hear it. I refuse to let one's negativity bring me down. Remember... what you think about, you bring about, so choose your thoughts wisely.

Yes, there are some things I don't like, either (like people who complain all the time), and feel negative sometimes, like everyone else, yet I keep it to myself, trying to focus on the positive things in this world that I DO like, which there is still a lot of, despite what we all hear. The world, as I see it, is still a beautiful place with beautiful people in it. I just wish everyone could see it that way, despite its flaws. 

Surprisingly, most of the negativity I read and hear about comes from my Christian friends, and as a Christian, myself, it makes me question my own faith, which is sad. I could get into a full blown rant here, but I won't (you're welcome), but I will say these two simple words: be grateful. No matter your faith, your beliefs, or the lack thereof, see the greatness that surrounds you and know that your situation could always be worse, no matter what happens around you. "But I am grateful," you say (despite your recent Facebook rant). Then show it. Show it in your words and actions (and posts)... it will rub off on others when you do.

I have two people in my family who are disabled; one paralyzed from a car accident, the other a multiple amputee due to a motorcycle accident. They have been dealt less than fair cards in their life, yet they continue to play that hand to the best of their ability, not complaining about how bad life is. Their smiles, despite everything, are one of the biggest signs of hope there is. One of my son's friends, as well as another boy, was killed in an electrical accident the day after he'd been with him at a sleep-over, and even though I'm not close to that family, I was deeply saddened and cried so hard for them. Despite this tragedy, his mother has risen above that grief and sorrow and inspires others to live their life to the fullest. (If you'd like to read some of that inspiration and see her journey, you can find it here.) All I'm saying is that if you let the negativity of the world (which, for me, happens to be those who constantly complain about the world, not the actual bad stuff in it) it will consume you. Not only will it steal your happiness and actually make you sick, but it can do the same to those around you. If you're constantly complaining about this or that, trolling 'woe is me' or 'dooms day' sites, just stop. Yeah, complaining might be your way of voicing your opinion and beliefs, letting others know where you stand, but unless it somehow brings positivity to the situation, it's not worth the breath it's formed on.

The reason I'm writing this blog post is to make you think about your thoughts and the things you say on a daily basis. Are they more positive, lifting people up? Or are they negative, pulling others down with you? Are you feeding into the negativity or rising above it? 
And with that, I'll leave you with this....

If you're able to get up and walk, be grateful, but don't belittle those around you who walk a different path than yours.
If you have both of your arms, be grateful, but don't use them to hold your fists up at those who don't do right by you, since you're not their judge or Creator.
If you are able to take a deep breath of fresh air, be grateful, but don't use that breath to talk negatively about others, or yourself.
In all you do, look at the greatness around you--your health, your family, the change in your pocket, the clean water that pours from your faucet--and be grateful. I know I am.