I don't know that the times we live in are much harder than they were say, a hundred or a thousand years ago. Honestly, I'm sure they're better. People are more enlightened, they're more freedom-minded and peace loving. But, things seem harder because we are more aware of each other than ever before. National and international news keeps us all abreast of the goings on, and most of the focus from these media outlets is negative, negative stuff.
A lot of the media glories in the depressing and deprecating. And we may not like to consider this, but, aren't they just reflecting the mindset of the majority? They show what they show, they glorify what they glorify for a reason... because they think that's what the people want.
For as much as we complain about the news, aren't so many of us on the edge of our seats awaiting some juicy tidbit of bad tidings about someone else? Some pitiful tale of tragedy or judgment or failure? Does scandal and gossip make your ears perk up? It's a temptation that everyone faces--using other people's misfortune to feel better about our lives. Sadly, most of the time we don't even realize we're doing it. We're just relieved, somehow, to know that it's not us going through the tough times, not us being ridiculed or bullied or oppressed or tormented. But, you know, it is. It really is. It is you. I believe that the same energy that flows through us and gives us wisdom negates all space between you and your neighbor, whether they're around the corner or around the globe, it connects us all. You may not know it, or even believe it, but what's happening to them directly affects your existence, your life, for the worse or the better. So how are you affecting the world?
I'm heartfelt about the idea that your mind, your thinking, your perception creates your reality. Think of physics. All matter and all energy is shape-able and bend-able. Any energy put outward has to go somewhere... but that's a whole bag of scientific beans that would probably put you to sleep, which is counterproductive, here. Speaking from a personal spiritual standpoint, I am always so heartsick to hear about how unhappy people are. Whether at work, play, home, family, shopping, banking, you name it... if I ask people how they're feeling or how they're doing, I get an indifferent answer, at best. When I get an enthusiastic response, it makes my day.
A lot of disappointment seems to stem from how they spend their eight to five. If someone tells me what they do for a living and I ask them how they like it, here's what I get more often than not: "Meh, it's pays the bills, I guess. I should probably be happy just to have a job, right?"
OY. How depressing. I mean, sure we have to pay those bills, but, honestly, what else are we doing with our time and exactly how do we perceive life that makes bleakly existing the rule of thumb for so, so many people?
I asked a coworker this question last week, actually. The resulting conversation went something like this:
"Joe/Josie Shmoe, are you happy?"
Blank stare. "Am I happy... what do you mean?"
"I mean, are you happy? With your life? "
"Uuh... Idunno. I guess. Sort of."
I then went on to force Joe/Josie to tell me what would actually fill them with happiness, and it turns out that a job that excited them, one they actually wanted to wake up to every day would do the trick. So, I wondered why they weren't pursuing that path, and, as I often find when I ask folks this question, I think the answer has less to do with feasibility than positivity. If you convince yourself that something can't be done, it won't be done. If you say, "It's not possible", then for you, it's not possible. But what about the happy ones? What about the people who could be working as a dung collector in Death Valley and they'd still be so joyful you have to wonder what the heck they've been sippin', ifyaknowwhatI'msayin'?
Another example. I like my espresso. Love it, in fact. Coffee helps me wake up (as it does most people), and when I'm fully awake, I'm kind of a Suzy Sunshine--I'll admit it right now. I'm perky, I'm hyper and I'm super positive. Those days when I'm sleep-deprived and grumpy... that's not my natural, state, and it's not how I want to be. However, I didn't used to be like that. No. I've battled depression for a long time, in fact, and I could easily fall into a dark way of thinking about life, if I allowed it. But, I don't allow it. I listen to music that inspires and excites me. (I avoid, with the exception of writing purposes, depressing/fatalistic songs.) I read and listen to inspiring people and read inspiring literature. My friends tend toward the optimistic side of life. And all of this is very intentional. You become what you surround yourself with. All that energy I talked about, the circulating, infiltrating energy, it molds you. Add to it that you become what you repeatedly think about yourself and your life, and that makes for an interesting self-created experience that could be good, bad or "meh", depending on what vision you repeatedly put out into the universe.
Over and over again life has shown me proof of this concept--that a disciplined dedication to positivity will result in exactly that. It's not easy to do, it requires that you constantly bat away doubt and fear and limited thinking, but it gets easier if you make it a habit. Not only will you be a much happier person, but you can't imagine what kind of healing your thoughts will bring to the world.
Ignore those who would criticize your heart, your style, your passion or your potential. If you have a vision for the world, you stick to it! Don't absorb others' negativity as your own. Let them have it and keep it. Who needs it? Misery may love company, but it'll have to rent a friend for the evening... I'm otherwise engaged. :)
Love you guys!!