We tend to get so busy in life with our focus on the immediate needs whether those are family, food, money, security, job, future, etc. What do we truly miss out on when we get so focused?? And mind you I am not discounting the quality of having the ability to get focused, just questioning at times where our focus lies.
When things go into a negative or unwanted direction, and for most of us that happens almost on a daily basis, whether it is:
- something that just does not work out the way we wanted or expected
- someone disappoints us because they did not respond the way we assumed they would
- somewhere an injustice happens that distracts us from our “feel good” mood
- we ourselves create…
our mood shifts dramatically to something that is not attractive, some negative emotions: either a level of great seriousness, anger, competitiveness, revenge, or perhaps a weakness of unworthiness, “why me”, failure, discontent. Notice how none of these “relatively normal” responses produce very positive results. We get lost not just typically in the moment, but these feelings linger on, or in some instances, hide for a few intervening moments, hours even sometimes for days, and then the percolation occurs by which they climb back into our lives to run our emotions once again. And that cycle continues over and over, at times the intermittent good times are longer but for many the good thoughts become even rarer, depending on the “triggering events.” We seemingly feel that we have lost control…when in fact we have more control that we can imagine.
The psychologists are very clear when they discuss the power of positive thinking. So, why is it we cannot see another possible empowering position to take when bad things happen? We are stuck in the moment. We fail to see that we are “at choice” because what is immediately in front of us, the negative, appears so overwhelming. It is the emotional side of us that takes control rather than the rational side. We all have immediate responses but those who truly excel at life and living are able to break that immediate response by taking a second look…a look that in some instances becomes almost simultaneous as we have learned “the prices to be paid” for going negative. As quick as “Oh my gosh, now what is it that I can truly achieve from here? What is this new state of affairs presenting as a whole new reality to work with?” This is a person who always chooses to come from opportunity, stepping out of crisis.
Most will argue that this is virtually impossible. I agree that “normal” human responses are not quite ready for these kinds of responses. If we have not been exposed to this in our earlier years, such a positive response would be a real stretch. Without any training, we are naturally inclined to immediately jump into “fight or flight” type response…and the fight generally is with ourselves (beating up on ourselves), or others (carrying very valid anger or hatred towards another person, place, or event). The “blame game” goes full blown…and serves what? Our need to be right?
Think of a time that something has happened to you or someone dear to you, no matter how painful it might have been. Do not argue with yourself that you were right…that your feelings are valid and “anyone would have reacted the same way.” Just stay in the moment. Now, turn your attention to how could YOU come from solution? Is there a way you can take this event and bring a “new twist” that will shed a “new light” on the situation? You have that power! I share with you two events in my life to just set the stage…a fair warning that they may evoke huge emotional responses…just know they will not be anywhere close to the ones I experienced in those immediate moments.
1). In 2019, my brother was shot and killed by his wife. He was my favorite sibling…we were so close. So, my response was anger beyond measure, yelling at God in the back of a church from 10-12 at night after I heard. Hours of just weeping, thinking of all the reasons and ways God could have prevented it but no, no matter how many times I asked God “Why Cliff” I received no answer. The next morning the light started shining for me…could I really find something to be thankful for in all of this total disaster? Clarity phased in…I was given the opportunity to raise 2 children (young adults at 14 and 16) who just experienced hopefully the worst experience of their lives…losing both parents. Their dad is deceased, and their mom on her way to prison for at least 18 years. I was able to step in, move them half way across the country, and provide them a chance at life…an opportunity to live an incredible future notwithstanding! Wow, now that was truly something to be thankful for!
2). Within ten years of the first event I was attending a movie with my husband and we received a call from my oldest stepdaughter. She rarely calls so I thought best to step out and take it. My grandson (4 years old), third child of my youngest stepdaughter who I had helped raise, had drown in a swimming pool event. The family was at the local hospital so I grabbed my husband and immediately went there to be with them all. Lots of people were already assembled and my grandson was hooked up to life support machines, but there was no brain activity. I just loved on the parents as much as I could, it being absolutely unimaginable to me what they were experiencing. About 2 hours later, the dad came to me and was beside himself as the medical staff were asking about harvesting some of his son’s organs. What a huge opportunity for me to bring new life into this terrible event. I helped talk them through the advisability of allowing them to harvest the organs, and now 3 other young children are alive and well with this precious grandson’s organs. My stepdaughter still posts about this “life-giving” experience.
So, I challenge you all to look for what just might be there to take some of that pain and agony out of life and present you with a victory. I realize my two experiences were extreme situations as we can approach every issue (someone stepping in front of you in line when you are in a rush, etc.), but perhaps by understanding how we are “at choice” even in the worst of circumstances, you can see how we all are “at choice” in all situations. As we know, the science of positivity impacts all of us to create greater results. I guarantee that you can always find something but you have to be willing to look. And it is just that search that will also bring healing and joy…perhaps not right now, but in the near future.