I confess. I’ll be making a negative statement right now.
When I look at the world around me, most of the people I know are inclined to think negatively. When something happens, their first thought is something like, “Why did he/she do that?” or “How am I ever going to get out of this?” “Why do these things always happen to ME– especially when I’m rushing/sleeping/tired/etc.”
And because I’ve been exposed to so much of this, I didn’t realize that over time, I was growing into a person I didn’t like. When things didn’t go my way, I saw everything I wanted to see: the bad, the bad, and the bad. But when they did, I was still looking for the bad.
Until I had enough of it. When there’s sunshine in my life, when I choose to bring it in, my days are so much brighter. Why couldn’t I just SEE the beauty in everything, to minimize my sighs to nothing, like that very positive friend I have who’s always smiling inside and out?
One fine (because it felt so good to be positive!) day about two years ago, I realized that the only way I could be a positive person was if I CHOSE to be one. It wouldn’t happen on its own. I wasn’t that friend to whom everyone, everything was all good.
And because I’m not intrinsically inclined to look at the bright side of the sun, I knew this would take some work. Some very hard work. But I wasn’t ready to allow my laziness to have me waste away a life that’s filled with oh so many gifts. I was ready for the challenge. When a challenge comes my way, I turn to InQuell for a solution.
Here’s what I did:
Every day, I chose ONE incident that caused me to stir up those negative juices. This worked best when I did the exercise as I was experiencing the feeling. The range of episodes I captured in my InQlog was impressive: from situations like a slow-moving person ahead of me in the supermarket line when I was rushing to catch a bus, to something a child did that called for a grand cleanup, and lots of other major and minor situations that would’ve easily led me down the teeth-gritting slope.
As soon as I felt the negativity seed sprout inside of me, I grabbed my InQlog and started a list. A list of ten reasons for me to be positive today. Right now. “I’m alive.” “I’m healthy.” “I love my family.” “I got a great job offer.” This worked even better when the list included positive aspects of the situation I was in. “This child is so inquisitive.” “This woman has so much patience.” “This friend has so many other qualities that make her special.” Only once the list was done, did I allow myself to raise the pen from the page.
And then, finally, I saw the beautiful sunshine through the crack in my InQlog.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman