I am a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of hope to friends and family.
At least I try to be. I haven’t always been this way, but it’s getting easier the more I practice. I used to complain about my day, commiserate with my friends about my ex or vent to my sister about the kids. I used to whine about my coworkers, or the traffic, or the heat. I used to give a lot of attention to these things that made me unhappy.
You know what? That didn’t make me happier. To spend my time thinking, talking, and ranting about things that were upsetting me made me more stressed and discontent.
Focusing on issues and problems made it easy to spot new ones everywhere. My life was a mess and I didn’t know how to get myself out of it.
Through a lot of reading, learning, and experimenting I made the decision to change. At first I wasn’t sure it was going to make a difference. Everyone vents. It’s not good to keep your feelings bottled up, right? It’s necessary to let out your emotions so they don’t build up over time.
Except that I found out…you can control your emotions. You don’t have to let them run wild and free. You can choose to become aware of your negative feelings, then use that awareness to change them to be more positive. Instead of locking the gloomy, angry reactions inside, you can acknowledge them, and then choose a different response.
Eventually I shifted my attention from destructive emotional outbursts to something more constructive. I began holding these events up to the light, then turning them slightly until I could see a glimmer of something positive in it; until I could find a lesson, or some value in the experience.
That jerk just cut me off! The nerve! I could have hit him! He had to be in front of me so bad…I’ll show him! (as you get really close to his bumper so he can’t ignore the silent message your’re sending)
Wow, that guy just cut me off! That’s really frustrating! Maybe he didn’t see me there. I’m going to be extra careful in the future so I don’t do the same to someone else. I don’t want to be that guy!
And in doing this, I learned to be more joyful. As I began to be more content with my life and the events that came up, people started to notice the change. I didn’t fault others if they chose to vent. I still listened but when I could, I would try to redirect them, or ask a question that would maybe get them to think about things from a different perspective.
I started sharing this with the people around me, leading by example. People started to feel good when they were around me. They became more positive, and hopefully they will in turn do the same with those they meet.
With my writing, I hope to be that glimmer of hope for you as well! I want to be the drop of water that starts a ripple of positive thinking through the people I am fortunate enough to meet.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Glimmer