Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
There has been so much negativity in the news that it has been overwhelming. I honestly feel like negativity is a disease that is slowly killing everything from relationships to peoples health. I know from personal experience that being in a negative environment surrounded by negative people is the worse kind of prison. It is scary because you may not even realize what is happening to you. I believe it starts with people gossiping. For some reason a little gossip always gives a rush of adrenaline to people (as long you are not the topic of conversation). Misery loves company as they say! However, those negative discussions lead to resentment. Eventually you start to resent everyone in your life because you feel like you give everything and it is not recognized at home or at work. That negative mindset then affects how you react in even the most insignificant of situations because of all the hate and negativity that has been breeding in your mind. Soon you don’t recognize yourself and you have no desire to please others around you anymore so you start to rebel. If it gets bad enough it can lead to serious health problems and even feelings of depression that can make you not want to get out of bed in the morning. This is no way to live however! I ask that you take a moment to reflect if this is you. Maybe it is not all of you but if sometimes you feel this way you have to admit it and then start the process of healing for your own well being.
The worst kind of problem is the one you don’t even realize you have. You have no idea that you can control the outcome and turn the tide of your life by changing your mindset. Once I realized I had caught the negativity disease I started to do some personal research on how to be happy! I started by interviewing people who I perceived were able to keep their peace in an otherwise negative environment that was affecting almost everyone else. The interesting thing I found that was that an overwhelmingly majority of those people had some form of faith or belief that let them rise above the hate and the negativity. They counted their blessings daily and remembered to Thank God for all the good things that happened to them in their life. They accepted the negative things that happen to them as part of life and left the desire for revenge in God’s hands. Now if you have a negative mindset I am sure you could say to yourself, “Oh doesn’t that sound wonderful. Let’s all sing Kumbaya and walk around pretending nothing bad will ever happen.” Now there is a few people that live in the clouds and not reality and I understand that is no way to live either! The message I am trying to get across is that the beautiful part of having a positive mindset is that it creates positive energy.
Once I realized this I began a quest to change my mindset. It was not easy. It felt like teaching an old dog new tricks and at times I wanted to give up and just go back to those somehow comforting negative thoughts. I realized I was addicted to the way it made me feel to complain. It was a strange satisfaction, like eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after a break-up. Somehow it just felt good to complain. I didn’t realize it was changing the person I was and actually blocking positive things from coming my way. Each day was a battle. I had to start looking at things from a different view point. For example, I was often frustrated that I had to walk my dogs everyday (even though I chose to have dogs!) I had to start thinking about the positive benefits of walking the dogs. The chance for some exercise in my life, a moment to breathe the outside air I wouldn’t otherwise see since I work indoors, to feel the morning sun on my skin, to see the happiness in my dogs and know how important this was for them. Slowly what I dreaded everyday as an “obligation” became a pleasure. It became an honor that I get to take them outside. It became an event I look forward to in the morning now all because I shifted my thought process.
Often times in life we look at all the things that we do as obligation and we don’t realize that they are gifts given to us because God entrusts us with these tasks or people or even animals. If we change our mindset from negative to positive and realize the honor in these previously labeled “obligations” or “burdens” then we will start to reap the benefits of a positive lifestyle. I believe strongly that the first step to change is recognizing you have a problem. So I suggest you start counting your thoughts today. Count how many negative thoughts you have verse positive. If you end up realizing you are in this boat like I was and you realize a majority of what you think is negative then you owe it to yourself to find a way to change. The mind is so powerful and it controls so many things but with a little discipline and a few changes you too can break the chains of negativity in your life and turn the page to live happier, healthier and more fruitful. When I get up each morning, I no longer dread the day ahead. I actually Thank God for all he has done in my life and all I believe he will continue to do. I declare that today will be a great day because it is an honor just to be alive!
My wish for those of you reading this is that you can live a life of positivity. It makes a huge difference in the quality of the life that at times feels so long but in reality is so short. I pray that you realize the power you have over your own mind to break the chains of negativity and release your best self now.
Remember Jesus Loves you and so do We!