There’s no denying that the world today is different. Some say we are living in an Age of Fear. For myself, I like to stay abreast of what’s happening in the news and world around me, but I’ve actually gotten to the point where I’m afraid to turn on the news. I don’t want to hear about another shooting in Toronto or a community near by. I don’t want to hear about what the politicians are doing now – in Canada or abroad. I just don’t want any more negativity. Has this been affecting you too? If so, how do you stay positive in challenging times?
I recently read an article in the Oprah magazine where she interviewed three extraordinary thinkers: Stephen Colbert (one of the wisest and most wisecracking political minds), Salma Hayek (brilliant activist and actress) and Jordan Peele (film director). Each was asked what gives them hope, given the world we live in today. While each has their own views, their thoughts were surprisingly optimistic. I’ll let you read the full article if you are interested, but as a quick summary, Stephen’s message was to take the Really Long View – meaning, he goes back to his roots and faith to provide him with hope. Jordan Peele’s message is to Laugh, especially when you are Scared. And Salma Hayek’s message is to Trust in our Power to Change.
I found all of these messages to be a good reminder for myself. While I’m not a religious person, I do have some spiritual beliefs and ultimately believe that everything happens for a reason. I too, believe in laughter as a healing method. After all, it’s hard to laugh and be sad or scared at the same time. And ultimately, I do believe that there are positive things that come from bad events or experiences. It’s using this time and ability to create change for the better.
At the root of it all is a deep sense and knowing that even though things may be bad at this moment in time, it won’t last. Eventually things will get better. What I’ve learned is that there are constant ups and downs in life. Bad decisions and bad relationships happen that can leave you feeling disappointed and questioning whether you handled things as best as you could have. But every mistake is a chance to learn and grow. It’s also a chance to decide to do things differently.
There is a saying: What you give your attention to grows. And, I think that applies to how we view the world today. If we believe that it’s negative and constantly feed this with more negative energy, then that’s exactly what we will get back. How many times have you said or thought to yourself “How bad things are”? The more you do this, the more you actually reinforce this belief. The more we complain, the worse things get.
Life is a mirror. Whatever shows up for you is always a reflection of how you see yourself.
But what if you took a moment to step away from all the noise and the constant bombardment from the media, social media, etc. What if you could just turn inward and be still or fill your thoughts and surroundings with things that provide you with peace and comfort.
Ultimately, we have the ability to choose how we want to think and be. As long as we have the freedom and power to choose, things will never be as bad as they seem.