Maybe the best way to approach the New Year and new decade is with hope, in spite of all and any evidence to the contrary. To not get caught in the swirl of negativity that seems so predominate.
It has not been an easy year for me, nor for many people I know, and seemingly for the world at large.
Supposedly all of life‘s experiences are opportunities for us to grow, learn “lessons” that make us wiser. If you are like me, you might feel like a slow learner as one life “challenge” piles on another. And looking at the suffering of others one wonders if they feel like they are getting wiser.
I think maybe I need to work harder on shifting perspective.
I use to be a person who accepted that the glass could be both half full AND half empty, and that was okay. A life of social work, assisting and advocating for people with psychiatric disabilities, victims of domestic violence, often young people whose life struggles seemed unfair for their age…..in general seeing the struggles and suffering of others, added to my own increasing health challenges, a decade of watching my mother decline into dementia, and I became a person who not only saw the glass as half empty, but it was draining. Then there’s the “too much info about others lives and the world” via the Internet.
I’m married to a person who sees the glass half full regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Though sometimes irritating, it can also be refreshing!
A frequent suggestion is to make a gratitude list to see the good in life. This may help, it is hard sometimes to recognize the gifts and blessings and doing so consciously is a good strategy, but perhaps we should include gratitude in the mundane, that which we hardly think to feel grateful for and may even complain about. This too can help shift perspective – such as being grateful for cleaning the toilet, because it means we have indoor plumbing, or washing the dishes because it means we had food to make into a meal, even grateful for bills to pay – the power bill, the doctor, the mechanic, etc. because it means we have these services available to us. But this list is based on seeing what we have compared to those who do not have. A helpful tool, but there’s more to shifting perspective.
I share with you this article from the Wall Street Journal about research into how powerful negativity is compared to positivity. The evidence for this makes one realize, to overcome negativity we must be a warriors, have a strategy, and be vigilant. Though I don’t agree with a few points in the article, I found it good food for thought as we begin a new year, and it offers a few suggestions for being that warrior. Here’s the link: For The New Year, Just Say No To Negativity
More food for thought the is the concept of miracles. Learning to see miracles in every day life, to recognize those moments, events, or people who seem to appear or happen out of no where, yet change our lives in a positive way…..paying attention to THAT could really shift perspective! I’m reading a book about miracles, and thinking maybe we all need to understand better how to see them and identify them.
I do not know an easy fix nor have a clear plan for shifting perspective, for empowering positivity, I suspect it’s like most things in life….just begin and the way will become clearer.
So with my favorite warrior, Tree Fairy (she reappeared yesterday after a year. A gentle soul, but a fierce warrior concerning her trees and all of Nature), I wish for you a heart filled with love, peace of mind, and much hope in this year ahead.