Everywhere I look these days- and especially as December 31 winds to a close- I see posts on social media wishing away this year calling it the worst year people can remember and saying we have had nothing but doom and gloom and disaster for the last 364 days…
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss David Bowie and George Michael and Alan Rickman (and the seemingly dozens of others)
as much as the next gal. Not to mention I’m still grieving the results of the US election. But I think these blogs and countdowns are a symptom of the failings in our current way of looking at our lives and the world at large.
As most of you have probably heard before, our memories are Teflon for the good but Velcro for the bad. We tend to forget the good stuff and focus on the negatives- the losses, the mistakes. We even say things like “Yeah, that was good, but…” We simply can’t allow for positives to outweigh negatives. We skew our whole recollections to one rude receptionist, the one unhelpful call center employee, the one billing error and allow those skews to become our story. We even find ourselves competing with each other to win the “whose life sucks worse” award. We have all had that friend who when we have a headache, they have a tumour. When we have a bad day, they have a bad week. And to one extent or another, most of us do this.
What would life feel like if we released the “negatives” as we label them, freely and calmly from our thoughts? What could we see is possible if we allow that there are no real “good” or “bad” events in our lives at all? What if we saw each event as just that thing that happened that has no control over our enjoyment of THIS moment?
We trap ourselves in unhappiness by repeatedly identifying ourselves through the “bad” things that have happened to us.
We can view 2016 in the context of the number of deaths, the struggles of the few against the powerful, strife and warfare in countries we would have trouble finding on a map. Or we can view 2016 in the glow of the art we have been given over lifetimes; the triumphs (however uncertain) of dedicated, average people over the interests of big business; and the hope spread by the loving people opening their borders and their homes to provide safe refuge to those in need.
I’m not advocating a Pollyanna approach of unrealistic, blind optimism. What I am saying is that we can re-energize ourselves and our world by giving the beauty we are capable of as a species its due. Make room for the abundance and gifts of the universe to shine in your life. What is tended, will grow. You truly do find what you look for.
What are you looking for?