Different people would look at it differently but what I would be interested to know is– from what outlook or stance is a person looking at the world from.
It’s important to know that. It is important to see how or what your outlook towards life people or things is. When one of my daughters whine away or complain of something awful happening in her life, I would stop her dead on her track with a particular look. Then she would know and shift gear in her line of thinking. And the conversation would turn towards more positive ideas or impressions. It’s not easy because there is so much happening in life, in people, in the world, and most of it is what people would call bad or tough luck. I guess that is enough to drive a person into a corner to sit and growl. Often would feel scared – frustrated – helpless – hopeless - confused, and sometimes embark on a rampage of blame – blaming unfair office practices, an erring spouse, inefficient policies and people, nosey neighbors, flights delayed for hours, corrupt government officials, scheming relatives, false friends, rebellious children, or the cat whose tail you have accidentally stepped on and got a scratch from which needed an anti-rabies shot.
A friend countered with this --- ‘don’t we all react in that manner?’ Again true, but is that the only way that our reactions should move towards – a negative outburst? Can’t we exercise control over our responses to something bad? Well, can we?? His face went blank, mumbled an excuse and left me to deal with my own question.
I used to be all spit and fire when faced with anything that didn’t run according to my expectations. And if my fiery temper didn’t work on it, I would go to my room and sulk, cry and blame, typically. My mom (a small woman of wisdom and courage 10-feet-tall) would then come in and say to me….
‘You’ve already lost the battle without a fight. If you want to win it, then learn to see it through positive eyes. See that behind the inconvenience discomfort or obstacle is something God wants you to learn and grasp. It’s a nudge telling you that something needs correcting or review. Or maybe a blessing lies within but you have to strip the unpleasant layers off.’
I really didn’t know where mom got that but I always thought that when things happened that way – it was never my fault but somebody else’s or something. And how could a blessing ever be all wrapped up in a negative circumstance as that?!
‘You must learn and learn well to see life, on the whole, with a positive outlook. This enables you to see issues better, analyze situations well without emotions getting in the way, discern truth, and cut through the cover of falsehood. A positive outlook towards life gives us better control when things go bad. People would often mistake this type of control as weak because you will appear to them as – calm and perhaps slow. But there lies your strength and power – in being calm in the midst of a storm.’
It's not an easy task - never has been, never will be; rather more of a struggle -- to be positive -- but anything is worth trying if it would take a person away from being rooted in awful situations and mind sets. Maybe I can't change situations... but I can change the way I think about it or look at it.
To make a long story short, I was a different person from that day on. Although the learning still continues and bad things continue to storm my life, but I simply look back to that day and Mom’s words… -gets me back on track again. That’s enough to make me change gears in my thoughts – from negative to positive -- thereby making the driving down life’s road with better chances for a winning challenge.
Life is what we make it, Always has been, always will be.
posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 1:23 PM