Saturday, October 16, 2010

Change The Way You Look At Things

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I saw this on a friend's Facebook page and it hit home with my recent personal decision to stop focusing on the negative and begin moving toward positive action in the situations I find myself in. My new saying to guide my life goes something like this, "If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem."

I'm guilty of being part of the problem, in many areas, but I'm trying to get out from under that wherever I can and explore creative ways to improve. It can be as simple as making a list for possible ways to solve the problem that has been raised. Basic suggestions are better than nothing at all. If I'm not willing to put time in to find a solution, I shouldn't be participating in the complaint.

I'm tired of living in negativity. It's all around each of us, and in us, and it's the simplest thing in the world to participate in it. The problem is that it creates a drain, and the water gushing down that drain moves faster and faster with each complaint, until the drag and pull of the water threatens to drown you. I want to fight that tide, and be the change I want to see in the world.

I talked to Ava about this very thing last night. I asked her what she loves about living in our town, and suggested that she talk about the good parts of her life at school with her friends instead of the bad or negative things. She said with confidence, "I can do that." I smiled and said, "So can I."

I have a renewed passion for my community, and need to remind myself often why I chose to live here, and what we love about small town life. Making a list of the benefits once in a while is a good reminder to let the petty frustrations go, and hold the good things close, and spread that positivity around as it appears to be in short supply most days.

We can't be daunted by the difficulties in our path. I tell my kids to take one thing at a time, and make slow, incremental changes, as that is what lasts. I want to take my own advice. I can't change anyone's attitude except for my own, but when I change mine, I can create a ripple effect in my family, friends and social networks. That ripple effect can grow and grow with no end in sight, but I want to be sure the ripple is something positive and encouraging instead of destructive. I can change the way I look at things, and find that the things I'm looking at are changing.

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