The world is our mirror. It reflects back to us the content of our predominant thoughts. We may think we are positive people, but we all harbor negative judgments, fears, insecurities. In fact, human beings have an inclination to be negative.
According to a report on the Cleveland Clinic Wellness site a while ago, “Each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts a day! That’s one thought per second in every waking hour! Amazingly, 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative.”
With that amount of ANTS (automatic negative thoughts), we can’t be living the best life possible. All too often we function on automatic pilot, letting our impulses and conditioning control our lives. While negative thinking, worry, stress and fear are natural, we can rise above them.
We have instincts but we also have choices. We have fear but we also have love. There is ugliness in the world but there’s also beauty. There is hatred but there is also kindness. There is darkness but there is also light. The choice is ours.
In the following letter written by Fra Giovanni in 1513, he urges a friend to see beyond the shadows…
I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – beneath its covering – that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
Make the Best of the Rest of Your Life
We can bemoan the injustice in the world or we can be a beacon of light in the darkness.
We can separate or we can join. We can be guided by fear or by faith. We can be apathetic or enthusiastic. We can surrender to our genes and conditioning, our regrets and grievances or we can take responsibility for what we think and feel and do. Relinquish that responsibility, and the power of choice is forfeited.
As you make your daily choices, remember…
Focus of attention creates. Change your mind and you change your life.
It is never what is happening that upsets us. It is always what we think about what’s happening.
Happiness comes from inside not outside.
Gratitude = great attitude. Pessimism and cynicism are hazardous to your health.
Growth comes from going beyond our boundaries.
The greatest ally or enemy you will ever have is your own thinking.
There is beauty in the world and in our minds.
Take time to relax and refresh yourself.
Take time to discover and pursue what you really enjoy.
Be kind to yourself, patient and forgiving. Take the lessons from your mistakes and let the self-recrimination go.
Take time to be kind. Wherever you are, there is someone you can make a little happier.
Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world. Annie Lennox
Compassionate listening is an act of love, and a gift more precious than words. Take time to listen.
Open your mind to new ideas. Open your heart to a pet, a child, a lonely neighbor.
Most of us have built walls around ourselves. We are in a constant state of self-defense. We are afraid of being hurt, disappointed, betrayed, rejected. Our fears imprison us. Let the walls down.
So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. The Eagles
The key is choice. Set yourself free. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, thinking, feeling, doing, choose again.
Adapted from: Make the Best of the Rest of Your Life