“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised at how many people don’t even know what that means. They have absolutely no idea how negative they are all the time. They are emotional vampires, literally sucking the life out of, well, life! Constant negative energy is suffocating us, eating away at us, destroying our peace; even making us negative to negativity, creating chaos. It is this chaos that is leading us further and further away from love and peace, literally killing us. Choosing love means choosing to finally live.
If you’re having a bad day, why choose to extend that negativity to someone else? Maybe they were having a perfectly fine day and because you treated them poorly they are now sad and upset. They then spread this negativity and it continues person after person after person and the world is filled with all that heartless energy.
Why not choose love instead? If you smile at the cashier who seems bored at her job, or give a good tip to the waitress who looks sad, maybe you have just turned their entire day around. They then pay that love forward person after person after person. And now, instead of all that angst, you have just created all that love. You have just created miracles. And love and miracles will come back to you.
How often do you have a negative thought? How often does this negative thought get spoken, get let out into the atmosphere, spreading like wildfire? This is difficult to acknowledge, difficult because as I stated above, most people can’t even recognize when they are being negative. Or, if they do notice, they think being negative about the small stuff isn’t their problem, but ours. They are just trying to be funny or get noticed or tell us we are just being too sensitive.
People who are always thinking negative thoughts often don’t even realize it. They think others, and life, are constantly trying to hurt them. They cannot see that it is their negativity that is inflicting the pain onto themselves and everyone they interact with. We are so quick to tear down others, and until we learn to stop this, we ourselves will continue to be torn down.
Find a better way. Choose love. How? To start, ignore the negative statements. Don’t fall into the negativity by asking questions or commenting. You’ll be surprised how many of these conversations will end once one person chooses to let the urge to respond go.
Inevitably there will be someone who feeds the negativity and will keep the conversation alive and well. But one less person, namely you, who decides to walk away from it, shortens its life. Remember, this is about you choosing love. This is about your peace. You will see that someday soon, whether they know it or not, the negative people will speak less and less negativity. Or maybe you will simply notice it less. And that is when you will realize you made a difference. That is when you will have your miracle.
I used to think I needed to point out the negativity, correct people, show them the way to love. But being negative about the negativity isn’t choosing love, it’s choosing arrogance. It’s me thinking I am a better person, thinking I can teach them by leading them. No, that’s not choosing love. Choosing love means being an example of love, and being an example of love means staying quiet and letting the moment of negativity pass. There is negativity; there always will be everywhere you go. It is our attention and reaction to it that allows it to either fester and overpower our day or become an opportunity to create a miracle through love.
How many times a day do you hear the word “I?” How many times a day do you yourself say it? This is the ego talking. The ego wants us to feel special, unique, better than everyone else, deserving. Listening to the ego causes you to only hear and see the negativity in the world. Whenever the ego is in control you are not choosing love. And when you are not choosing love, you are losing peace.
When you focus on yourself, the entire world is against you. When you focus on yourself, you will lose your peace. When your focus moves to others, you will remember how alike we all are and you will care more about their well-being. When you are too busy being arrogant, you don’t have time to listen to others because you are too busy talking about yourself. We feel we aren’t somebody until people know who we are, until we are heard. We want to be liked by everyone, or at least most people. And if we don’t care if we’re liked by people, we still want them to think we matter. We have to tell vulgar jokes to make people laugh; we have to voice our opinion because ours is the only one of value or because it is the right one. When you choose love you stop needing to be the center of attention and you create a person instead who others simply want to notice. Stop trying to be somebody and just be.
When you choose ego you become controlling, a bully. You tell others what to do, what to think, how to feel, and when they don’t listen, you respond with anger, bitterness, and resentment. Why do you think you are better than them? Or is it the insecurity that you feel you are not as good as them, and bullying them masks your own self-doubts? When you control others you do so because you do not want them to see your weaknesses; you fear that they in turn will control you. Get over yourself. It’s not about you.
Do you not follow rules you don’t agree with? It’s not about me, it’s about we. And we are one. When the ego rules, it’s about me – when and how will I be rewarded; who and what can I blame. When love rules it’s about we – what is right for all of us; when and how will we heal; who and what can I strive to understand better.
You can be a better person without being arrogant. In fact, not being arrogant is the only way to becoming a better person. And not being arrogant means becoming aware. The more you become aware – the more you see how important everyone is, the more you see the little miracles that come from choosing love – the less arrogant you will be. The more aware you are, the more you choose love. The more you choose love the more you find peace.
How often do you drag your negativity from one place to another, one person to another? You have an argument with your spouse, then have a bad day at work, then get cut off on the highway on your way to the store, then have your parking place get taken by someone else, and then you burn dinner. How often do you get in an argument with someone and then someone else and then again someone else? Had you not let that first bad incident affect you poorly, your entire day could have gone differently. Had you not taken it with you and then allowed all the other bad things to pile up on top of it, you could have found more opportunities to choose love.
When you choose love over ego, you learn to be respectful of everyone around you. You are no longer the source of distraction – talking in the movie theater or library, using your cell phone in a restaurant or other public place, driving fast or erratic with no consideration for the other drivers on the road. When you choose awareness over ego you notice everyone around you, even strangers walking into a building behind you who you begin holding doors open for. You respond to invitations that you used to ignore rather than simply telling your friend you are unable to attend their function. You stop bringing uninvited guests to weddings or holiday gatherings. You no longer tell your host what time you will be there, rather, you show up on time, or decline the invitation if the timing doesn’t work for you.
You begin treating cashiers at the supermarket with kindness and a smile. You say “please” and “thank you.” You stop expecting others to go out of their way for you, and you start going out of your way for others. You politely turn down something you really cannot do rather than ignoring the person who asked you for help. You are truthful; you do not lie to get out of a situation you are, or would be uncomfortable, in. You follow rules – you stop leaving your child unattended in the children’s department of the local bookstore while you shop next store; you drive the speed limit and obey other traffic laws; you patiently wait your turn in line instead of fighting your way to the front.
Our relationships are in jeopardy. When we can take the focus off of ourselves and put it on, not only our loved-ones but also, every living thing we encounter, we will be setting the example of love. Once we do this, we lead the way for others to follow. And soon, the overbearing negativity will begin to dissolve and love will take its place as the norm.
Do you have to comment on every Facebook, blog, or news posting? Do you need to be involved in every conversation and bring your opinion to every table? Do you get in a lot of arguments; feel like you always have to defend yourself? Do you need to know everything, know every secret, get envious if someone else knows something before you? If you are relying on other people for your happiness – Look at me! Give me attention! – you are not choosing love.
Stop playing the victim, looking for reasons and people to blame for your unhappiness. Your life is just that, yours. We cannot expect others to help us when we need help, but when we choose love we help them when they need it. We cannot expect our spouse to take care of the house and children alone, but when we choose love we set the example for what needs to be done. We cannot expect our parents or siblings to pay our bills or aid in healing our wounds, but when we choose love we assist whenever and however we can when our loved-ones are suffering. We cannot expect anyone to pick up the pieces to a mess that we and we alone created, but when we choose love we ask, “What can I do to help you?” And here’s the biggest “cannot” there is: we cannot choose love and expect a reward. We will not be happy until we start giving service to others where the only reward is simply giving love.
We get back what we give out. If we give out love, we get love back. We cannot know nor have expectations as to how we will get that love returned to us, but the guarantee that it will be returned is truth. You help your neighbor shovel after a big snowstorm. Maybe they don’t thank you or reward you the way you thought you deserved to be rewarded. But maybe the person in front of you at Starbuck’s just bought your coffee. Or maybe you didn’t hit one red light on your way to work so you weren’t late like you thought you were going to be. You have received the love you gave out, just not in the way you thought you would.
When you choose love you do not ask people to give you something for nothing. They can offer it and you can accept, but you do not ask for it. You cannot ask people to go out of their way for you and you cannot be angry if they do not. But you should always ask someone if they need something from you and you should always go out of your way for someone if they ask.
We aren’t perfect. The ego will win more often than we’d like. It is our job to notice when we aren’t choosing love, be aware, and make the changes necessary. That is how we create miracles.
Go through your day acknowledging anything and everything that takes your attention away from love. Allow yourself to react. Do not reprimand, attack, or get angry at yourself. React, and if you do not like your reaction, or you know your reaction was not loving, forgive yourself, apologize, and let it go. Think about how you might react differently, lovingly, next time a similar situation arises. The more you do this, the more you won’t have to think to react positively. The more you do this, the more your reactions will become more loving naturally.
Spread love to find peace. If someone threatens that, show them an example of love to follow. Even walking away instead of showing negativity is an example of love. And if we choose to walk away, our lesson always after is to never let it hurt us any longer. We have done our part, we have walked away in order to set our minds at ease.
Negative actions will have negative effects. Problems will continue to find us if we continue to look for problems. If we create chaos, chaos will be returned. If we create negativity, negativity will be returned. If we create love, love will be returned.
React differently today. Create only positive, loving conversations. Watch how you change the progression of your day. Do it again tomorrow. Watch how you positively change someone else’s attitude towards you. And then do it again the next day. And the next. Watch how you change your life. Watch how choosing love leads the way to peace, not just for you, but for others whose lives you touch, often without even realizing it.