There was once a point in my life where I found myself in an all encompassing rut of negativity. Traffic lights were against me, my workday felt twice as long as it actually was, and sarcasm was my best friend. The Starbucks drive through line was a true test of patience and going to Target expended all my energy for the day. It was somewhere at the bottom of this negativity pit that I had a realization.
If I continuously look for negativity, I will always find it.
Negativity is easy to find, and compounds even easier. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that when my day begins with stress, it’s hard to combat that feeling. Instead of looking at all the things that are in my favor that day, I look at the things working against me. What started as a little bit of stress becomes a terrible day of people, events, and experiences that have wronged me. The stress becomes an avalanche and trying to survive the avalanche is just plain exhausting.
Somewhere along the way I realized that all of the small things that were building the avalanche of negativity just didn’t matter. Chances are, in the grand scheme of life I wasn’t going to harbor bad feelings about my spilling a $4 coffee when getting out of the car. I probably wouldn’t even remember it happened in a month. So why was I giving that event so much power over my day?
I also realized that negativity is a cloud that follows you. It is impossible to build people up when you are feeling down. People don’t want to interact with you when you’re the rain cloud in their otherwise sunny day. I want to be the kind of person who brings joy and light to others. The kind of person other people look forward to seeing. Someone who can cheer them up and help them enjoy life to the fullest. This led me to another obvious realization.
If I continuously look for positivity, I will always find it.
Some positive events will be bigger than others. Promotions, engagements, marriages, and births are all deserving of celebration. I may find positivity in small moments of the day as well. A coworker might do me a favor, a client might pay me a compliment. Maybe there was no traffic on my daily commute and I had a coupon for a free ice cream! Sometimes we overlook these small wins. Appreciating them has helped me lighten my heart and enjoy life.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22
When I get home from work I have a choice. I can relive all of the dramas of the day by telling them to my husband, or I can tell him the positive things that happened. While somedays I have to de-stress by telling him about the drama, most of the time I try to let it go. We share our successes with each other and end our days with laughter and relaxation.
Live life positively!
My challenge for others is to dig your way out of the avalanche of negativity. Find things to be positive and celebrate. Some days they will be small things and other days will be great wins! The more cheerful you build your heart, the stronger it will be to help serve others. The best part is, a cheerful heart is one that is filled with gratitude for our savior.
Thank you for all of the blessings you have rewarded me in life. Help me to appreciate all of those small blessings instead of focusing on negative events. I want to be a good example of your light and your love. Help me stay strong and build a cheerful heart that brings joy to everyone around me. I love you, Lord! Amen.