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Have you noticed that when you act NOW, something gets done.  When you put it off for a better time, things keep getting put off.  Believe me.  I have a truly frightening to-do list.

I’ve been creating these Inaugurate Light messages for about two years now, pairing positive thoughts with images and circulating them in the cyber world.   Lately it just hasn’t been doing it for me.  I need to do something else.  Or something more.

I’ve started writing to someone each week.  That will be fifty-two cards in a year.  I started it in March so I’ve only done three so far.

I got a huge surprise the other day because one of our teens came squealing up to me and grabbed me in a huge hug.  “Thank you for the note!”

Um, okay.  Yeah.  That’s cool.

I was more than a little surprised.  But apparently something that seems small to me can seem pretty big to someone else.  A card.  A smile.  Looking someone in the eye.  It doesn’t have to be big but, to have an impact, you need to do it.  So why not do it now?

–SueBE

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This is the kind of quote that cracks my husband up.  I am so not a morning person.

If I could start each day with a positive thought and a cup  of coffee at 9 am, I would be so happy.  So happy.

Oh, well.  It isn’t that I tend to start the day unhappy but I don’t wake up fast.  So more than anything, I start the day out of it.  I realized just how bad I am when we went on a family trip when my nieces were really small.  One of them got me up in the middle of the night to take her to the bathroom.

The next morning, my sister-in-law commented that she couldn’t believe the girls had slept through the night.  “I had to get up with . . . with . . . one of them.”  The funny thing was?  Whichever girl needed help could not remember getting up.  We still don’t know who I got up with.

Me?  I’m grateful every day that God has a soft spot for those of us who awaken only gradually.

–SueBE

This is something I definitely need to work on.  It is just so much easier to blame someone else.  And sometimes it really can feel like we have no control.  I suspect that the key is learning the skills before the critical situation arises. And staying on top of things as much as possible until then.  In light of that realization, instead of writing a longer post, I need to get our contribution to my MIL’s birthday dinner in the crock pot.

–SueBE

Have you ever noticed how one negative post on Facebook or a negative comment on a blog post is followed by a flurry of such activity?  Negative attracts negative.  It almost seems to spread like a virus.

In truth, I think that part of the problem is what we see.  When we see something bad, we think about it.  “Oh, I wish people weren’t so . . . negative/hateful/stupid.”  Then we observe more of the same.

I recently saw a psychologist speak and he discussed how when someone goes to med school, they rather obviously study a series of ailments.  But they also tend to get so wrapped up in that ailment that they see it everywhere including in themselves.  He encouraged his listeners to spend sometime focusing each day on things that went well, on what they accomplished, and on what made them happy.  Think about what is positive, he contended, and you would see more of it.

Personally, I think God has observed this in us.  That’s why he tells us to avoid bad situations and bad people and focus on the good.  On what is excellent and praiseworthy.

Why not give it a try for a few days?  At the end of each day, or the beginning of a new day, write down something that you really liked in the last 24 hours.  It may be a bit of a struggle at first, but if you try it I suspect you are going to start seeing more positive things and people in the world around you.

Dwell on these things.

–SueBE

 

A positive attitude really will help in many situations. If you annoy someone?  Ah, well.

I know, I know.  Not the best attitude to have about having a positive attitude but that’s just the way it goes some days.  On a good day, things will sometimes go wrong.  You won’t always get your way.

You can keep a good sense of humor about it or not.

Me?  I try to keep it all in perspective so that I can write a funny Facebook post later on.  God gave us the ability to laugh.  Use it and most situations really will be easier to handle.

–SueBE

elie-wieselI don’t know about you but I’ve had about enough of 2016. The negativity. The harsh judgements.  The whining and griping.

And I’m not just talking between people at opposite ends of the political spectrum. A close friend brought up politics at Christmas dinner. Because she’s a friend I thought I could speak my mind. “I think the biggest problem is that we don’t listen to each other.”

Honestly, I’m 98% certain that her head spun around in a complete circle. But do you know the really crazy part?  We are both political liberals.  If two people who are on the same end of the spectrum can’t hold a discussion and listen to each other, doesn’t this kind of prove my point?

The negativity needs to end. We need to spend some time spreading light.

And with that in mind, a friend started the Facebook page Inaugurate Light.  As it says in the description:

“Launch is a synonym of inaugurate, and Inaugurate Light is a group of Facebook friends who banded together to launch messages of light and love, comfort and compassion, freedom and equality across social media during the month of January. Regardless of your political opinions or affiliations, it is our hope that at least some of these messages will touch your hearts and open your minds, and that you will also share the message to continue to spread light in these divided, uncertain times.”

Visit there throughout the month of January for positive quotes and memes.  If you feel moved, help us spread the light by sharing posts wherever you are active on social media. I will be sharing things on my Facebook wall  and on Twitter (@SueBEdwards).  If you would like, I can also share things here.

Help us shine a light on all that is good and right in the world. Working together, we can push the darkness back.

–SueBE

On my local weather site, meteorologists have been using a phrase that I don’t always associate with weather. “An energy system is coming in, and when it meets this other front, we’ll really have some weather!” said the energetic young weatherman.

I hadn’t really thought of weather as being about energy, but then again, maybe everything is about energy.

When I renovated my shower, the tile contractor came into the house with a lit cigarette in his mouth.  I told him this was a non-smoking house and he put it out. Four hours later, I walked down the hall to see how the job was coming and saw that he was smoking again. “Caught me!” he said. I read him the riot act, but it was too late. He had smoked right into the grout holding the tiles in place, so even though I don’t smoke, my house smelled like charcoal in a chimney for months afterward.

Later that week, the plumber came in to upgrade the shower head, and the experience was vastly different. He was respectful and courteous, informing me every step of the way, even humming as he worked. As you can imagine, the outcome in this case was much more positive.

Energy permeates the products we make and infuses the words we speak – indeed, energy is everywhere.

I’d love it if someone could invent a meter that we could wear around our necks, close to our hearts. It would show us what kind of energy we’re putting into the world, and might give us an idea of how we’re being received by others. Instead of a “FitBit,” maybe it could be called a “HeartPart.” Just a little nudge to remind us we’re all in this life together and a kind word never costs a thing.

I’ve got an iron-clad faith in God, to be sure, but my friends know that I’ve also got a lot of new-agey ideas and curious quirks.  I tend to see signs from God in almost everything.  I also believe that I’m supposed to learn from hardship, so I analyze everything that happens like a CSI investigator.

My theory is that I was scheduled to develop MS at 63, but due to the stresses of an awful job, it came on early, at age 36.  I had put the memory of that terrible workplace behind me, until a few months ago, when the cab brought me to the door of the Infusion Center where I’d be receiving treatment every month.

This can’t be right.  Can it?  I didn’t realize I had said this aloud.

The cab driver said, “Yes ma’am.  This is the address you gave me.”

I didn’t speak for a moment.

“Ma’am?  Are you all right?”

I nodded, but I wasn’t sure.

Even though I’m generally somewhat shy, I actually felt the need to pray out loud.

“Is this where you want me to go, Lord?”

The cab driver was unfazed.  He felt comfortable answering for the Maker of All Things, apparently.

“Do you need what they give you here, Miss?” he asked quietly.

The answer was obvious to me.

“Yes.  I really do.”

“Then that is your answer.” 

New Jersey may be the world center for Wise Cab Drivers.  He got a very nice tip, and I thanked him.  I felt comfortable saying “God bless you,” which I’m very cagey about saying to anyone.  It has, on occasion, offended a person or two, so I don’t offer it freely.

You see, this was the place where I had worked for fourteen years, and for the last few, it had been a nightmare.  It was where I first started to notice that the headaches never went away, and that my fingers were starting to go numb.  It was where a deep depression set in, and a constant state of anxiety took hold. It’s where everything in my life seemed to start to unravel.

But it was no longer the same place.  I tossed a coin in my mind and decided to see it differently now.  It was a place of healing.  It had been totally revamped and reconfigured, and the place that had been my office was now a large room where patients sat with their IVs, being tended to by the caring nurses.  There were pillows and reclining chairs, relaxing music and fresh coffee.  If you didn’t know better, you might even mistake it for a day-spa.

“I used to work here, kind of…” I said to the receptionist after she signed me in.  “Really?” she asked.  I said, “It used to be a different company, and I sat right over there by that window.”

“Weird!” she said, and looked over at the window.  “Does it look the same?”

It didn’t.  And I decided it would no longer feel the same.  I realized that God moved in mysterious ways, and maybe He was allowing me to achieve some kind of closure on that era of my life.  That place doesn’t even exist anymore, my child.  Those days are over, and all I have for you here is healing.

I sat back in my chair, feeling the cold liquid coursing through my veins, grateful for so many things: Cab Drivers with an Inordinate Amount of Life Experience; the medicine that would bring back the feeling in my feet and hands; open doors and second chances.  I thanked God that hearts and minds can be revamped and reconfigured, and that even after a deep, dark night, joy still comes in the morning.

This morning I woke up, thought about how to deal with some difficult things going on in my life and heard myself say, “I don’t know what the heck….” As I went through the day, I noticed that I say this in my head all day long.

And I realized that needed to change to: “Oh, I see.”

Even if I don’t.

Here’s the deal. I don’t know all the answers to the mysteries of life. I do know that I’m still here and God’s in charge. I’ve had a complicated relationship with God of late. While I know Him as beneficent, I also realize He’s the One authorizing all my challenges. So even though I find it confusing, I still believe.

The other thing I realized is that I tend to focus on my problems and say: Why me?

It occurred to me that I’d be better off focusing on my dreams, and saying: Why not me?

I decided to flip the record over and play the “B” side. Be strong in the Lord. Be hopeful at heart. Be the best version of me I can be.

There’s no law that says you have to keep telling a sob-story and playing a done-me-wrong song forever. No time like the present. Flip over to the “B” side and believe.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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