I was driving recently and a friend of mine in the passenger seat says to me, “why are you 10 and 2ing it?” I asked what that meant and of course she was referring to my hand placement on the steering wheel. She said I seemed uptight and in my head. Now of course, driving with hands at 10 and 2 is safe and I usually drive like that anyway but I guess I gave off the impression through my posture that I was uptight. She was right. I was obsessing about my life and future tripping. I was not present and in the moment. The thing is, everything that happens everyday is just a situation or a fact of life. When life happens, I tend to judge what happened which evokes my emotion in one way or another. What if instead of judging, I accepted myself, others, places, or moments as being exactly as they’re supposed to be at that time?
Muhammad Ali once said, “if I view the world at 50 the same as I did at 20, I’ve wasted 30 years of my life”. I’m grateful today that I understand life isn’t about me. Therefore, I don’t need to make it about me. We’re all on our separate journeys and have different purposes. I get to focus on my journey and what I get to do each day to improve, and I get to let others do the same.
What really inspired me to write this was a conversation I had. I was speaking with a man who lost his eye as a result of cancer and he told me how he was blessed. As soon as I heard the word, “blessed” my ears perked up. I’ve been going through it recently with my own struggles. Fear has been getting the best of me, I’ve been living in my head and sitting in my pity party. I’m having these thoughts that I’m never going to make it or be successful, that life is always going to be a struggle, and here’s this guy who lost his eye and he’s blessed. He’s grateful to be alive. He’s grateful for his life and believes in his worth. What I took away from this interaction is that when I look around and view things objectively, my life isn’t that bad. I have a choice every day and each and every moment to be grateful. I can focus on all that I have or I can focus on all that I don’t. Regardless of which I choose to focus on, the present moment doesn’t change, my perspective does.
Last Friday for example, I took my nephew to jujitsu and afterward we came home and ordered pizza. While waiting for pizza, we built a fire. When we came inside, we watched a movie together and when the movie ended, he asked me if we could do that every Friday. I felt so good in that moment. Spending time with my nephew, and being a good uncle is something I get to do today. My older sister, his mom passed away when he was 5 years old. God is entrusting me along with my family to be there for him and to love him. I AM BLESSED! As grateful as I am and as much as I love my nephew, I can forget these moments when I focus on the perceived negative in my life.
My thoughts will trigger emotion and emotions will trigger my behavior. Having the ability to choose what I think about allows me to play a part in how I respond to the world. If I can think about the good instead of the negative, I can change my entire outlook to a situation, person, place or thing.
I’m sure there is something that you can be grateful for. I encourage you to focus on gratitude and things you have rather than what you don’t. Your outlook will dictate how you show up in life. Do you want to be someone people come to for help or someone people avoid? We all play a big part in this and it starts with our thoughts!!
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