Chaos that is constant in places including, but not limited to, Cairo really affects me negatively, every single day. People, whether I work with them or deal with them in public places are also a source of that negativity, partly. I think this is the story of everyone’s life, but we don’t realize that the unclear haze is within us. Condemning the outside world never changes anything, and here’s my take on how bad things make you believe and stay positive by choice.
Being a person who often falls in the above trap, I’m trying to exercise having more compassionate and patient habits. I started taking mental notes of the positives and negatives in my daily life. It feels great to wake up in the morning feeling enthusiastic about the day and looking forward to it, but with the inescapable negative stimulation I encounter, I feel drained and therefore end up feeling sorry for myself (doesn’t feel good), or blaming other people and the outside circumstances (only feels good for a short while). In the long run, this doesn’t do me any good or give me the inner peace I’d rather thrive with. Reacting mindlessly and with anger, or even not realizing that I have an option gets me behind, it never takes me forward, and this is why I’ve decided to get myself more aware about it.
Reacting and responding are too very similar yet very different processes. They’re usually outcomes of a situation, and they can both be good or bad. Reacting is easy, it’s quick and it’s usually a bad habit, but it could also be a plus if you’re avoiding an accident. While responding is a more well-thought, possibly kinder, practiced acknowledgment of a certain thing. It’s usually the right thing to do unless speed is needed. Mindfulness is the trick. It’s the catch. Mindfulness isn’t the easiest of practices, but once you’re aware, the path to mastering it only gets smoother.
Last week, I’ve talked about passion and how our choices can affect us from accomplishing what we’re most passionate about. Believe it or not, mindfulness has got a lot to do with passion. I’ve mentioned how things like gossiping, not having alone time, and doing things without savoring them can be huge barriers, and they’re obviously negative things that keep you in that same state, not on the bright side of life. I believe that instead of dreading our lives, we should get a thrill out of them and they should mostly be joyful!
This is what I’m reminding myself of from now on:
There’re a positive in every negative, and by focusing on it and relying on your power to be disciplined with your thoughts rather than letting go to anger and frustrations, you will start experiencing control over your life and emotions, instead of feeling powerless and being controlled by your environment.
The best part about having the choice is that you can always find a way out. A few days ago, I was sitting with a dear friend, and she went on and on about how her boss is unfair and judgemental. I don’t mind listening to my friends when they need someone to lend an ear, but at some point, the venting makes things worse, not more relieving. This conversation made me realize that I really am convinced that energy plays a big role in our life, and whichever type we feed, grows.
When my friend continued, I decided to stop her at some point, and reminded her that her boss is probably at home having fun with her family, while she is sitting and discussing a person who consumes 8 hours of her day already, still wasting her own time.
Since the attitude exchanged between people can really affect their moods, I’ve learned that the way to keep both sides feeling good was to engage in some energy Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu, a martial art, combat sport and self defense system, asserts that a smaller/weaker person can practice the technique and defeat a person who’s larger and believed to be stronger. The catch is, Jiu Jitsu, in its core, is basically the tactic to expertly seize the strength and power of the opponent and use it for your advantage.
Relating to the conversation I wrote about before that, the concept of Jiu Jitsu can easily be applied to negative and positive energy and how it doesn’t have to affect us. Consider the negative energy to be the larger opponent, if not taken a responsive action against, it will stay scary and big. If, however, the technique is done right, what seemed to be fragile can win. I’m assuming focusing can be shattered by distractions when you’re new at it.
So in the event of being surrounded by someone who’s in a negative frame of mind, take that person’s energy and remind them that they’re only affecting themselves by staying in that place. Be persistent and assertive, you will nourish your own belief, you’ve just benefited from someone’s complaints. We all have the tendency to take the easy way out and join in the whining about how the world is unfair. But that attitude will never change the world, just like worrying about a sick person will never make them healthier.
Another way to bring out the good is by being grateful. Gratitude and appreciation are both beautiful experiences, and they’re so easy to experience, even when you’re sad. Use your sad moments to appreciate your conditions, the fact that you have a roof over your head, the luxuries you have in your life. And appreciate knowing that whatever’s making you feel sorrowful probably wouldn’t matter in a week. Somedays are going to be brilliant, while others just won’t. Being aware of the difference is a gift.
Even if you’ve reacted, and even if you’re on your negatively programmed autopilot system, be thankful that you’re learning. Take your emotions as warning signs, things that you can change, things that aren’t worth feeling. Being reactive will teach you to be responsive, it will push you in the right direction. Acknowledge your bad reactions, forgive yourself and move on.
The heartbreaks and hardships make you who you are, they give you your edges and perks. They help you define your values, they help you get to know yourself, let them happen, let them help you. Learn to be the hero, not the victim. Your excuses won’t get you anywhere, and the more robustly you evolve out of a situation, the better you will be at life. Instead of being the person people want to avoid, be the person who carries the sunshine around, your long face will repel the rest of the sunshine, not attract it.
Long story short, nothing’s worth a troubled mind or moment, so admit it and move on. There’s virtue everywhere around us, when we choose to see it. Blaming the world won’t fix you, only you will.