From Darkness To Light

These days, I really enjoy the lighter side of life. Comedy movies, comic books, light-hearted material, and positive reads of all kinds. I even like cheery colors in my wardrobe. But it wasn’t all that long ago when I wrote darker and angrier. The need to get stuff off my chest dominated my pen (or more like my keyboard). I wrote a blog under a pen name about managing encounters with difficult people because I was at the point in my life where I’d had enough of the disruptive and unkind. I needed to find ways to manage these situations while keeping my peace of mind. Not easy to do in the legal profession, or as a parent (and child advocate) or even as an everyday citizen.

So I wrote about unpleasantness encountered on the road, at the grocery store, at the bank, on the phone and anywhere else where run-ins with the rude and mean occurred. I also included ways to battle and diffuse unpleasantries in life. Mostly for my own sake and hopefully the sake of my readers.

This type of writing went on for a while until I realized my focus had shifted to the opposite end of the spectrum. On the good, the kind, and the beautiful. What a difference that made in my life! I noticed the unpleasant encounters diminished, and the negative impact on me and my peace of mind had lessened. This shift reminded me of an old Native American story about a father who told his son of two wolves battling inside each of us. One is mean and vicious, the other gentle and kind. The son asked which one wins? The father answered, “The one that you feed.”

I found ways to focus on and feed the good, and crowd out the ugly by:

1. Practicing gratitude. It’s simple (and necessary) to take a few moments daily to contemplate all that makes us feel grateful. From the car on the road that kindly pauses to let us in, to the lovely sky above our heads. To enjoying life’s simplicities like food and shelter and dear friends.

2. Choosing wisely. Keep a turnstile in your head that picks what enters your mind, letting the positive in and booting the negative out. Refrain from criticism unless it’s to assess yourself on ways to improve. Leave others out of the equation unless your focus is on their good behavior. Top notch mental content is vital to the upkeep of our state of mind. It sets the tone for our moods, our thoughts, and how we get through our day. Don’t permit external factors to push you around. Choose to be happy and positive.

3. Did you know that germs aren’t the only thing that’re contagious? So is happiness.

I’ll elaborate on the power of happiness in next week’s episode. Until then, happy living and happy writing!

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7 years ago

I can not picture you ever being upset, or angry. In my mind you are a very happy person.

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