Not going to lie, I had a pretty rough night last night, and when I got up to go to work this morning I wanted nothing more than to seep in the self-pity stew I managed to cook for myself somewhere in the middle of the night. As I made my way onto the parking lot that is I-95 at rush hour, the sun caught the palm trees and the bright cars next to me in such a way that I was forced to acknowledge the beauty in spite of my craving to stay in my bad mood. I felt God reaching right into me and saying, “No, today you’re looking at this incredibly awesome world I created for you.” I suddenly felt selfish. Why should I paint the entire world black when I am mad at just one person? How could I let myself attach so much of myself to another human being that guaranteed was not thinking of me at that moment?
I switched my radio station to a sermon I sometimes catch the end of, depending on whether I am on time or not, and surrendered to God. I watched the sun rise above the palms, casting a perfectly sublime glow that made traffic look like a Van Gogh. I felt the anger evaporating, and faith and hope entering. I had an epiphany that the world was beautiful, my family loved me, God loved me, the sound of the pastor’s voice was comforting, the sun was the most effortless warm, no matter what anyone said or did to me in this material world. Love exists, and remains, no matter what.
A lot of times we can let this hatred and disappointment towards one person, one circumstance, one group consume us to the point that we lash out at everything and anything because it can’t possibly understand how broken we are. This creates an even darker circle of hate and pain around us that we soon become trapped and isolated in. Now, we have transferred the pain that one person gave us, to everyone around us. No good.
Do Something Nice For Someone
One of the best ways to get perspective and take your mind off of an issue is to convert that energy into positive energy by doing something nice for someone else. Send an unexpected Facebook message, call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, buy that homeless man dinner, take on some of another coworker’s work. Don’t let that negative energy fester → use it for the positive.
Sometimes the natural instinct is to build massive walls and tell the world that you’re fine. It’s great to play the strong card, except people are more intuitive than you think and they are going to know that something is off. Be honest about what’s upsetting you. Through your vulnerability you might just receive some amazing advice from someone who’s been where you are before.
There are two things I can do in my life that instantly give me perspective → go to church and go for a drive. Church gives me such a refreshing view of life. When I attend services, I see things with a whole new light. I get ideas for things I can do help people and start thinking about how much more there is to my life than the one thing that has been bothering me. As for driving, I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming and would just take my dad’s ‘72 stingray out on abandoned roads when the world felt heavy. I would blare music and think about how huge the world was, and how insignificant my problem suddenly seemed. I also bonded with the music I listened to, quickly realizing I was not the only one dealing with issues. To this day, I will hop in my car and drive along the ocean to be still.
We have to take ownership of our life in order to live it to its fullest. We cannot let one person, one circumstance influence us and take away our joy. There’s so many of those people and those circumstances out there, that if we let each and every one of them impact us, we’d be living our entire lives in some prison.
Break free of anything that’s been bothering you lately, and let the light in. Rumi says it best, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
-Marji J. Sherman