This is what I knew when I read the following quote:
“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.” ―Anais Nin
Anais had taken my attention at that last line. I am not a destroyer of life. I thought about all the times I may have behaved as such. Under the common stresses of raising three teenagers in the nomadic Navy family lifestyle, I have certainly been guilty of such. The stresses had caused many instances of impatience, grumblings, complaints, and dissatisfactions.
That was the past, I told myself. Certainly, since finding yoga and meditation, I had risen above all that?
I took inventory of my present self and was surprised to find I needed to do some cleaning up.
This past week for example, I had given much attention to the past. Living in it. Remembering it. Talking about. Arguing about it. I had spent days in private contemplation about it and had spent more than a few hours giving it verbal power. How much negativity had I sent out into the universe? Oh, how I knew then that I had a been a “destroyer of life” as Nin had described. I had taken precious positive interactions away from my children and created negative space between my husband and myself.
So, I flipped it. Instead of reading the part on negativity and thinking about it and perhaps even feeling shame, I just chose to flip it. I attended, then, to the positive message. She says to choose happiness. To take control. To focus on important matters of life.
And so I did.
I’ve spent the last twenty four hours practicing her suggestion. I focused on now…providing clean food for my family, eating dessert together while talking and laughing. I said yes to my children’s requests for attention. I made phone calls. I texted people. I smiled. Laughed. I talked with my husband about our favorite activities. I made plans with him.
I flooded the evening and morning with happiness…with joy…with life. And by doing so, the negativity…those ripples that ring out for eternity with begrudging energy…were drowned out. No time was left for negative thinking.
Try it. Practice it. And when your falter, just start again. Listen to the good in every minute. Hear it and send it back out with your voice, your eyes, your touch.