Recently, I decided to go back to church. This particular church is a non-traditional church, which focuses more on spirituality and personal growth. All are welcome regardless of your beliefs and there are no pre-requisites. 🙂 On Sunday, the speaker talked about the recent and horrific tragedies in Paris, and how he found it difficult to find the good in this situation, as his topic this Sunday was to be on gratitude. I listened as he spoke of his initial strong reactions to hearing about the events that occurred in Paris, this recent Friday night. He was angry, sad, frustrated, and enraged. “How could anyone do such a thing?” He spoke of the idea that even though an evil act was committed, he was determined to uncover any good that he could find. So he went to a trusted mentor to dive into this subject and work through it. As I listened, I was awed about how he shared his feelings toward humans and that he believed there is good in all of us and we always have a choice in our actions whether or not to choose to share this good. Even if people do not choose to do good acts, in his opinion, every person still possesses good in them. He believed that acts are evil, but not people. He then challenged us to try to find the good in every situation. So here I am, doing my best in my own small world, to find the good.
My own problems in relations to this huge devastation seem so miniscule in comparison. How can I even relate the two? When I think about it though, I can’t start to see the good in the bigger things, if I can’t manage to see the good in the smaller, everyday things. So here I am, trying. You see, it is not just a simple lesson that you learn; it is a shift in consciousness. As I mentioned in my recent post, when I engage in conversations, we all tend to share our negative emotions, often in the form of complaining. What if we, instead, chose to share the good? What if I am spreading positivity instead of negativity and peace instead of hate? Would we indeed attract more of the good into our lives and into the world? Would my entire outlook on life change for the better, if I choose to see the good, instead of what I don’t like?
I decided to begin this challenge with where I work, because most days I am left feeling less than enthusiastic about my job. It can be a very negative and energy sucking environment and has been a source of stress and frustration for me. So…what good can I find? I started out with myself. I decided that no matter what happened the day before that I would come to work with a fresh start, positive type attitude. Monday, and Tuesday were pretty rough, but I did notice a change in the way some people spoke to me (once I changed my own attitude). When previously, certain individuals spoke in a more gruff and irritated tone , I noticed that they started to speak with more caution and care in their voices, as though they too were making the effort to improve the environment. I wish it was a consistent result, but still, I found some good, and it had to start with me. How can you expect change out of someone else, if you first do not change from within yourself? So this first example was really finding the good in myself and watching the result that comes from acting from that good. The next example would naturally be to see the good in others and try to understand more where they are coming from and what their story is. I found that some people, who I previously labeled as jerks or creeps, actually were most likely just burnt out from working the same job for so many years, while another was just picked on too much and decided it was only fair to “pass the buck”, so to speak. You see, it is much easier to have compassion for others, if you are coming from a place of love and understanding. Not only did I have to change my own behavior, but where that behavior stems from, which is my thinking. I may not change my work environment as a whole, but in time if I can keep this awareness at the forefront of my mind, I may come to find that I can learn to see some good every day, no matter what happens.
So if we are attempting to see the good in things, we must first realize the good in ourselves and share that good. Then, we must see the good in others, instead of what we dislike. Only then can our outside world begin to change. It is oddly coincidental that this has been on my mind for a while now and Erika Kind, who also has a blog post on WordPress, shared her thoughts about fulfilling her dreams and how she experienced a recent reminder and confirmation that in order to do this she must come from a place of love that is already within her. You see, we are all in this world together, trying to figure it out. We are all on different paths, but I believe we can all learn from one another and find support from all over the place. Even at my work, where people can be rude and thoughtless and very unaware of their own behaviors; I equally found there to be people who can be thoughtful and even grateful that you exist. I have recently made some friends out of strangers, who I now know have my back and help me laugh about the ridiculousness of our shared environment. One friend likes to remind me, quite often, that it could be worse and that I’m not alone. There is the good. We are not alone. We are all in this together. There is always good, if you look for it.