“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” ~ Peace Pilgrim
Although I do often write from a personal perspective, I rarely reveal specifics surrounding my daily life. Today is different. I lost my job on Thursday. I am now among the millions of unemployed … a number that we all know is growing daily. While there is intellectual comfort in knowing that we are not alone, when faced with looming bills to be paid, those numbers mean little.
As I sent out emails, letting friends and old contacts know of the situation (ie: Help! I’m looking for a job!!), many wrote back expressing sorrow and talking about the difficulties of finding work in these extraordinarily challenging economic times. One, in particular, stood out … “Glad to see that your spirits are up!! Mine were down when XXXX let me go. However…. persistence will prevail.” Yes, persistence will prevail, no doubt, but that’s not what struck me. What made me stop for a moment was the comparison … that in my note to him it was evident that I looked at things differently. That I wasn’t going to let the reality of the situation change my attitude toward life. Why, or why not?
My Father was a very logical and practical man. I often thought of him as Mr. Spock. I think I inherited the gene. I’ve also gone through some enormously challenging times in my life, starting from when I was a very young child. Those challenging times left me with a gift … a gift of knowing just how strong the mind is. We often hear that we can choose how we will handle challenges, but even more importantly, we can choose we will look at in any given situation.
Right now, I can choose to focus my attention – my thoughts, my reactions, my talk – to the ‘direness’ of losing my job … or … I can focus that exact same amount of energy on making contacts every day, taking care of my health, reminding myself of my successes and that tomorrow is yet another brand new day. If I concentrate my thoughts on the first scenario, I spiral down into a depression, sitting on the couch, worrying how I’ll pay the bills and crying to my friend. If I choose the second, I am making inroads toward what I know will be the end of this difficult and challenging time.
Life cycles. Things begin, things end. We all have absolutely wonderful days, filled with love and laughter and joy. And we all have the harshest of times, when it’s difficult to see anything beyond the moment. No matter what I choose to focus on, life will continue its cycle. I’m fully aware of the difficulties that lie ahead … I know there are bills to be paid from a non-existent income, and that the job market right now is without question the most challenging one in the last 50 years or more. I don’t need to sit and think about them over and over … what good would that do me? What I can do, however, is choose to concentrate the energy within my spirit on the knowledge that I have the power to accept this challenge and move forward, doing what I can to lay the groundwork for the upside of life’s cycle.
Are my spirits ‘up’? You can call it that, if you want. I prefer to call it reality.