14 Apr 2011
- Written by Lucy Shaw
Here is this week’s question:
Dear Lucy: Your articles are positive and informational. But listening to the news and hearing about the economy makes it hard for me to stay positive and believe that the future can bring any good to me. How can I stay positive?”
Dear Reader: Wow! This is a universal challenge that touches all of us.
Some have decided to simply avoid the news like the plague. Others move to the other extreme and find themselves mesmerized by it and unable to switch off all the convenient sources for constantly streaming negative information.
Fortunately, I think there is a middle ground. In that place we are called to stand responsibly and steadfastly planted as the one who decides what comes into our minds and how we choose to respond to it. We have all been blessed to have what I call a “Yep” and “Yuck” meter. This is the place in our gut or heart where we immediately FEEL the “yes” or the “no” for what’s coming at us.
Even if you are mesmerized by the news, the first question to ask is, “Even though I can’t help watching, listening or reading this, how is it making me feel?” If I am comforted by it and it represents something good for me and others, then maybe I get a “Yep” feeling in my heart or gut. But, on the other hand if it just keeps me in a negative vibration (feeling) or all tied up in knots, that’s a “Yuck” and I get to choose not to eat stuff that tastes bad!
So No. 1, “choose ye this day whom you will serve.” Also, remember that the “Yuck” feeling is generally a cue that something is bringing up fear in you. Do you really want to be scared out of your wits all day? Do you willingly want to submit to being made to feel helpless, powerless and afraid?
A second thought is this: Take the time to be still and ask yourself, “Can I make a choice to simply be kind to myself today?” A part of that kindness may be taking the opportunity to focus on what you want in your life today or even in the next hour! Negative news sets us up to focus on things we don’t want.
Thirdly, as you think about what you WANT, spend some time reviewing all that you are grateful for, right this minute…or in the last hour. This is a part of the solution where you decide how you want to respond to life. There is always something negative to see, hear or feel. We have the privilege of choosing to receive or reject it as well as how we will respond. This takes discipline and practice, but the peace of mind you can get is worth it!
Choosing the “Yep,”