Does anyone remember the show, “To Tell the Truth”? If not, let me summarize it. The show featured a panel of four celebrities whose object was to correctly identify which of the three contestants were telling the truth about who they were. At the end of the panel questioning, they would vote on who was the real ________(fill in the name) and then asked, will the real ________ please stand up?
Well, I tell this because I have a friend named John. He is such a positive person. When I first met him, I found myself wondering if he was for real. I asked myself if his actions were just some cover up and I felt like saying, will the real John please stand up! Ok, I pretty much did ask that and found out he is the most genuine person I have ever met. Today I want to share something powerful I have learned from life and recently retaught by John in more depth. (Thanks, John!).
If you are fortunate to be friends with John, you will hear him often say, “I live a charmed life”. When John says he “lives a charmed life” is he expressing his life has and is perfect? Does this mean he has had an easy life where everything has gone well? Does this mean he has been void of heartache and sadness? No, this just means he has chosen the charmed life. Yes, chosen. If you ask him the secret, he will tell you it is “having low expectations and NOT getting what you want but WANTING what you get”. He will further describe the secret as looking for the positive in everything.
I grew up being told to count my blessings and would be sung a song about it too when I complained about things. It made me so mad because I didn’t feel heard. I just felt I was being told my concerns, disappointments, and sadness didn’t matter. So as I have gone through life, I dislike that song and struggle when someone says you should count your blessings or here is a good one – be thankful for your challenges. With that being said, I have to admit I have tried this counting blessing thing on my own terms and it actually works. In fact, I also have to admit challenges and what seems like life disasters really lead to better and greener pastures if you use the lessons that are meant to be learned by going through them. So despite my own struggles, lack of faith at times, life disasters, and disappointments, the truth is I live a charmed life.
There is a quote that explains what I am saying: “We always have a choice between two realities. If you look for negative, you will find it. If you look for positive, you will find it. The reality in which we invest our energy in is the one that will exist”. I love flowers especially white roses. If I spent my time focusing on the thorns would I see the beauty of the rose? No!
Here is an example of this in action. Sunday I spent most of the day depressed. Did I have reasons to be depressed? Yes! However, here is the crucial moment. Listen up! I allowed myself to focus on the negative. As I looked focused on the negative, I found more negative things to be depressed about. It spiraled downward to a point of, what it seemed, a point of no return. I allowed myself to be eaten up by the “Big White Shark” instead of swimming away as fast as I could. I didn’t sleep most of the night and was refusing to take calls from anyone (for the most part). As I drifted off, I heard in a dream the words from John about a charmed life. I woke up and started the process of being thankful and giving thanks to God for the good in my life. I started looking for the positive in all things and let me say today I feel awesome. I have a great number of things to be happy about. One is for the depression I had on Sunday because in that process I learned much of what I am writing about today. I am surrounded by good people. All my friends are genuine, honest, kind and supportive. I had to drop my car at the mechanics which made me without a car all day, but guess what there is a thing called “LYFT” which took me where I needed to go today. I am behind at work, but heck I have a job and enjoy those I work with. I felt tired today but hey at least I have a bed to sleep in tonight. It’s so hot out but hello I’m lucky enough to have air conditioning. See how this works?
So friends chose to smell and enjoy the roses instead of looking for the thorns because if you look for the thorns you will be pricked by them.
If you are not sure where to start, begin with spending a few moments at the end of each day writing down the things you are thankful for that day. Challenge yourself to do this for at least 30 days. You will find that as you do this, a transformation will take place; the transformation of habitually seeing the positive in all situations. If you have a day and feel like there were no positives, well then you are not trying. If that occurs, tell me about your day and I promise I will find something positive for you to focus on. Best Wishes for positive thinking!