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The only thing you need to do in life is You. You do You. But do You in such a way that when you’re not around, people have nothing but good to say about You. Do You in a way that when the end of your dash comes, all the good of You is remembered and told for those to come after You. Do You that helps Them, and makes Them want to be their own best You. Do You, but make it the very best You that you possibly can.
I get it. It is hard. It is hard to stay positive and optimistic when so much crap is going on around you. It is even harder to continue to do You and stay in your own lane when there are so many distractions, without veering off into oncoming traffic and getting plowed over.
We are pulled in so many directions
We have families and friends fighting over who’s right in the ‘take a knee’ stance many NFL players are assuming. There was so much hatred spewing on Facebook during football Sunday, that I had to sign off for the day. I see more and more friends and families completely dissolving relationships because they don’t care for who the other person voted for. They don’t bother to listen to that person’s thoughts on the subject, they don’t even take the time to get the facts straight, but they assume something and the next thing you know, they’re cutting ties, business dealings and relationships because that person didn’t agree with the other person’s politics.
We have lost respect for our fellow-man and we are acting in public how we are acting online. Our online bravado is now taking place in real life, and we are hurting people even more. Many of us are acting like real life trolls.: “If you don’t agree with me, you can’t cross my bridge!”
I read this morning that the North Korean leader has responded to our president’s tweet as an all out declaration of war, and it is a little hard to put on a brave face and smile knowing that tensions are rising globally. I cannot sit here and continually write on how to have a happy life without a little reality check from time to time. Here’s the check…
Sometimes things suck.
Some things really do suck. They just do. A lot of things that suck, we had no direct involvement in. We didn’t cause it. We can’t control it. We won’t cure it. But here’s the thing: we can contribute to it.
Our attitude determines how bad things suck. Are you contributing fuel to the fire? Do you keep the fight on your stance going all the time? Are you forgetting everything else that makes a whole life whole? What are you contributing to the crisis at hand? So many times we get into an argument with someone we consider ‘hard-headed’, and at the end throw our hands up exclaiming that “we’re fighting a losing battle!”
Are you fighting a losing battle? Will your hatred of the president get him out of office any sooner? Will your belief that the NFL players should all stand regardless make the Falcons any better? Will your anger at your neighbors because they don’t recycle and you believe they are contributing to global warming change the fact that Caribbean islands are struggling TODAY due to recent hurricanes? No. Your feelings about matters will not change them, but your actions can.
Positive actions get positive reactions
Your actions and how you carry your mantle will change how you feel about what is going on around you, how able you are to listen with an open ear and open heart to those that differ from you and how others respond to you and your beliefs. Your actions can cause a reaction. Reactions can get things done. Is that reaction going to be positive or negative?
I am a peacemaker. I will not fight unless truly called upon to do so. I have dealt with enough personal battles on my own to never want to fight again, but I will stand up for what I believe in. That doesn’t mean I am going to shove my beliefs down someone else’s throat, nor will I spend all day every day shouting from the rooftops my beliefs. I hope that when people see me, interact with me, get to know me, that they see who I am and what I am about. That I am authentic, caring, nurturing and truly a light of God. One of my favorite quotes,
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
I take that quote to heart. If I can’t shine, then I will not only try to not get in the way of someone else’s shine, I will do what I can to spread it. My goal is to spread light. So much light that darkness doesn’t have a chance. Is what you are spreading light or dark?
Next time you are sitting on your couch, scrolling through your social media feed and see something you don’t agree with, you do not have to jump into it. Stay in your lane. Scroll on by. Better yet, put the device down and go play Jenga with your family. Take the dog for a walk or create something: art, food, a journal entry, a baby. Spread good light, happy light. Don’t get caught up in all the vitriol. Nothing will change if we all are fighting, so it takes each of us individually to stop it.
Stop fighting a losing battle. Instead fight for what you can win. Succeed in. My success will not come from telling someone why my thoughts and opinions are greater than their own; my success will come from listening and understanding what their thoughts and opinions are and how they relate to my own. We have so much more in common than we believe, if we could only take the time to explore our commonalities instead of picking apart our differences.
Do you. Indeed do you. But do the you that shines.