I switched my radio station to a sermon I sometimes catch the end of, depending on whether I am on time or not, and surrendered to God. I watched the sunrise above the palms, casting a perfectly sublime glow that made traffic look like a Van Gogh. I felt the anger evaporating and faith and hope entering. I had an epiphany that the world was beautiful; my family loved me, God loved me, the sound of the pastor’s voice was comforting, the sun was the most effortless warm, no matter what anyone said or did to me in this material world. Love exists and remains, no matter what.
Often, we can let this hatred and disappointment towards one person, one circumstance, or one group consume us to the point that we lash out at everything and anything because we can’t possibly understand how broken we are. This creates an even darker circle of hate and pain around us that we soon become trapped and isolated in. We have transferred the pain that one person gave us to everyone around us. No good.
Do A Random Act of Kindness
One of the best ways to get perspective and take your mind off an issue is to convert that energy into positive energy by doing something nice for someone else. Send an unexpected Facebook message, call someone you haven’t talked to in a while, buy that homeless man dinner, take on some of another coworker’s work. Don’t let that negative energy fester → use it for the positive.
Be honest about what’s upsetting you. Sometimes the instinct is to build massive walls and tell the world that you’re fine. It’s great to play the strong card, except people are more intuitive than you think, and they will know that something is off. Through your vulnerability, you might receive some amazing advice from someone who’s been where you are before.
Easier said than done, unplugging allows our brain to take a quick break and sort through the jumbled mess inside so we can rationally think again. Think of taking a break like turning on the windshield wipers so you can see clearly. Turn off your cell and place it in another room. Or, one of my favorite ways of unplugging, turn your phone on airplane mode for a bit. When you detach from the busy world for even 15 minutes, you allow your body some time to reset and refresh.
There are two things I can do in my life that instantly give me perspective → go to church and go for a drive. Church gives me such a refreshing view of life. When I attend services, I see things in a whole new light. I get ideas for things I can do to help people and start thinking about how much more there is to my life than the one thing bothering me. As for driving, I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming and would take my dad’s ‘72 stingray out on abandoned roads when the world felt heavy. I would blare music and think about how huge the world was and how insignificant my problem suddenly seemed. I also bonded with the music I listened to, quickly realizing I was not the only one dealing with issues. To this day, I will hop in my car and drive along the ocean to be still.
We have to take ownership of our life to live it to its fullest. We cannot let one person or circumstance influence us and take away our joy. There are so many of those people and those circumstances out there that if we let every one of them impact us, we’d be living our entire lives in some prison.
-Marji J. Sherman