Stephanie Salisbury: New Year about accepting life as it comesPublished 3:35pm Monday, January 28, 2013
A Journey of Reinvention
By Stephanie Salisbury
January is the time of year when people begin to set their goals, make drastic lifestyle changes that may or may not endure the next few months, and deprive themselves of things they love in order to lose 10 pounds or pay down a couple hundred dollars of their debt. Personally, I’ve attempted these things year after year only to find myself in the same trap come March: I have zero energy, zero willpower, and I get frustrated so easily I just start right back in with my old habits.
I’d love to say that’s not going to happen this year, but I’m a realist. However, the one thing I can work on throughout the year and not give up on is acceptance. All of the negativity in my heart and my mind probably can’t be eliminated, but I can choose to make better choices not just with my health and finances. I’m talking about better choices with my attitude.
Here is a fantastic quote that’s painted on the wall in the kitchen at my old place of employment:
“I discovered I always have choices, and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude.” — Judith Knowlton.
I might be enduring what I feel to be unimaginable circumstances, great pain emotionally and/or physically, and I might feel trapped, or that I have no choice in anything that’s happening to me. But I do always have the choice of attitude. I can let the negativity pervade my spirit and leave me bitter, jaded, resentful and full of anger and hatred. Or I can choose to “accept life on life’s terms” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417) and remain positive and joyful regardless of the circumstances. The bottom line is this: The circumstances are going to occur regardless of my attitude! Why waste time allowing the bitterness and resentment to grow, thereby doing nothing but making me feel worse and worse with each passing day, inevitably making things worse for those around me because negativity breeds negativity? Why not focus on the positive things (which there always are, even if not on the surface) and allow my heart to be grateful, full of hope and happiness, even in the midst of a crisis? I reiterate: The crises will occur anyhow. The choice is in what we make of them.
In social media, I often see nothing but negatives. I’m not just talking about, “I had a flat tire today” or “A tree fell on my fence” but angry diatribes towards strangers, and passive-aggressive statements meant to hurt specific individuals. So often, people are easily influenced by what they immerse themselves in, and to be surrounded by such negativity on a daily basis is detrimental. I’m not one of those people who suggest running away from problems such as these, or sheltering ourselves away. I don’t believe we’re here merely to exist in the world. I believe we’re here to change it. That being said, your attitude is your choice. It’s easy to type something that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Instead of making that something bitter, or something cruel, or something hurtful – why not make it something complimentary? Why not tell the world what went right for you today? Why not tell everyone how great someone else did?
It’s time to bring back the joy into our lives. It’s true that our world is in shambles — unemployment, poverty and unspeakably awful news — but it’s also a world full of beauty, and excitement, and happiness. We need to learn to accept our circumstances, do our best to change things for the better, and live with joy and contentment in our hearts. Let this be a truly Happy New Year!
Find “A Journey of Reinvention” at www.ajourneyofreinvention.com or on Facebook.
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