Sometimes You Just Have to Check Yourself!
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” — The Buddha
You may want to read the quote above several times. This post may annoy some readers so let me state right up front that you may not like everything I am writing here and that’s ok! All I ask is that you consider with an open mind and heart with what I am about to tell you and try my challenge below and see if it makes any difference in your mood, view of the world and possibly even the path your life takes over the coming months. I know it has been a game changer for me when many years ago I started unloading toxic baggage and negative view points. I am by nature an optimist and don’t feel right when I go against that vibe. I can also tell you that it is an ongoing process and one that you will have to “Check Yourself” with just about every day.
Why all the anger?
I am amazed at how many people are holding onto anger over anything and everything that they don’t like. Some of the things people are mad about may or may not adversely affect them. Yet they let this ugly nonsense spew out onto the social media post. Now you can try to put the blame on life’s problems on politics, the boss, your business, customers, family members or friends but the fact is the only person to blame for any individuals anger is the person that they see in the mirror! Let’s face it, if you are mad or angry and keep it going who does it really hurt? Now I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t get mad about something that bothers you or that you are passionate about. God knows I have had my fair share of those moments and still do! But what I have come to discover over the years is that hard feelings, very negative views and hatred for anyone has NEVER served me well. Furthermore, it has never helped me come up with a good solution to a problem or issue at hand. At some point, you either have to let it go, do something about it if you are in that position or suffer the consequences of letting it eat at you!
I see posts on Facebook where people, some of whom I know well, and I consider to be reasonable, intelligent, caring and good people become consumed by life events, politicians, celebrities, their boss or customers. I even saw someone post recently that they hoped someone would die from a heart attack… Really? How can anyone expect good things to come their way if they are pushing out so many negative feelings and energy about another person? If you believe at all in karma or that there is a God or greater force than us, then you must consider that what you send out to the universe will come back to you. What you send out you get back!
Now Hear This…
You can blame your anger, hate or misery on anyone or anything. But the truth is, your anger is created by you, and ONLY YOU! If you don’t agree with that then you can continue to let the forces outside of your control continue to control YOU! You can continue to be angry about things and people you have no control over and see how that works out for you. Feeling that way, I have found doesn’t impact or change the outcome. It only makes me feel worse and turns things that aren’t really all that important into to the biggest issues the world has ever seen! If something is out of your control let it go. Why stress and feel hate about things you cannot change. To do anything else is a colossal waste of your time and energy!
Now I understand we all have strong feelings and passion for certain things, people and issues. But because you feel that way doesn’t mean anyone else should or needs to feel the same way. We all have our own “Focus” and our radar is on things that are important to us. I get it that some people are outspoken and feel the right to speak their mind. Hey this is, after all, America. But I would advise you as a dance educator and or business owner to proceed with caution and at your own risk especially when it comes to social media. Social media is everywhere. Your posts, comments and feelings when negative or toxic are quite honestly not very becoming. Keep in mind your posts are very possibly read by colleges, business associates, current and prospective customers, family and friends. You may be thinking, “so what, if someone doesn’t like what I write they can unfriend me or it’s too bad for them”! The fact is it can make the person writing these posts seem petty, bitter and small. Even if someone reads and agrees with your post and decides to like or share it you can still be viewed in a negative way. The same holds true when you like or share any negative or angry comments posted by others. You run the risk of offending your circle of people both professionally and personally by making yourself look like an angry, not very kind individual. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional then I believe you have a responsibility to act as one. Keep in mind you are teaching and interacting with children. Not everyone wants their child around an adult that seems to be over the top about anything.
To judge is to be judged!
It appears that there is a rush to judgment. Not just in the media but everywhere. I guess we can just chalk if up to the fast-paced world we live in now. It’s all about the now, immediate and present. I know that I have to check myself not to do the same with students, parents, colleagues and potential business associates. I recommend that before you write or post something about anyone or any topic, that you give it time to settle. Most of the time it becomes less important and seems very insignificant upon further review. My Mom and Dad would use an old saying when I said something negative about someone and it was ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all!” But I believe that it is more important today than when I was a kid growing up. Think about it. Would it kill us to at least try and live this way? Everyone talks about getting along, loving each other and spreading positivity but then some go and do exactly the opposite. You want to make a difference? Start with yourself! Let’s be the leaders, let’s vow to keep things positive and minimize the negative energy that is so prevalent. We owe it to everyone that surrounds us but most importantly we owe it to ourselves!
The 30-Day Challenge…
Ok so if I you have read this far maybe you will go a bit farther with me. May I suggest you try for 30-days that you only post things that are fun or funny, positive, empowering and loving. At the same time try not to like or share any negative or angry post by others. Now let’s take it a step further and only speak that way. Now I know it won’t be easy but you can do it! Here is what I can tell you. You will have to “Check Yourself” somedays more than others and it will take some work but, in the end, I think you will be surprisingly pleased with the results. After doing this for one month take a self-check test. How do you feel? Have any issues or negative situations you have been dealing with come to a positive resolution? Or have you come up with a great idea to solve a pressing problem? One more thing to try. Get some positive quotes about life and the world and print them out or write them down. Each morning after waking up and every night before you go to sleep read one a few times. I look forward to hearing from you after your thirty days are up. After that time, I think you will find that you have planted the seeds for a new approach to your outlook on the world and how you view it. You may very possibly decide to keep it going and I hope that’s exactly what happens! Hey, there are things that will still make you mad, angry and upset. But the truth is you will be in control and nothing will be able to disturb your peace of mind, happiness and joy
Here’s to your success!
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