Do you remember the story about The Little Engine That Could? Because in retrospect I think it’s kind of brilliant. You will be alone with your thoughts for most of your life. The quality of your internal dialogue will be the greatest influence on the experience you have as you move through your days. You know the Henry Ford quote? “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”. And I mention that with the full understanding that the playing field is not level, that some people will come into this world with advantages, and some people will have to fight for every single break they get. Nonetheless, a person’s way of thinking has a huge impact upon the way life will feel, regardless of advantages and obstacles.
If you are full of fear and doubt and negativity and judgment, you are probably not going to experience a lot of joy. Because you’re going to walk through the world in a defensive manner, in a hopeless manner, in an angry and resentful way. If you fill your caboose with stories about every way you’ve been hurt and disappointed, you’re just not gonna make it up that hill.
We are energetic beings. Wherever we go, we spread energy, and we take it in, as well. If you’re feeling down and dark and depressed, it will affect the way you carry yourself, and the energy you’re spreading as you go about your day. If you are in a frame of mind that says, “Everyone is out to get me”, or, “I never get any breaks”, or “People suck”, believe me, it will be something people can feel. They may not know exactly what they’re feeling, but chances are, they’re going to move away from you, not toward you. Thus strengthening your idea that people suck. I’m not talking about tough times here, so please don’t misunderstand me. If something heartbreaking happens, you have to feel your feelings around all of that, and take your time. What I’m talking about is a way of being, your general outlook. And of course this is going to be shaped by your history, but at a certain point, we all have to take the reigns.
On the other hand, if you’re on a track that says, “You know, things aren’t perfect but I have my health. I have a place to call home. I have food in my refrigerator. I have people in my life who love me, and people I love with my whole heart. There are damaged people in the world, but there are also so many good people. And life can be devastating, but it can also be devastatingly beautiful. I’m going to do whatever I can with whatever I’ve got to try to make this world a little brighter”, I guarantee you that will also affect the way you move through your day. The more you can pick your mind up and bring it back to all the amazing things you do have, the more thankful you will feel. And the more you focus on all the things you don’t have yet, that aren’t going well, that haven’t unfolded the way you’d like, that other people have and you don’t, the more miserable you will be.
Yes, life will bring circumstances, and some of them will break your heart wide open. You can let those experiences close you and harden you. You can decide life is something to get through. You can say things like, “I’m killing time”. Or you can let those experiences open you and soften you. You can keep picking the mind up and bringing it back to love. I’m not saying everything in your life will be magically perfect if you do that. I’m simply saying that being in a state of gratitude feels so much better than being angry and shut down.
And being kind to yourself is a huge part of the equation. Because if your inner voice is harsh, unforgiving and merciless, wow are you going to suffer. You can beat yourself down into a state of loneliness and confusion and shame if you’re not careful. You can come to believe you are totally alone and no one cares. Thats a lie, of course, but you can convince yourself of that if the mind is dark enough. And you can wear your despair and disappointment on your sleeve. Or you can work on feeding a loving voice. A kind, compassionate, caring voice. Because whatever you feed will grow and strengthen. Feed love. Feed it with everything you’ve got. Be vigilant about it. Because what you think absolutely affects how you feel, and how you feel influences what you say and do, the level of compassion you extend to yourself and others, your ability to forgive your own mistakes and those of all the other humans around you, your likelihood of finding your purpose, of moving in the direction of that inner, burning Yes… all these things require love.
If all that sounds good to you, you’ve got to put your train on the Love track. And don’t just think you can, know you can. I know you can. Sending you love and a little Toot, Toot! Ally Hamilton