I noticed something...
Over a number of weeks and, indeed, months, whether I was chatting with someone close to me, someone I knew, or someone I may have just met, the same thought kept rumbling around in my head…
Whether I was chatting in person, on the phone, or just reading posts on social media, I couldn’t get away from the same notion…
“Why is everyone so negative, so angry, so consumed by fear?”
Everywhere I looked, it felt that people around me were focused on the negative, ranting about something, or simply living in fear. And I couldn’t understand why. What had, and was, changing around me?
I tried to reason it out with myself:
Do people just become more negative as they get older, their eyes more opened to how life really is? If so, why not me?
Are people simply and naturally scared of the current climate, the way the world is changing, the way people are behaving towards each other and beyond? If so, why not me?
For a long while I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and I couldn’t reason the answer.
Yes, of course I was happy that I wasn’t experiencing the same negativity, the same anger, the same fear. But why was I witnessing it around me? And, yet, I still couldn’t find a reason why it all seemed to be on the increase. It just didn’t make sense.
And then, after the same thoughts had been ruminating on constant repeat in my head for weeks and months, the penny finally dropped.
The people around me hadn’t changed. Their anger, fear, negativity hadn’t increased.
It was ME who had changed.
Let me say that a different way. When the penny dropped, my eyes were opened. and I realised
THAT USED TO BE ME!
I used to see the dark side and dwell in negativity.
I used to be scared about life, death and everything in between.
I used to be angry about how unfair life was being to me.
Being the victim? I excelled at that.
Now that I had changed, now that I lived from a new perspective, it wasn’t that the negativity, fear, anger in others was increasing, it was simply that I was noticing it because it was something that I no longer recognised in me, I no longer connected with, I no longer aligned with. It was as if my eyes were being opened to how much I had changed, to how far I had come in my journey.
And it has been a journey. I didn’t waken up one day and suddenly decide not to be afraid, not to be angry, not to see the negative, and not to be the victim.
A life lived with gratitude is not one that will change you overnight. Yet it will change you significantly. Slowly, step by step, day by day, when practising gratitude your outlook, your thinking, your appreciation changes.
Fear no longer consumes you.
Anger no longer runs through your veins.
Negativity no longer darkens your vision.
Does it mean you’ll never experience those emotions ever again? Of course not. When you do, however, you don’t dwell in them for days, they don’t completely side-swipe you, they don’t control you. Because your outlook is different and you learn to embrace everything in life, even the challenges.
A number of years ago, I made the conscious choice to stop being the victim, to choose to embrace life, to not be a perpetually angry person, to see the light in everything. And I chose to change because I was tired of being angry, I was exhausted and sick from fear, and I no longer wanted to look down that dark tunnel.
And here I am today, witnessing my own journey, able to see how far I’ve come and how much I have changed; no longer allowing the negativity, anger, fear that runs so many people’s lives, run mine.
It may not seem like a powerful tool, however gratitude can change your life, it can turn it around completely… but only if you want it to.
I invite you to take a moment to look at how you view your life and the world around you, and then answer the questions below, honestly from your heart....