Many of us mistakenly believe that certain circumstances warrant being filled with misery, anxiety and worry--that these sodden emotions are the best way to show compassion.
If you were gravely ill, however, who would you rather have at your bedside: someone who stood wringing their hands and crying about the devastation of your illness, or someone who chose to smile and laugh as they projected positive healing energy around you?
Being positive doesn't mean stuffing our negative emotions or going into denial. It is not just wise, but necessary, to acknowledge and feel pain. When sad feelings have been honored, however, we then have a choice. We can perpetuate the misery by hosting thoughts filled with worry and fear, or we can move into happier states.
I used to fret about the sad state of the natural world--the plants and animals that had no ability to protect themselves against the destructive forces of humankind. A wise friend suggested that my fretting was only adding to the layers of despair and pain surrounding the planet, and recommended that the best way I could help, at least on an energetic and emotional level, would be to find more opportunities to experience joy in my life! I loved that message!
Another wise person, an older Quaker woman, told me that prayer is not just those times we set apart to converse with the Divine.
"Our connection to God doesn't stop when we say amen," she said. "It's not just those few short minutes that count. Every thought we think, every feeling we have, and every word we say is a prayer. Our very lives are the prayer. And God answers prayer!"
"If you really want to help the miserable of the world, don't be one of them." - Sonia Choquette, Author
See Mary Elizabeth Raines' newest novel, UNA, available in paperback or Kindle.