Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

choices June 19, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:01 am
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Everyday we make choices.

Some choices improve our lives and the lives of others’ we touch.

Some choices mire us down.

Dwelling on the negative things means that all we see is the negative.

I realised a few years ago that I was actually creating my own misery, by focusing on complaints about my world .

I made a conscious choice to find the good things in my life.   I chose to look at all the things that I am thankful for, and to concentrate on celebrating  new things to be appreciative of each day. It made a huge difference.

I meet more and more people who come to the place where they make the decision to stop making excuses for their unhappiness and take control of the only thing they can- their response to their situation.

  • To find joy.
  • To welcome the positive things that improve all aspects of their lives.
  • To refuse to be a victim of their circumstances.

When I meet someone, I would like to hear a voice celebrating the good things in life with a joyful confidence, and I would like to hear a creation of joyful things from their life just as it is.  Today.

Negative people are hard to be around.  Their energy sucks happiness from the others around them.  It is as if the dark cloud of their world view puts a shadow all around them.  Who wants to be the cloud that people try to avoid?  I briefly went to a salon where a hairdresser complained about her life with the other stylists the whole time she was cutting hair.  After three visits that were the same, I stopped going to that salon.  She wasn’t even my stylist, but she destroyed the atmosphere.  You want to feel pampered and uplifted for your money when you’re in a salon.  You don’t want to be bummed out, particularly when what you hear suggests that the whiner really doesn’t have much cause to be complaining.

So when faced with a life situation that seems terrible, consider your choices.  Where is the blessing that you are meant to find in this experience?  What can you learn that will turn this negative into a positive?

No one else is your living your life, but your life touches others. How do you want to influence them?  Will they think of you with a fond smile, or with a sad shake of the head?

Mrs. D was a patient I worked with when I candystriped in Extended Care as a teen.  I don’t know for sure, but I suspect she had ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, because she had progressively less movement over the years.  All the candystripers wanted to visit with her and to feed her.  She was so nice, friendly and interested in others.  She was unable to move her legs or life her arms.  She controlled her wheelchair with a hand wrapped onto a giant toggle at the beginning.  Four years later she had to blow through a tube to control it.  She had some difficulty swallowing.  She needed assistance in every aspect of her life, but she had joy and she shared it with others.  Mrs. P was a patient we all tried to avoid.  She spit out her food declaring, “Don’t like that!”  She shrieked at us.  She had much more movement, but she was much more unhappy.  She was unpleasant to be around.  When we went first to feed Mrs. D, she would send us to help ,Mrs P first.  She was a blessing to the others around her, even when she was in the worst possible situation herself.

If Mrs. D could be kind, happy and caring,  what is our excuse?

Choose joy.


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