Thursday, August 16, 2012

Show the world your finger

"And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell." - Mark 9:47

Sounds kind of harsh, right? I think so, too.

But I think Jesus' words in the Gospel of Mark offers a great metaphoric lesson in how to deal with the negativity in our lives.

Even folks who don't believe in Christ's divinity can understand the significance of this passage and the value of "plucking out" the negativity in our lives.

What is sin? It's anything that separates a Christian from finding eternal bliss with Christ.

What is negativity? It's anything that separates us from our personal bliss, from finding true peace and emotional wellness in our lives.

So how do we pluck negativity out of our lives?

First, we have to make a conscious decision about the kind of person we're going to be. (We'll talk about that on Monday.)

Second, we have to identify the barriers that keep us from becoming that person.

Third, we have to make another conscious decision about the best ways to deal with these barriers so we can live as individuals that love and are capable of being loved. Ultimately, that's what's going to bring us true happiness and emotional peace.

It'd be nice if we could just flash our middle fingers and scream a throaty, "Screw you!" at our problems.

Unfortunately, life doesn't always offer that luxury.

We can come home and complain every night about that co-worker who experiences powergasms from bossing everyone around. But who in our households benefit from our bellyaching?

We can lose sleep over whether or not there will be money in the checking account to cover this month's bills. But lack of sleep only exacerbates problems.

We can let ourselves become frustrated with traffic and long lines at the supermarket. But what purpose will it serve to become upset by trivial issues in life?

There are better ways to deal with life's issues. Sometimes they take some creativity, thought and maybe brainstorming with a good friend. Oftentimes it requires giving ourselves permission to treat ourselves like human beings.

I'll go more in-depth on some of these as time goes on, but here are some quick tips on how to relieve some of the negativity in life.

  • Join a gym -- or better yet, an exercise or strength-training class. Work yourself into a sweaty frenzy several times a week. Pay extra attention to how well you feel after you're done. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you'll go from pissy to passive. (We're definitely revisiting this tip, so be ready.)
  • Join a support group. This is a must if you're dealing with a loved one's addiction or illness. You need to find others who have traveled your road and understand what you're going through. (More on this one, too.)
  • Ask your family for at least five minutes of silence when you walk in the door after work. Everyone needs time to unwind.
  • Organize your life. I know sometimes that's easier said than done, but proper organization and preparation can cut excessive amounts of stress from the daily routine.
  • Go for a walk. (I've been known to hitch up my dog and set out on five-mile jaunts all of the time.)
  • Cry.
  • Unplug from social media.
  • Meditate.
  • Talk to a counselor. A good counselor can tell you things about yourself that you never knew.
  • Leave. Yes. I'm giving you permission to leave your situation. If you've tried everything else, if you can't fathom life getting any better in your current situation, if you are at the end of your rope, sometimes the best thing to do is let go of the things you believe are causing you pain. But please make sure it's the last resort. (I'll address this one later, too.)
On Monday, we'll talk about identifying the positive aspects in our lives and the decisions we need to make about them.

Until then, do you have anymore suggestions on how to knock-out negativity? Tweet at me, send me an email or leave a comment below to share your suggestions.

Oh...and I almost forgot.

Instead of saying, "I feel bad for..." try these instead:

"I wish you better..."
"I wish you well..."
"You're in my thoughts."
"You're in my prayers."
"You're in my heart."

Have a wonderful weekend!

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