Today is Wednesday, February 26, 2014.
An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you. –Anonymous
The quote is attributed to a person named Goi Nasu, but nobody seems to know who he or she is, and the person has apparently made only this one quote. Since the person has not published any writing, and there is no way to attribute the quote to a particular speech, I’m sticking with “Anonymous” as the true author of the quote. In any event, Goi Nasu is, for all intents and purposes, anonymous.
In any event, the quote is a good one, because it gives us a great visual for the idea that negativity cannot affect us unless it gets inside of us. A ship is in no danger from seawater unless it gets inside. We are in no danger of negativity unless it gets inside. What does this mean? How does negativity “get inside” us?
Sometimes it’s so ingrained in our lives that we don’t even notice it. For example, a lot of people like to call themselves “realists” and they are fond of saying that they base their thoughts, words and actions on “reality.” You have to understand, however, that “reality” doesn’t always mean that things are bound to go wrong. It doesn’t mean that you have to accept the situation passively when the shit hits the fan. Life doesn’t have to be that hard.
Here’s a little test to see how much negativity you have already let into your life. If you find that it’s a lot – or that it’s much more than you wanted, remember that you can make changes! (More on that below.)
Do you do a lot of complaining?
Do you talk more about what’s wrong in the world than what’s right? (This includes weather, traffic, the government, the economy, in-laws, taxes, politics, religion, business, climate change and the environment in general.)
Do you criticize people, ethnic groups, racial groups, political parties, the current administration, the Church, your family members, your employer, your colleagues at work, TV, books, movies, or Facebook?
Do dramas and disasters attract your interest? Do you find it hard to stop watching TV when there’s ongoing news coverage of a disaster situation? Or do you keep up to date on the doings of celebrities and their ongoing troubles? Do you watch a lot of soap operas and get involved in the drama?
Do you blame people for situations when things go wrong? For example, do you blame the government, the Congress, the President, the liberals, the conservatives, the rednecks, the elite, the protesters, or all those millions who are “taking our jobs,” cheating on their taxes, or abusing welfare? Do you blame God? Do you blame your parents, your siblings, your kids, your teachers, your co-workers, or your boss?
Do you have a sense of hopelessness about life? Are you pretty sure you have no control over what happens to you? Do you feel like a victim: do things just seem to “happen” to you a lot? Do people seem to “do things” to you all the time?
Do you find it hard – or impossible – to feel grateful for the difficulties and problems in your life as agents of change or a means to learn and grow?
If any of these statements are true, even a little bit, then you have let at least some – and perhaps a lot of – negativity into your life already. Here’s what you can do about it:
1. Take responsibility for your situation, knowing that you are the only one you can trust to initiate changes that will lead to a solution. (Don’t wait for someone else to act. You go first.
2. Work on recognizing negative thoughts as they occur and stop them in their tracks. Replace each one with a more positive thought. This will take practice, and it will take time to get good at this, but you can do it. If you like, you can visualize a negative thought as a picture drawn on a sheet of glass. Break the glass and throw away the shards. My favorite thing to say to bad thoughts is “Dry up and blow away.” I visualize a thought drying up into dust and then I blow them away. Use whatever technique works for you.
3. Learn to meditate and identify as Soul to break the hold that ego has on your mind. Put Soul – the real, eternal you – in the driver’s seat.
4. Learn how to consciously visualize your goals and to manifest them using conscious intention. (Hint to start: google “visualization” and “conscious intention” and check out the hits.)
Best wishes! 🙂