Monday, January 9, 2012

We Need to Be Positive!

In these hard economic times it is very easy to feel dis-spirited and to lack optimism.  Personally I find it difficult to read the paper every day.  It seems that all the news today is about violence, bloodshed all over the world, natural disasters that seem more & more frequent and the toll they take on people. Then if that is not enough, the poor economic news that seems to have this country and the world in its’ grips is so frightening.  The constant tension is palpable.
I remember as a child and growing up, the thing we feared most was the Soviet Union and its’ nuclear weapons.  Not much else threatened us or didn’t seem to.  I am sure that to most of us the fearful Soviet Union was some unknowable and untouchable as well as un-seeable entity out there somewhere.  Because of that we walked around without fear, unless of course it was after dark and you found yourself alone in Central Park.  But for the most part people were happy and in a way that is unknowable today, care free.
So I find myself wondering how does one live in today’s world?  How does one who is surrounded by so much uncertainty and doom, exist in a positive way and with happiness.
In each treatment I give I find myself having to use points that enable people to relax and calm down; this despite the original complaint of whatever.  Honestly, I find that even I am not immune from these feelings of apprehension.  While I can’t seem to find solutions to all the world’s endless problems, I can offer to share with the reader some of things I am doing to combat these feelings.

I find it interesting that we as people tend to focus on the negative, often times allowing ourselves to see the world through lenses other than rose colored ones.  So the first thing I do is to divert my attention to the positive things I have in my life.  I look at all the gifts that have been bestowed upon me by the Almighty, from my loving wife and our family, to our health, to my wonderful parents and in-laws, our home, friends & community.
Second, I pray.  I pray for the benefit of others and their wellbeing.  It is so easy to be selfish and worry only about oneself. I find it a positive experience when I concern myself with the welfare of others and pray for their success and happiness.  This is not a diversionary tactic, but a concrete action that can be used to lift one up.  Love is all about giving.  A parent gives to their child out of love, not expecting anything in return.  So too, I want to help others and while I can’t remedy every situation, I can act on their behalf.  I can choose to love and help others as I would like to be loved and helped.  I do this through prayer as well as acts of kindness such as giving charity.
Third, I study texts that are uplifting and that orient a person’s thinking to the positive.  I like to study what is called Mussar.  Mussar texts are Jewish texts that discuss a person’s relationship to the Almighty and in what way one should view himself within the context of that relationship.  It is a positive and powerful way of putting things in perspective.  I discuss what I have learned in these texts with my wife and with patients in order to help them as well.
Fourth, I love plants and gardens.  Walking though a garden or a path in the forest uplifts me.  The beauty of the varied colors and textures in nature’s palette are just so soothing.  It creates within me an appreciation of the Almighty and His beautiful world.  This too gives me perspective.  Tough times can be tremendous fuel for growth, we can grow ourselves in ways that would have been unimaginable, were we not confronted with the challenges we face.  This too can and should be something positive.  I am working on myself in all these areas as I try to cope with all that is happening.  I don’t tell you this, dear reader in order to toot my own horn, I tell you this in the hopes that something I have written will give you some encouragement and to let you know that I too share the same feelings and emotions as you.
Let us not waste good energy on ruminating on the negative.  Let us borrow a page from the energy consciousness that pervades our society and conserve our energy, keep it from the energy sapping thoughts and emotions.  Use it only for positive actions, positive thoughts and together all of us with the help of the Almighty, we will stand strong and happy.  Here’s to you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.