For the sake of this column, my message today is simply, look for the good in every bad situation; see the glass half-full, not half-empty. When you focus on the negatives in life, you will attract more negatives.
So many of us are walking in negative energy, I thought it wise to give you some suggestions. Take a walk and look at the flowers. You’ve heard the saying, “Smell the roses!” Enjoy the leaves on the trees; there are leaves, even during the winter season. Enjoy the clouds in the sky; and when it rains, enjoy the feeling of the rain as it falls on your face, then thank God that He spared our country a drought.
When the snow comes, the good news is, it’s preparing the earth for spring. The minerals that come down in the snow are supplied by God, to slowly water the earth, and create what appear to be miracle flowers when spring does finally arrive!
The topic of this column, “The difficulties of life should make us better” gives us something to ponder when awful things happen; look for the message in this mess! There is one, you know; only those of us who look for the answers will benefit.
My mentor Les Brown, during his speaking engagements, often talks about learned helplessness and how it works. It is a feeling of powerlessness we experience when we cannot change the wrong that’s happening in our lives.
Brown tells the story of Mark Seligman and Steve Maier who conducted an experiment with groups of dogs; they placed the dogs in harnesses, paired them and tied their leashes together, and began to give them electrical shocks through the floor. Shocks came randomly, the dogs jumped around and yelped; which caused “learned helplessness.” Finally, the dogs, assumed nothing could be done about the shocks and they saw no way of escape, so they learned to live with their condition.
During the study, even when the dogs had an open door to leave the cage, they continued to remain inside. They had become accustomed to the pain, accepted it and decided to live with it. They never considered an end to their struggle.
This study helped researchers understand why people will live in poverty and simply learn to live with it without making any effort to get out. And though there is a way out, they merely exist thinking ‘This is the way it is, and there is nothing I can do about it.’
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with a friend whose wife was receiving weekly acupuncture treatments for depression. Her sister had been murdered by her husband, and despite the fact that 25 years had passed and the killer was arrested, the strain of a trial and the recollection of the death of her sister caused to her become severely depressed.
She couldn’t get her sister back! She could have been delighted that they had finally caught the killer, and that her family would get justice! As I looked around her magnificent home, all I could see was the $3 million residence she lived in; and I saw how wonderful her husband was. My heart went out to her, during this time; if I could only trade places, the joy I would feel to own such a luxurious home as she and her husband had. These situations should make us stronger, that is, if we keep our minds positive; not negative. The Difficulties of Life Should Make Us Better, when we switch our focus.
Lyndia Grant is an author, inspirational/motivational speaker, radio talk-show host and columnist; visit her new website at www.lyndiagrant.com or call 202-263-4621. Tune in Fridays at 6 p.m. to the radio show on 1340 AM, WYCB, a Radio One Station; at 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036.