Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Staying Positive in a Negative World

After grocery shopping, I was stopped by a televsion reporter to ask me what I thought about the added traffic in our area -- just immediately North of our subdivision. Initially, I was reluctant to comment, but I could see I needed to speak a positive word in what could be a negative news report. She signaled her camera man and the interview began. (I sure wish I had freshened my lipstick before the camera started -- LOL!)

My subdivision is in West Tulsa, where it's been a relatively quiet area of town, but then, just North of us, two new shopping areas have been built. Now there's a vast array of restaurants, retail stores, large anchor stores, many services, financial and medical facilities, plus a 12-screen theater, so, this little "sleepy hollow" is now hopping.....and so is the traffic. It continues to increase with the popularity of all the many retail establishments that are available here.

This reporter was looking for negativity by the questions she asked, but she chose the wrong gal -- I'm from Dallas and this small amount of traffic pales in comparison. I told her that indeed the traffic had increased, but no problem to us. It's worth having all these amazing amenities so close by. And, for us, it means the property value of our homes has increased and we're close to where our shopping needs are met in a few minutes.

I responded to the reporter's questions for about 5 minutes with only optimism and so when my grandkids and I watched the 10 pm news to see what was aired, they were jumping up and down and laughing so hard to see their Nana on TV (they had seen the whole interview come down as they watched it from our car). And, we weren't surprised to only see a small snippet of what I said. I get that a lot of folks watch the news for controversial stories -- but I sure wish they'd report the positive stuff rather than so much negative.

Negativity breeds negativity. What should we do when we live in that world but want to stay positive? I'm so thankful that I purpose to look for the good in just about everything and here's what I do:

1) I protect myself from negative news. And in this political head bed, we DO need protection. While I want to stay up on current events, sometimes a headline is sufficient to grasp new developments.

2. I control the number of negative people in my life. I often spend time counseling and hearing people's problems. Some days are filled with more uplifting reports than others. However, I can carefully select how much time I spend with those who are intent on being negative. My frame of mind and my attitude is dependent on what I allow into my mind -- good or bad.

3. I love to listen to uplifting Christian music in my car and home. With just a click on an app on my phone, I can be transported to a place of joy, peace, and thanksgiving.

4. I practice gratitude. Appreciating life and its many blessings puts me in a cheery mood that really helps when I'm in traffic or standing in a long line at a store. That gratitude makes me want to encourage others -- calling or emailing them with an encouraging word. Random acts of kindess goes a long way in turning a negative world into a positive one.

5. I pray randomly all day: "Thank you, God, for that green light. Thank you, God for that parking space." And whether it's in traffic or a line at the store -- I use that time as a reminder to have a little conversation with THE ONE who isn't surprised by the delays. No doubt, it's a part of His Master Plan.

There's blessings and beauty everywhere -- it's possible to stay positive in a negative world when we look for it.

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8