Choice and Habit

Every single day we make thousands of choices. Are we going to finally get out of bed or hit the snooze button one more time? Do we want cereal or eggs for breakfast? Should we go right or left? How do we respond to that rude comment? How will doing so affect me?
The thing is, our choices do not only affect us. They affect every single person around us. People feed off of our attitude, our lifestyle, they feed off of our energy. When we produce negative energy and negative thoughts, it not only eats away at our own heart, it eats into the minds of everyone with whom we come into contact.
When we get into a habit of complaining–about work problems or “frienemies” or Donald Trump–we become immediately susceptible to making such complaints a habit. We feel obligated to respond to a complaint with a similar or even greater one. We feel obligated to complain as an ice-breaker, or as a stress-relief, and while there’s nothing wrong with venting, there’s a fine line between venting what one struggles with and bashing on the one causing those struggles. It’s a trap, and it’s one I myself walk into all. Of. The. Time.
And it hurts. I can feel my heart grow hard as I complain, because I’m physically choosing to focus on the negatives as opposed to the positives. I’m choosing to one-up one person’s negative interaction with another, and no good can come of such discourse. All that can come is a bad habit.
And habits are very hard to break.
And of course, when something bad happens to us, our initial response is almost always revenge. We want the other person to know how that felt. We want them to experience the same kind of pain, the same kind of loss, the same kind of embarrassment. But then all that is processed, all that is recycled back into this world, is an energy of let-downs, of stress, of hurt, of grief. When we take an eye for an eye, or wish ill on someone who has done us wrong, I would argue that it follows our base nature to do so.
That’s why it’s always so hard to take the higher road–because it fights our very nature. But though doing the right thing is almost always the more difficult path, it’s also the most rewarding, because it means every time you choose not to gossip, every time you choose not to complain or not to insult or retort, that means you’re choosing to allow your heart to exult in a peace that transcends mere base nature or discourse. You’re softening your heart towards that other situation or person, recognizing them as another human being with struggles and pain, and breaking yourself of the habit of negativity.
Every time I do so, though it’s something I still greatly struggle with, I ALWAYS come back from the situation feeling stronger. When I complain, I look back and am almost embarrassed, because I know I had the choice to walk away, and I chose not to. But when you do make that decision to walk away, you’re denying that negative energy the power to continue, and thus building for yourself a proclivity for love in the most selfless sense.
We need to let love become our habit. We need to radiate joy. Radiate light. Rise above and not only MAKE a difference, BE the difference. It’s the only way we can possibly change the world.

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