It’s almost here–the annual Thankful Guest Blogger Month. As always, I love the posts that are coming in from people and why they are thankful. I will feature them through most of November, and I have a few, not many, slots left. Learn how you can submit here.
This week I had an a-ha moment, probably what I see and take note of is so far left field most will look at me and go, really, you looked at that and got this? Well, I did. It’s a teachable moment for me to keep me grounded, so I’m sharing it. Maybe it will resonate with you, too.
The moment happened twice, actually. The first time I was in a wing decorated for children. This place is top notch for that sort of thing, and they had a water theme as their backdrop. I realized as I kept walking that all I saw looked blue, even though some decorations were clearly white. Where was this blue hue coming from? I looked up, and the ceiling cover was blue. Everything the light radiated was blue by design.
The second happened this evening. By the time you read this I promise the weather will be different but right now it’s 80 with sun so brilliant I had to reach for my sunglasses. I found these glasses in my car a few years ago and kept asking friends if they were theirs, and no one claimed them. My memory is getting so bad they could be mine, who knows? Anyway, I put them on and they are designed to block out the UV rays, I believe. Whatever their purpose, they do a good job to help me drive. But they also give a red tint to everything, especially things in the red and orange spectrum. No matter where I drove today with that sun and foliage, I only saw red.
Isn’t that the way with people? I know it is with me. I can be in the best mood and enter an environment ripe with negativity. Whatever color that feels to you, it doesn’t take long before everything you see is what they’ve been projecting. Although the opposite is true, I confess I run into a lot more of the negative I have to shake off than the positive. Just like the glasses, I have to purpose to take the one color only glasses off so I can see so much more. No matter what the people around me want everyone in their airspace to see, like the everything blue theme, I need to remember that doesn’t have to be that way for me. The blues are showing up, but other colors are there. I have to choose to see them.
The cliches are true. Negativity breeds negativity and wounded people wound people. Those people are keeping their red glasses on, and negativity and wounds are all they see. I know. I’ve been there.
I remember being part of a team where I was the short term lead. As hard as I tried to please everyone, assign the right duties, and encourage all members, I received a call one day from a colleague who felt I’d be honored to know that a portion of the team met each week without me, around coffee, to discuss how I was doing. As the conversation went on, I knew it wasn’t a happy chat. I wasn’t a perfect leader, but the coffee chat grew toxic as one negative comment spurned on another and another until that minority was certain they were doing me a favor by letting me know how much they talked about me.
What I realized about them, and in my experiences since, is that when people only want to focus on one color in their life, the negative, they only want to focus on it. They rarely want to change it. When I’ve confronted the mouths behind negativity in my life and asked them to step up and help, the excuses started. They were too busy. Yet, they weren’t too busy to keep looking at the blue ceiling and announce everything was blue.
There is a better way to live.
Like I said, this isn’t something I have mastered, but as I came across these two situations where all I saw was one color permeating everything around me, that was the object lesson I drew from it. I don’t have to stay in a negative environment, nor do I have to start it.
With the election around the corner, you feel the division and toxicity, don’t you? You probably deal with it at work, school, and I hope not, but maybe your own home.
Let’s not work with one color. Let’s not be negative or allow or wounds to fester and spread to those around you.
Life’s too colorful to stick with one color.
How about you? Have you checked your conversation? Is everything a complaint? Do you look at the service everyone else gives with critical eyes but refuse to help yourself? Take off the glasses and choose to be a product of positive change today!