Last week I wore a bracelet to remind me to look for the good.
It was not easy. I found myself dwelling on worst-case scenarios every day, but the bracelet served its purpose: it did remind me to take my eyes off the negative for even a short time to consider what was good in the situation.
So now I have a new one. This one is also blue and gold, and it has tiny charms on it.
The area I’m focusing on this week is Acceptance. Right now, this means:
- Accepting people exactly where they’re at.
- Accepting the things I cannot change.
- Accepting change.
- Accepting responsibility.
(It may mean more by the end of the week. )
I was complaining to my fiance last night about some people I don’t want to deal with, and he said, “Honey, why don’t you pray for them?”
(my honest response)
But the suggestion is kinda like rhubarb.
Bitter at first, but really okay after you get used to it.
No, maybe it’s like chewing on aspirin.
Whatever. I got over my initial response, and have decided that the tiny charms on my bracelet will represent people who get under my skin or take up space in my head. Heck, I’m thinking of them anyway, right? Might as well pray for them.
I have since discovered that I don’t know how to pray for people I don’t like.
I am begrudgingly accepting that I don’t like them, and likewise accepting that I honestly do not want to pray for them.
So I’m starting with small steps: first I will look for change in myself that has resulted from rubbing against that sandpaper. What have I done as a result of my encounters with them?
A few months ago, I shined light on a problem of bullying in a public place. (I can’t get more specific than this, sorry.) This was not fully well-received. People really don’t want you upsetting the status- quo. (Actually, it might have been better-received than I know. I was very busy focusing on the negative. This was pre-bracelet, ok.
I had no horse in the race–I was not personally bullied by this person, but I have been told many stories since 2003 by people who HAVE been or who have dealt with the effects. I finally spoke up when I witnessed it first-hand at a major meeting. What I really wanted to do was to open a dialogue about bullying so that it could be openly discussed. This didn’t happen, and it discouraged me.
So I decided to find a way to incorporate anti-bullying into my composition class, at the very least so that I could build awareness, and again, open up the conversation. I have done this, and although I cannot know the full scope of influence this class will have had on my students, I know that I made a difference. And I did it because of that sandpaper. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.
So I must be thankful for the sandpaper.
Ah. This is going to take some time.