Saw a recent facebook post that loveful is a word. Webster’s revised unabridged dictionary published 1913 and Dictionary.com show the word as meaning “Full of love”. The post mentioned how we’ve all heard of hateful. Did you know loveful was a word? This brought me to the topic of what most of us focus on.
Do not most of us focus on negativity? We all say it’s just “hateful” but we turn right around and talk about people, we bash ideologies that are not in alignment with ours, we complain of policies and institutions, we mention the inconveniences we’ve had throughout the day and recite all our ‘challenges’.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln.
How many of us spend our days looking for positive things to take note of, ways that our children were amazing, acknowledge our spouses contributions or complement the cashier who rang us up quickly. Twenty times at publix I get great service and never tell a soul. Never think to say “hey thanks for the great service”. One time I get the slow poke and become annoyed. It does not occur to me to strike up a conversation and see how their day is going. It’s all about me. After all I’m important and have things to do and they just took 5.66778 seconds out of my busy schedule.
Then there are those days I like to recite lists. You know what I mean, collect data about all the ways ‘they’ are wrong, or collect evidence of how my day was really hard with the list of facts that made it taxing. What I’ve also noticed is those are the days I’m not very happy. How interesting.
What’s even more interesting is I expect other people to be positive. I want them to thank me for a job well done and to show appreciation for my work. Yes my EGO is a hypocrite. My ego says I’m amazing and they should take note. And they should be amazing; if they are not, I will take note! My higher self has a different agenda as described in the words of Gordon B. Hinckley.
“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”
So I started with my kids. I really like them and it’s easy to be kind to people we like. I started to say positive things when they were playing well. How many times do I ignore them when they are playing well and then jump all over them when they ‘act up’? Many parenting books say you must ignore behavior you don’t like until you have taken the time to notice and compliment the behavior you do like at least 5 times.
Then I started to look for things to thank my husband for. This was a bit more challenging only because there were so many things I thought he should thank me for first! Putting the ego aside is the key here. If hubby is not the most ‘aware’ person you may agree to a game of “let’s say three nice things about each other every morning.” We enroll the children in this game and everyone goes around saying three nice things. That helps less aware spouses tune into the program. Then expand out form there. Our thoughts dictate our state of mind.
“A thought is a Cosmic Order waiting to happen.” – Stephen Richards