Someone just popped in your head when you read that one simple word. RIGHT?! Negativity is something no one likes to be around yet something so many struggle with. I know I do.
Last night, after a series of really aggravating incidents, I had taken a trip from North Carolina to Georgia and then back again all by myself. I left at around 4 pm and got back by 9:30 am this morning. Needless to say, It was a whirlwind of a trip that gave me some time to think. Think. And think some more. A quiet car and around 11 hours of driving gives me a lot of time to quiet my mind from the craziness and alllow me to focus on what I need to better about myself.
The Distorted View
As I was going down the interstate, the sun was rising this morning and BOY was it beautiful! I wanted to take a picture but my windshield was WAY too dirty to have been able to get a picture that would have done justice for the sunset! I thought, maybe if I could get close enough to the windshield, I would be able to not focus on the dirt but the sunrise instead. It seems that the closer I would get to the windshield, the focus became more and more on the dirt NOT the beauty of the sunrise. It got me really thinking and comparing that nasty, dirty windshield to my own life.
When You Become TOO Focused on the Negative Situations
I began to think about how much I had focused on all the negative in my life. I had driven all the way to Georgia and part of the way home before I even acknowledged how much dirt was on the windshield. It wasn’t until I was wanting to focus on the beautiful sunrise that I noticed how extremely dirty it really was. That is a lot like negativity. Often times, we get so used to being so negative that we don’t even see the positive in life. When you get to the point where you want to focus on the positive, it can be very difficult to get the negative feelings out. Once I noticed the dirt, that seemed to be all I could see anymore while I was driving.
If our focus becomes on the dirty windshield, we are putting ourselves AND others at risk. Make sure you focus on what’s ahead of you not on what is behind you or even what trials you are currently facing but focus on where you are going in life.
Comparing Highlights Our Flaws
Another thing I noticed is that as the sun began to shine brighter and brighter, from the inside all I could see was my nasty windshield seeming even dirtier. The windshield had really not become that much dirtier, it was just the fact that the sun had become even brighter, making all the nasty dirt on the windshield that much more visible to me. Often times, we just see all the good, beautiful, perfect people that seem to be NOTHING but perfect. We then focus more on our flaws and the “not so pretty life” we feel we have compared to others.
Everyone’s life is full of mess. Just because I didn’t see the bugs on the other people’s windshield as I drove past doesn’t mean that their’s was any better than mine was.
Part of the Journey
If it wasn’t for me taking the trip to begin with and having all the nasty bugs flying into the windshield, my windshield could have been perfectly clean. Sometimes, in order for us to move further in life and enjoy the beautiful scenery, we have to be willing to deal with all the nastiness that may come our way along the journey.
Surrounding Yourself With Positive People
Most of the time, if it begins to rain, you would think that the windshield would become cleaner from the rain but instead, it seems to just smear it making it harder and harder to see. We have to be really careful in life of who we allow to help us. You have to find people who have a little more to them that can help get rid of the negativity instead of shallow people who just seem to make it worse. They may both look the same but there is a difference on the inside when someone has the substance inside that is needed to be an encourager.
Take a Break to Re-focus
Sometimes, after a long and tiring journey, when it seems as though you are being hit in the face with constant struggles, we have to take a little time out. When my windshield gets really nasty, sometimes I have to stop at a gas station or car wash to clean the window thoroughly before I can keep going. A little break every once in a while is a good thing. Your windshield may never be perfect but at least during that break you can focus on getting it cleaned and you can see beyond the windshield of YOUR life.
Create a Focus of Joy
As I made my journey, there were times that I was more focused on the beautiful music coming from inside my vehicle that I did not even notice the dirt. It wasn’t that my windshield wasn’t dirty, it was just that my focus changed to something positive on the inside of the vehicle instead.
Here is a list of ways to remain positive even in negative situations.
- Focus on the positive in every situation
- Surround yourself with those who will encourage you to be positive.
- Take time to write down any and all blessings from the day that you can think of
- Determine that you will not speak negative words
- When you find yourself becoming negative, take a break to re-focus
Are you focusing on the negative in life? Find something inside that can create a positive focus on life instead of being bogged down with all the negative.