As I write this today, it is election day in America. The race has become really negative on both sides. Unfortunately, I think everyone in our nation is feeling anxious about the outcome, no matter who they are voting for. The media has done such a great job of skewing the truth.
I don’t want to talk about politics, but I think it brings up a great example of how things can be happening that are out of our control. We may feel really strong about our convictions and want everyone to agree with us, but that just won’t ever happen. Getting angry and shouting will not change a thing, except to make you feel worse.
You have probably felt this way many times in your lifetime. Eventually, your focus will change to something else and you will feel better, but how can you feel better in the moment? Here are a few ways that may help.
- Realize that everything happens for a reason and trust that it will all work out. I know! I know! You’re thinking about something tragic that could happen if no one speaks up. That is true to an extent. At some point though, you have to know that you have done your part and it is time for a higher power to take over. That’s where the trust comes in.
- Live in the moment. Don’t stay in a place of looking for something bad to happen. Look at the Bible verse, Matthew 6:34 – Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. each day has enough trouble of its own. Do not worry! Or at least try really hard to stop the worry thoughts as soon as you catch yourself thinking them. Repeat a mantra like, “Everything always works out for me.”
- Change negative statements into positive statements. If you have thought, “I hate _________!”, instead send love and patience and think, “What is this person here to teach me?”. If you have thought, “This situation sucks!”, instead take a moment to look for the positives and think, “What can this situation help me learn?”.
Using the election for example, if your candidate doesn’t win, there is a reason many people believed differently enough than you to vote differently. Why is that? What is the gift that is coming from this situation? What can this candidate bring that no one else can bring? How can you reach out to the people in your community to improve things around you?
I’ll give another example. At one point, I had a boss that was giving me a really hard time. She always pointed out ways that I should improve instead of finding anything positive that I was doing. I had great relationships with my students and their parents. I was able to make great breakthroughs with the tough cases. However, she came through my room and pointed out the student that was playing with their pencil or the student that was finished early and not using their time wisely. I had to stay at that job at the time and I could not control how this boss felt about me. What I could do is think about what the situation was there to teach me. What could I control? I could stand up for myself and I could take the opportunity to improve my classroom management. When I was finally able to change jobs, I was able to look for a boss that aligned with my core values of relationships over test scores. Before, I would not have known to look for that. I also learned how to find the people that would help me protect myself from being mistreated. I found a support system with the other teachers and we built a close bond.
Everything happens for a reason and we have to trust that it will all work out for the greater good.
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