The Blogging Photog | Session No. 1 | You are your hell & your heaven too.
My favorite room in my house is my bedroom because this is the room that allows in the most light. The rest of the house has been set up with light-reducing blinds, an apparent remedy to keep an old home without central air cool. And maybe there is some sort of psychological connection between my obsession with light and the fact that my career path revolves heavily around it, but any time I am feeling on edge, upset or down I go to this room full of light to collect my thoughts and ultimately let in the light, which I’ve associated with positivity.
I’ve been obsessed recently, or over the last couple of months, with Oprah’s Soul Sessions in which motivational speakers provide a small segment on spirituality, positivity, and life in general. One of my favorite speakers has become Gabrielle Bernstein who wrote the book “The Universe has your Back”. Her advice speaks to every fiber of my being and since listening to her I have noticed some consistencies with what she has to say about freeing yourself of the resistance you put on your life through fear and negativity and I thought sharing my own experience with this would possibly help someone somewhere to understand the power of perception.
Gabrielle expressed a quote in one of her sessions that has helped me to understand my own patterns of thinking and how I can work to better myself by surrending myself to the things in which I fear and I’d like to share this quote with you.
The quote is by Jalaluddin Rumi and it says: “The wound is the place where light enters you.”
Sometimes the things that hurt us were brought in to our life to teach us something and how we choose to perceive that is entirely up to us. And more importantly the amount of time we allow it to continue hurting us, the longer it takes to comprehend its lesson for us. You are the only person responsible for your happiness. Let me repeat that…
You are the only person responsible for your happiness.
And your sadness. And your regret. And your guilt. And your anger.
So I want to share with you the consistencies I've noticed when it comes to perception and I hope that this will resonate with at least someone and you will begin your own healing and understanding of the way your energy impacts the world around you.
Have you ever noticed that the people who complain on a daily basis always have something new to complain about? It is like each day there is something else that has gone wrong. They are seldom expressing what makes them happy and are often spending way too much time personifying the entire essence of a Debbie Downer. They never discuss what they’re grateful for. They never spend time acknowledging the good things, instead they always have a complaint of some sort. Well, I believe that the reason all this negative is being brought in to their life is because that is what they’re asking for. And I don’t mean that they are “getting what they deserve”, I don’t believe this for anyone. What I mean is that because all of their energy is so focused on what could go wrong or what is going wrong their perception of the world around them is creating a very hostile, negative environment every single day. In a sense they are manifesting their very own living hell simply by they way they perceive things.
Perception impacts your very existence. And I believe this because I have been there and I want to share a story with you, to show you that I am not coming from this place of happy shiny rainbows and butterflies where everything is pure joy all the time. In fact, I believe I have a long way to go but… I also believe I have come a long way too.
I believe that the beginning of my negative outlook began at childhood. And one of the most important relationships I overcame in my life, the one that I believe impacted and molded many of my insecurities and issues becoming close with others, was that of the relationship with my father. As a child it is a lot harder to look at the world with a more open mind and comprehend the flaws in which he possessed. Or, flaws as I saw them at that point. The one thing I have learned is that most people are not that bad, they simply have the wrong look at life. My father left me waiting for him with my bags packed when I was barely old enough to comprehend a reason why and it happened often, so often my mother finally began to stop telling me he was coming to protect me from being hurt further. I was a child looking at these families with daddies trying to comprehend why mine “didn’t love me”, which is what a child will naturally assume when their parent chooses to let them down.
For the longest time, I combated these feelings with him. Many of our conversations came from a place of hurt. I spent time searching through family members, friends, directories, etc trying to find his phone number when he’d changed it again without letting us know and when I finally found him I was so angry with him that all I did was begin blaming him for all the hurt he’d put on me.
However, today I am thankful for this pain. Because I believe that without it, I would not have the perspective of the world around me that I do today. I wouldn’t fully understand that the best way to overcome pain, is to surrender to it and to no longer allow it to spoil you. And let me just say, this did not happen over-night. I was still in my early twenties crying myself to sleep wondering how anyone could hurt their child in that way. Before I realized that it had made me a better parent to my own children, before understanding that it was not just him who was hurting me, it was me who was allowing myself to feel hurt by him and that is a HUGE astronomical difference.
So one day, I just … forgave him.
And I remember that moment like it was yesterday. One week I had been trying to get through to him in the same way that had failed every time before and then finally, I had decided I was done with it. I wrote him a message and I told him that I forgave him for everything that had happened in my childhood and more importantly I believed it. I was ready to stop fighting the things I could not change, to begin accepting him for who he was, and attempting to move forward. And finally something happened that I believe I need more than anything else:
He had never apologized before. I ended up getting what I needed when I finally allowed myself to accept it and forgive him. When I would finally find him, I would place all of my negative energy on to him, blame my reaction to his behavior on him and somehow expect a positive result. Each time I did this, he would fight back. It never gave me closure, it only hurt me worse and I never understood until years after I forgave him that my perception of the situation and the way I chose to respond to my pain was the reason it took so long for me to finally release the heaviness of that relationship and provide it with the opportunity to grow.
Since then our relationship is always pleasant. I’ve went from the person calling him out of the blue to bring him further down to the person who will call him out of the blue to remind him that he is loved and help him to view things differently. He may not have made the best decisions and he may not have understood the impact of a negative mind, he maybe even still doesn’t understand this… but, he is not a bad person.
After I finally had that “ah hah” moment about this relationship, which wouldn’t come for nearly a decade later, I then applied this to every relationship in my life. And when I was the one who had done the hurting, I forgave myself.
I realized that in order for me to have better relationships with those who came from a place of negativity, whether they were or my perception of them was, that I needed to be the place of positive. I didn’t realize this until this year actually. Any person who spent their time complaining who did not impact my life and who I realized was not a part of my story or my well-being I metaphorically and sometimes literally “unfollowed” them. And I did not fully comprehend that I had already begun this transition years before by removing the people who brought up negative feelings in myself from sight. I stopped checking in on them. I stopped caring what they were up to. I stopped comparing myself to them or thinking about them in general. And of the people I could not do this with, I stopped being combative every time I felt the heaviness of negativity.
At first, it was hard and I do still struggle with reminding myself of this on a daily basis, but I have however managed to allow myself not to dwell. When I am upset, I discuss it immediately mostly in private and seldom on a platform in which my negativity will take up permanent space and then I move on from it.
And so, my goal for you is to look at your own social media because this has become a place in which we speak privately, publicly and truly look at the message you are sending out to the world about who you are as a person. Our every word we choose to click “post” next to becomes a part of ourselves that we project on to others and are giving them as a perception of us. So I want you to look through your own page and if you are feeling down or upset, look at how much complaining you do or how often your posts are about something bad as opposed to something good and do me a favor... Get rid of it.
Just click "delete". It has more power than you may think, but what you are essentially doing is allowing yourself to rid yourself of all the negative baggage holding you back from truly understanding how to be happy. I believe that doing this was my first step to understanding how to live a more positive live.
Delete everything that is negative. And then… start to be more positive. Even if you are having the worst day ever, find something that went right and if you are one of those people who just simply must post something… post something positive. And then watch how doing this consistently changes your perception.
Every time I post something negative … which by the way is not nearly as often as when I am positive, but again you can post 100 positive things and people will fixate on that negativity like a bug to a bright light because it unfortunately has been conditioned to take up more space, I always hear this: “Crystal you deleted your post!” after any time I post a complaint.
Well, I used to … now I think people just expect it if they see something pop up that is a complaint. Because I am notorious for cleaning up the negative on my personal page. No. tor. i. ous.
And I don’t mind it. It helps me and that's really all that matters.
I don’t delete it because I changed my mind or that I did not feel whatever I felt in that moment. I delete it because it overshadows my positive and I’m not going to allow my negative to take up that much space or allow negativity to overshadow the perception of me placed on to others. What you project on to the world is what you will get back from it and the more I have allowed this belief in to my life, the more I see truth in it.
And if you are not a person who spends time sharing on social media, you can still do this outside of there. Every night before I go to bed, whether I am angry or not, I clear my head and think of three things: my goals for myself career wise, my goals for my family, and what I am grateful for from that day. I am someone who has suffered from the detriment that is anxiety my entire life, anxieties that for a while I convinced myself only worsen with age (which is further proof that the more often you focus on something, the STRONGER it becomes) and I used to lay awake every night finally allowing myself to bring in everything that had went wrong that day or everything that was going wrong in my life. I spent this time worrying, dwelling, and every morning I woke up, I faced the same problems and the same dilemmas and I still felt like there I was living in this perpetual state of Murphy's Law until finally I went to bed one night and decided I was NOT going to allow that time to be controlled by my anxiety, instead I was going to fight it like my life depended on it and then I chose to do this EVERY night. And then everything changed. And why?
Because we are responsible for our happiness.
Which leads me to the perfect quote to end this with, a quote I believe with all of my heart and is something that for years I’ve been working to mold in to my perception of the world around me and it goes like this:
“If you suffer, it is because of you. If you feel blissful, it is because of you.
Nobody else is responsible, only you and you alone.
You are your hell and your heaven too.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope to begin blogging more often. If you like this topic and want to hear more, let me know! Or if there are topics you'd like to see discussed, I'm always open to ideas!!