I decide what kind of day I’m going to have.
Have you ever had someone in your life who seems to try to make it as difficult as possible for you to get things done by erecting petty, pedantic, unnecessary barriers? Have you ever felt you had absolutely no recourse because those people always find a way to harass you, no matter how you respond? Have you felt angry, bullied, and annoyed that they can do this without any accountability? Perhaps annoyed that you have to deal with it, and irritated that they get to “win” in this way? Could you feel the fury burning in your solar plexus and sinking like a heavy weight into your abdomen and constricting in your throat?
If you were to find yourself in this purely hypothetical type of situation, you might begin to feel helpless to do anything about your situation and therefore oppressed and downtrodden. These feelings might then get projected on to the other areas of your life, taking you on a downward thought spiral into despair and depression.
This might have happened to me the other day.
Then I noticed the beautiful tree canopy over my street and the unique lighting due to the rain and twilight; and instantaneously all that nasty weight was gone and I was transported by the sheer delight of my senses into a sort of transcendental bliss. Just as instantaneously I noticed I’d been distracted and remembered my “plight.” But for just that brief moment, my trance of despondency had been broken. That brief glimpse of the natural beauty around me was enough to bring me back to the awareness that it was my focus keeping me in my negative emotions. When I inadvertently shifted my focus, my feelings changed. Which means I can purposely shift my focus to change my feelings.
Am I actually downtrodden? Not exactly. Just about all humanity could contest for greater downtroddenness. On the scale of human suffering, this doesn’t even register as a mosquito. It’s more like a gnat that occasionally flies near your face. I am actually completely free to go about my life nearly entirely unhindered by the ridiculous childishness of others. I’ve never let a gnat or two ruin my day. I might absentmindedly swat at them if they get right in my face, but I really barely register them as I’m preoccupied with important matters.
Because I get to decide what is important.