“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver” Dr. Maya Angelou
We all have that person in our lives. You know the one. The one that infiltrates your happiness. The one that can knock you down, no matter how good or positive you’re feeling. Maybe it’s a colleague. Maybe it’s your boss. Maybe it’s a family member. Maybe it’s an ex. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had my fair share of these people. It seemed that, without fail, every time I was getting my groove back on and feeling amazing, that person would somehow come back into my life and challenge my happiness. A few months ago I was explaining this phenomenon with my life coach (yes, I had a life coach. Thank God!). I told him that it seemed like every time I was feeling good, someone was ready to knock me down. In this case it was a specific person that kept creeping back. I could have literally been dancing around my house, feeling energized and ready to take on the world and then, BAM!!, I’d get a text message and would be brought down immediately. My coach explained that he thought it was the universe’s way of teaching me how to face these situations head on, and that if I didn’t conquer them, they’d keep coming back until I learned how to deal with them. He then asked the question that changed my whole outlook, “What can you do when these situations arise? When this person tries to knock you down?” The first thought that entered my mind was “Give more love.” I know!!! This sounds so whoooy and new agey. And maybe it is, but let me explain what I meant. I truly believe that you can counteract hate and anger with love. That when someone puts negative energy out into the world, we need to put more love into the world in order to balance out the universe. Stick with me here. Think about it. How do you feel when you help someone? How do you feel when you volunteer? As Dr. Maya Angelou states, “giving liberates the soul”. So my thought was that every time this person added negativity into my life, I was going to do something good, something positive, whether it was going home and giving an extra hug to my kids, or helping Joe by taking the garbage out. And when something really bad happened, I would go out and volunteer.
Did you know that there is clinical research showing that when you volunteer and help others, it puts you into a better mood? Don’t believe me? Try it. It helps the mood so much, that doctors even prescribe it to those that are suffering from mild depression. I’m not saying that volunteering will help cure depression, I truly do believe that if you are clinically depressed, you should try meds. But I do believe that if you are in a funk and not feeling yourself, sometimes you need to step outside of yourself and give back to the community. So here’s what happened when I started implementing this into my life. First of all, I noticed that instead of focusing on the negative situation and the person, I would immediately start thinking of what I could do to help someone else. So instead of spiraling into that negativity and letting that anger take over, I would immediately start feeling better, because I knew someone else would benefit from this situation. Everyone benefited. My kids got extra lovin, my husband didn’t have to do as many chores and the house was cleaner. It got to the point that when Joe would come home and I was doing the chores he normally did, he would respond with “uh oh, what did she do this time?” Hahaha!!! But you know what? It worked! I felt better because I was helping others. And when a lot of negativity infiltrated my life in one week, I would gather up the kids and we would go volunteer. Other people were benefitting and more love was being put into the universe. My children and I now volunteer on a regular basis and are seeing how they can help others. On top of that, I started using this in my daily interactions. Whenever someone would frustrate me, I would think to myself “how can I counteract this negativity?” The longer I did this, the easier it became. And honestly, I don’t think the negative situation and that negative person has decreased in my life but my attitude towards is has changed. Negative situations and negative people are always going to be around but how we choose to respond to those situations can change. I’m not saying we all need to be Polly Anna, but it does feel so much better to respond in a positive way than to respond in a negative way.
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!