Spend any time online and you will probably become sad, angry, frustrated, or otherwise pulled in a negative direction. Between COVID-19, politics, fretting about the global economy, and all the rest of the current news, things are more uncertain than any previous experience in most of our lifetimes.
This may be a bitter pill to swallow — but there is nothing you can do to change the big picture.
However, that doesn’t mean you are powerless. You can impact change, and you can change the world. But the process is much smaller and more local than you realize.
Every little bit counts
Who you are and what you do in this life matters. The things you do and say, thoughts, feelings, and actions your share, and general way you are at your core will impact the world. It may not be a huge impact, but every little bit counts.
Ever work with glitter? My friends and I refer to it as Craft Herpes because it gets everywhere and never goes away. Days later, you find an impossible speck of glitter on your body somewhere it couldn’t possibly have found its way to. But there it is.
You are a piece of glitter in the world. You may not think your impact means anything at all. Yet there you are, having done your part.
Whether the impact is only on you or other people doesn’t matter. You matter. Maybe you can’t change the world at large but you can change your corner of it for the better.
How? Practice mindfulness.
Mindful positivity differs from toxic positivity
Mindfulness, at its core, is conscious awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. That awareness allows you to know in the present where you are at in mind, body, and spirit. That knowledge will inform you if you are being a force of positivity or negativity.
This doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen and pull you down. They can, they will, and they do. What mindful positivity does, however, is recognize that the negatives are happening and determines how long to allow them to be impactful upon you.
As author Haruki Murakami said,
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
What that means, to me, is that you will experience negativity. Pain. Sadness. Etcetera. But how long that is held onto by you is your choice.
No, I am in no way saying you can’t hold it at all. Sometimes pain and sadness are a learning experience. These negative things make you a better person.
The problem comes when you hold them, become them, and don’t release them. You choose not just to feel the pain but to become it and suffer.
Mindful positivity is acknowledging that you are in pain and allowing yourself to experience it. But then, ultimately, taking steps to let it go and release it.
Toxic positivity denies and avoids the pain in favor of a false narrative of positivity.
Positivity is a good thing, and it can be super-empowering. But it comes with the knowledge of it’s opposite — as well as all that exists between the positive and the negative.
Change is going to happen. Your “normal” life before COVID-19 has changed to the present situation. Life after this will not be the same as it was before.
Change need not destroy your world
To many people, the loss of the life before this experience is something to grieve. And you have every right to do that. You have suffered a loss and grief is a natural part of that.
One of the things that mindful positivity can do is to help you choose what direction to take with the next change. When we can stop social-distancing and reconnect with people publicly, it won’t be the same as it was. A great many things will have changed or will still be changing on the other side of this.
That, for many people, is terrifying. It is overwhelming, upsetting, and deeply negative. And there is nothing you can do for the world at large.
Who can you impact? You. It is up to you to decide how you will roll with any change — resist it, combat it, overcome it, or direct it. You are empowered to influence and control a great deal of change for yourself.
When you practice mindfulness, you become conscious of your awareness. That means, now, in the present, you know where and who you are. Recognize that It is inside your own head that you have the origin of all the control you can exert on the world.
It is about your own mind, body, and soul. Your head, heart, and general essence are controlled by you and you alone. By that same token, you have no control over anyone or anything else.
So how can you change the world? By being mindful of your impact on it.
Be the best you that you can be
When you are genuine, real, thoughtful, kind, and empathetic in the things you do — that can spread faster than an invisible virus. When people are impacted by you — directly or indirectly — and your mindful positivity — they may be more inclined to act similarly. Not because you control them, but because you positively impact upon them.
Every little bit counts. When you say “ Thank you “ to the delivery driver, give a person appropriate social-distance space to pass you by, or sew masks for other people you have an impact.
While you can’t change the world at large, your thoughts, feelings, and actions are still able to change your corner of it for the better.
Finding and/or creating mindful positivity in the world isn’t hard, but it does require action
Knowing that nobody can change the world at large, you can instead focus on your own life and experiences, working on impacting change from there. When you practice mindfulness, you gain awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the here-and-now — and that ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. It can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, generating yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, as does how we make us of mindful positivity to impact change in our unique corner of the world.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on April 27, 2020.