Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Discouraged? Listen to the Positive Voice

There isn't anything we do that we don't at some point get discouraged doing.  Even the projects, careers, businesses, and loved ones that we are so passionate about go through discouraging times.  I certainly have had my share of them.  Sometimes it feels like it is one obstacle after another to get over, through or around.  Some of the discouragement stems from that voice in our head that loves to point out all the things we do wrong.  It sure loves to point out the mistakes and when some obstacles seem overwhelming, that voice really gets loud.

I watched an Upworthy video the other day about mothers and how they see themselves.  They talked about how they see themselves as mothers and pointed out all the things they felt they should do better.  No one was prodding them to look at those negative aspects.  They could have said what they felt they were doing right.  They all just went to that voice that said, they needed to be more patient, have more time for their kids, or how they hoped that the things they didn't do well at or didn't do enough of wouldn't cause irreversible damage to their kids.  Then there was the video clips of the kids talking about how they see their moms.  The kids talked about how their moms were their hero, how she made them great meals and how they loved jumping on the trampoline with her or getting their nails done together.  The kids just beamed as they talked of their moms.  The moms were brought in to watch and listen to the video of their kids talking about them.  The fear and anxiety was written on their faces as they walked into the room.  Then as the video played and the kids talked about how wonderful their moms were, each one broke into the biggest smile and tears streamed down their faces as each mom realized that their critical voice was really wrong.  They were getting an awful lot right where their kids were concerned.  You could see the volume turned down on that critical voice as those moms listened to their children.

I must admit, even though I'm not a mother myself, the tears flowed from my eyes too.  I was touched by this video and then later realized that I have a similar critical voice that loves to play in my head especially when those discouraging times come along.  Boy does that voice love to pick out the things done wrong or what I could have been done better.  It rarely hears all the things I've been doing pretty well at.  I have had some out of town company come for visits lately and listening to them talk about how cool it is to see what I'm doing and how much I have learned over the years and do well at.  The things they were seeing being here on my farm and pointed out as what they noticed was just like those kids describing all the great things their mothers do for them.  It was stuff I took for granted and didn't notice because I was too busy listening to all the things I wasn't doing well, correctly or fast enough.

It was such a great reminder that when I get discouraged, I must look at the entire picture as I assess things.  Discounting or ignoring the positive is like adding up half the numbers on an equation.  You can't come up with a correct answer if you only look at half the data.  If we want to know why we keep hitting so many obstacles, it is probably because in our critic and assessment of what we are doing, is not including the positive pieces.  If we included those positive aspects in our review of our business or personal practices, I venture to say, we would find ourselves renewed more quickly and have much fewer obstacles to overcome.  I'd even bet that the positive items we could list would far outweigh the negatives.

Watching that video made me appreciate as I go out to my pastures and am greeted by Miss Marple and the other members of the herd, the things I'm doing right.  The kisses given by Jamilah, the boys asking for chest scratches and offering social behaviors alpacas aren't known for is pretty good evidence that I'm doing a lot right. 

Jamilah and I enjoying quality time together.

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