Good morning ya'll
Yes, good morning for me because I am currently typing this on the morning train. Today is another gloomy Chicago day, BUT I'm not tiered of it yet. Bring on the gloom. (Hey, can't a girl like the little things?)
So I'm bringing to you whenever you are reading this, the first question that was submitted to me for Ask Caren *Silent Cheers*. Just a little itsy bitsy reminder, you can submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org - love love love to hear them!
Okay, enough advertising (guys, ask me stuff. ASK ME STUFF <xo>).
Today's questions is this:
"How can I center myself in hope and love, when I feel like the world is missing both?"
Well miss anonymous, great question. I know you are not alone on this one - especially in times like these (political, racial, social justice, etc.), there is so much room for humans to believe that the world they are living in has the worst intentions.
Hope + Love
Two words everyone yearns for. Little do you know, they are both already built into each and every one of you - you can not live without having these two beautiful words already wired in your system. How do you find that out, and find them within you? Here is how you can start:
1. Recognize that you already have it. Well, both of them.
Hope is a choice. Love is a choice. Think about a time you hugged a child, looked at a flower, smothered a dog, or had a beautiful (or crazy) night out with your friends. During that time, did you feel love? Were you embodying the feeling of love? Take a second and think about it. What were you feeling?
My point? Love is ALWAYS available. I promise this! It truly is. You have the power to bring love into your world at any moment - you just have to feel it. You can bring love into a world where you This means, you can also bring love into you world when you feel there is no love around you.
Step back, and realize how simple this concept is. You just have to see it - you just have to know that it is always available, and always your choice. Whatever you lean into, is your decision. You can either lean into fear, or lean into love.
As for hope? You have that too. You are the hope, you create the hope. Where your attention goes, your focus goes, and your brain goes, and your world goes, and etc. etc. etc. Focus on hope, focus on creating a beautiful image of what you wish to see your world as - rather than spending time focusing on what you do not want to see.
Step back for a second, and evaluate this for yourself - how often do you go over in your mind negative possibilities and outcomes rather than imagining the positive
2. Once you recognize, then you can choose
Think about how easy this really is. Once you wake yourself up and realize what you are choosing in your mind, you can choose different! The options are truly available to you in any moment.
Hope: What if you were to make a simple change of imagining positive outcomes each time you were about to think about "what could negatively happen" or "go wrong". That would be a whole lot of productivity in the hope department now wouldn't it!
Love: Imagine this, you replace each of the following:
- Swap out scrolling through social media and checking in on others lives + judging what everyone is doing with their lives, for looking up an article on your favorite blog website or scrolling through Pinterest to find some delish recipes or cute DIY projects.
- Turn on The Ellen Show, Modern Family, or any other TV show that will uplift you, rather than watching your local Channel 2 News and listening to all of the daily terrors going on in the world.
- Side note - yes, there will always be terrors going on in the world. You can not avoid them, I agree! But, you can choose whether or not you focus on them. I know, I know! There are so many awful things happening day to day, but they do not have to be your world - you can not change them. Focus on what you DO have control over.
- Are you a background noise type person? Same thing as above applies. Put on MUSIC! Put on a PODCAST! Put on a COMEDY! Do not put on the news, JAWS, or criminal minds. Your subconscious is listening! I pinky promise.
Your focus is OH so powerful. You have this amazing power to create your own world, so create the world you want. Put your focus on what you want to see more of.
What's next? Okay, let's review: Recognize, choose, and now CREATE.
You've made the choice of what you want to focus on, and you've made your little "swap" *pat on back and yay*. Now, keep creating please! Keep creating these moments, choices, and swaps in your life. It's basically a muscle - the more you #werq it, the stronger it will get and the less you will have to actually think about these little shifts!
They will become automatic, they will become your world.
Anddddd, valla! (or however you spell that... you know what word I'm thinking of). All of the sudden, you have a new world you've created for yourself. You have a new world where your attention and focus is leaning towards love and hope.
4. Know that we all want the same thing, find forgiveness and compassion for others you do not agree with
Oh boy, I can go on and on about this. I'm actually going to keep it short because I have already typed up a storm for you and I will most definitely be making another post dedicated to this topic.
We allll all all want the same thing. We all want a world of love and hope, we all want to be happy and feel at peace. So, how could those in the world who do "wrong" and "are bad" want peace too? How could they possibly want to contribute good if they are creating the total opposite?
Well, because they are creating their own version of "peace". We are humans. We have different minds. We will not all agree.
Like I said - we all live in our own worlds. We create our own perspectives and views, so some people just see those views differently than you do. We are all raised in different environments, brought up in different ways, and have different beliefs.
Think of it like colors - someone who is color blind will see your green as your red, but you will see your green as your green. The same thing with the world - can you challenge yourself to find compassion for those who have different worlds than you? Knowing that we are all equal in wanting the same thing, but looking for it in different ways?
5. BE the light, bring hope and love into the world
Make your own world the light. Make your own world love and hope. And then? Bring that world out to others. YOU truly are the change you want to see in this world. (I know... sounds so cliche) But it is totally true.
Here's and example: I'm a big door holder, and there is this set of HUGE heavy doors that I go through on my way to work. Tons of speedy Chicago-ins are racing through these doors, and let's just say no one really stops to think about the person behind them (okay, there are some nice ones!). I was HIT with these doors once, and it did not feel good. But thats not the point-
I hold these doors for people, because I know I would like the same to be done for me. One day, someone in back of me was so SHOCKED that I stood holding the door while waiting for him to pass through. He thanked me with a huge smile, and proceeded to hold the door for the person in back of him (even though he had to wait a little for them to pass through). Then, the person behind him held the door for the next person.
It was beautiful.
Not sure what happened after that, because well I couldn't stand there starring at a door the whole day. BUT what is the point of this? It's that a domino effect is so easy to create.
You are the change. Be the light, spread the light. You have no idea how it will effect anyone else - do not assume! Just be a light.
Your are the hope. You are the love.
Create it for yourself, and then share it with others.