I was sent this article by Michael Johnson, author of one of my favorite audio books, HEALING SHINE.
I think this might help some of you to start your week!
THROWING MY LOOP…
About twenty years ago, I did something important – and something good. I made a decision to do something different in my life. Things had not been going too well for some time – as in not going well for ten years! I still don’t know exactly what happened or why, but things just fell apart. From year one to year forty, things were pretty good – then boom! Everything started sliding downhill –
loss of loved ones, divorce, job downsizing, house fire, worry, anxiety, and on and on. No matter what I did, it was the wrong thing to do. Found myself alone in the woods wondering what in the world happened? I felt like one of those characters in a Twilight Zone episode when the fellow wakes up one morning…and no one is in the town. So here I am sitting in the woods – at the bottom of the valley – and I started thinking. Boy, did I do some thinking…
First, I read what Willie said. “I failed in Nashville because I tried to do it their way. When I came home to Dripping Springs, I decided to do what I loved.” Sounded good to me – and that made me realize my first step was to figure out what I loved. I did that. (Takes a while.) Second step? Figure out how to make a living doing what you love. (Also takes a while – but so highly recommend this step!) Then that other thing I was talking about earlier. Don’t know where the idea came from – it just came. (Plato said he didn’t know where ideas came from – he just knew they didn’t come from here.
I know what he meant.) I decided that for the rest of my life…I was only going to hang around with positive people! And you know what? That decision without question, after marrying my wife and finding the colt named Blue, is the best thing I ever did. Didn’t cost me a penny, gave me friends that I treasure and love, made me behave better, act nicer, be much more productive…and be braver.
Here’s a clip from the Good News Network…
“Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their problems. They want people to join their pity party so they can feel better about themselves. We often feel pressure to listen to complainers because we don’t want to appear to be rude. But there is a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and being drawn down into the other person’s negative spiral. You can avoid that spiral by setting limits on refusing to listen to toxic words. And you can always ask the complainer what they intend to do to fix the problem. That usually ends the conversation.”
So often I hear people complaining about the government, about education, about how bad kids are, and the terrible state of the world. Here’s what’s interesting – these people never run for office, never teach school, and don’t do anything I can see, except sit in the cafe and eat. Guess how I know all this?
Because I was the worst offender. I was one of them. But my ways were changed when I made that decision to only surround myself with positive people. Here’s how it started…
I called a friend and said, “I can’t get my books published.” (Loud whine.)
He said, “You know why, don’t you? You haven’t tried hard enough!”
“No, no,” I said. “I’ve tried! I’ve tried seven times!”
“Oh,” he said. “Then I’m at a loss. If you hit seven golf shots, surely you could qualify for the U. S.
Open. If you roped seven steers, surely you would make the National Finals, right?”
(Okay, I forgot to mention hanging around positive people can be a bit trying – and sting – at times.)
And by the way, all these years later, I now know why my “slide” occurred. It was because of what George Bernard Shaw said…”If you live long enough, everything happens to you.”
What brought me out of it? Several things, but none more so than my decision. I should have known. My little mama told me long ago. A line I heard her say many times…
“When you encounter someone negative in life, always treat them with the kindness of Jesus…and then, get away from them as fast as you can.”
Go out with joy. Lead with peace. And the mountains and the hills will begin to sing – and all the trees of the the field will clap their hands.
– Michael Johnson