And recently at a conference, a man who had been born in the United States approached me and ranted on for ten minutes – till I excused myself – about how our country and everything about it had completely gone to hell.
Not five minutes after that, another man approached me who had been born in a foreign country run by a dictator, where violence is rampant and people are imprisoned for speaking their minds, and rhapsodized for ten minutes about how our country is heaven on earth.
If you seek the dark, if you let your ego and emotions push you to seek the dark, you are guaranteed to find plenty of dark in every person, place, and situation you look. And it will darken you.
If you seek the light, if you contain your ego and manage your emotions so that your spirit can do what it is naturally drawn to do and seek the light, you are guaranteed to find plenty of light everywhere you look. And it will illuminate you.
Once while traveling, I was fortunate to be switched to a first class seat at no extra cost because there wasn’t enough room in coach. I sat next to a woman who complained – seriously, and to three different attendants over the course of the flight – that her pretzels didn’t have enough salt.
I knew a man who, after struggling hard for years, taking many risks, and experiencing countless failures but pushing forward anyway, made his first $100,000 at something he was passionate about.
Around the time he was rejoicing in this, I lost touch with him, but when I was reunited with him again about a decade later, he was miserable – and physically sick because of it -- because he had never quite reached making a million.
I’ve known many people who met someone, recognized so many of the wonderful qualities in that someone, fell in love, and married. But two, seven, or twenty-seven years hence, all they now choose to see are all the faults in that someone, and how that someone is “ruining my life.”
And I know people who have survived heart attacks, and years (sometimes months) later, are always complaining that there is nothing good on TV.
Of course, this is all not a call to stop making improvements where improvements can be made. Jobs, grades, countries, income, marriages, TV, and even pretzels can always be improved.
It is a call, however, to stay vigilant – for the sake of your health, happiness, energy, and very life – in not mistaking the opportunities for improvement (which are, after all, what gives us purpose) for bad situations to whine, nag, insult, fight, and otherwise waste your energy over and bring the world around you down in the process.
It is a call to remain aware of the light, to rejoice in the gift, in all things.
In this spirit, by the way, you will be far more effective at helping to make improvements where they do need to be made, because you will have far more of the energy, clarity, creativity, peace and kindness required to really get things done.
On the other hand, I still also find myself berating myself – and God, and the Universe, and my cats, and our information-cluttered world where the rare things of worth get lost among the hordes of drivel -- because my material at Intense Experiences is only reaching thousands or tens of thousands of people, and not hundreds of thousands, or millions, or billions.
The pretzels are never salty enough, or they’re too salty, as long as we’re focused on what is wrong with them.
We are all human, and that means we do have egos, and we will keep experiencing the full range of human emotions including the “negative emotions” like fear, guilt, anxiety, anger, and all the rest.
It’s how aware we keep ourselves, and how we then manage ourselves, that makes all the difference.
You may be inspired here and now, in reading this, to seek the light where you may be seeing dark. But how do you maintain that perspective during the course of a day, a week, a life?
You surround yourself with reminders to train you into a healthier perspective.
This reminds me that, while I may not be reaching nearly everyone who would benefit from being reached, I have made a positive impact on some people … and that is light, that illuminates me, and that enables me to go forward positively and keep creating.
That’s (likely) why you subscribe to the free IntenseExperiences.com newsletter … it is one of those reminders for you.
Printing out this article, if you find it worthwhile, or any article, poem, motivational quote, or the like, and posting it where you will routinely see it – on your refrigerator, by your computer, etc. – can be a strong reminder.
You can also take photos, draw pictures, find items in nature, or buy things like pictures and jewelry that you decide will remind you to stay focused on the light every time you see it – and place them in places where you will see them often.
What did you once rejoice in that you may be taking for granted now?
What is worth rejoicing in that you may not be recognizing enough?
You are alive, and so the answers to these questions are endless, when you really consider it.
And that is the most beautiful light of all.
- By Brian Vaszily, IntenseExperiences.com Founder