Something to Smile About

As 2016 seems to hurry to a close, I’ve already found myself in a state of reflection. One of the most intriguing things I’ve learned this year is my perception of and reactions to energies. From coworkers to students, I have been able to have a greater sense of peace in troubling situations. When someone angers me, I’m able to find something to laugh about. When someone hurts me, I’m able to keep smiling. When someone confuses me, I’m able to find clarity. Why? I have made a conscious decision to continuously choose joy.

There are so many popular quotes about energy. One of my favorites is “Be the Energy You Want to Attract”. There were many times in the beginning and middle of this year where I wasn’t sure how to handle some of the relationships in my life. I became incredibly saddened and drastically drained. My melancholy mood trickled into my work life, my classroom, and even my prayer life. After a while, I literally had to tell myself that enough was really enough. Something had to change. But what?

There’s another popular saying that (to paraphrase) states the more positive energy you put out, the more positive energy you get back. I wasn’t putting out any positive energy. Zero. And no doubt sucking all of the positivity and light out of the friends who were telling me it was going to be OK on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I was doing the exact opposite. This idea of getting back what you put out wasn’t new to me. I’d grown up being taught to abide by the Golden Rule, matured into an adult who believes in loving as Christ loves, and even decorated my bathroom with a plaque displaying the fruit of the Spirit (kindness made the list). Eventually, I had to understand that in order for this to really work, it didn’t just mean being nice to people who were nice to me. What this really meant was that even in the face of adversity, I still had to choose to display kindness…and to display it with sincerity.

Once I reached this state of thinking, feeling, and behaving, things began to turn around. The energy I was putting out began to transform into actual physical energy (I even got a gym membership!). I started to notice I was smiling and laughing more than I had in a long time. Work became less of a strain. I felt lighter. My skin even seemed more vibrant. The lights weren’t just back on they were illuminating brighter than ever. I ended up attracting more positive energy than I bargained for. Seeing the change that this exchange of energy was having on my life caused the phrase “throw kindness around like confetti” to practically leap off the page when I came across it in my planner (blog post on that coming soon!) a couple of days ago.

When confetti is thrown it is typically tossed by hand or fired from cannons with little regard for where it lands or who it touches on the way down. That’s precisely the way I want to display kindness. I intend to grasp it handfuls at a time, toss it in the air, and let it fall.

Ephesians 4:32; Galatians 5:22-23; Luke 6:31

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