I love to smile, giggle, be silly, and I'm fueled by positive people. I'm the one when any kind of music comes on that the movement starts with the toes (it's involuntary I swear) and ends up with gyrations that are unrecognizable (worse than Elaine in Seinfeld). I can't help it- I love to feel free- and I can't dance but I have fun doing it! I have felt self conscience a time or two and I know people have judged me but it's me being me and I seriously can't help it. I love to be happy.
I'm certain that all people love to be praised and feel 'seen' but are not necessarily inspired by happy land. (At least that's what they think.) It takes all kinds right? Well this week I laid into my kids. THEY NEEDED IT. (I wasn't being positive and I'm not really sure I cared whether they were being seen.) Living in a home with two teenagers is like poking knives in your eyes on purpose. I never, ever, know what I'm going to get... One minute they are wanting hugs and smiling and then next minute someone is crying and hates the world. Me dancing around the house singing 'Give God Your Glory, Glory, Children of the Lord," rarely helps- the ten year old occasionally laughs. I digress (I do that a lot)- what I was saying is that I flat out told them that they were going to use their mouths for good- I wouldn't tolerate negativity- it's a habit. I think of other adults in my life that sound like them and it frightens me that they will never outgrow this teenage disease thing.
I've been told a time or two that I live in a fairy tale land and that people can't live feeling that positive...I disagree. (Of course I do!) Being happy is a choice- not always a feeling. There have been times in my life that everything is crumbling around me and yet I felt filled with joy- because I refuse to feel any other way. (I'm not a magic unicorn and I do get down- but it usually lasts a day and NEVER does any good.) This is what I was trying to tell (loudly) my spawn-life is about choices and you can choose to see the crud around you or you can see the abundant beauty. We can choose to use our mouths to build up or to tear down. When simply stated like that I don't want to tear anything or anyone down-including me. An amazing friend of mine said, "Thank goodness God guards the gates of my mouth," AMEN SISTA!
We as people are great at finding our flaws. The danger in this is that when we magnify our own flaws we find them in everyone around us. Misery loves company. It's in our nature to try to relate to people even if it's by doing so in a destructive manner. THIS IS SAD. We are all humans-one race-one kind. Guess what? We all have flaws and NONE of us are perfect. SHOCKER. I KNOW that PRAISE can fuel us more than criticism!
I need to know that my tribe is using their hearts and mouths to build up and glorify those around them. (We are a work in progress.) When they spread their wings they need to leave this home knowing that who they are and how they feel don't have to be directly related to circumstances and certainly not to others. I pray that they know that praising themselves and those around them (everyone) will always be more fruitful than the alternative. It's a reflection of ourselves if we are continuously critical of others-and people see it.
We all have people in our lives that only see the clouds. There is a beautiful sun chilling out above those clouds that they fail to see! LOOK FOR IT! They lack passion and enthusiasm for almost everything, especially if it may be giving someone else praise. These people are habitually critical of themselves and EVERYONE around them- and they don't have to be. I believe they live their lives scared of being happy because then they think they wouldn't have anything to talk about if they were. Misery, in their head, makes for great conversation. FLAG RAISING TIME!
Remember the movie Monsters, Inc- best Disney Pixar Movie ever! (I'm not opinionated or anything-HA.) In that movie Sulley, the main monster dude, figured out that making the children giggle instead of scaring them provided so much more energy to Monstropolis. BRILLIANT! Well of course it did. Think about the energy in a room when you are having a party or celebrating a triumph. I've got a better one, think about a baby giggling! It's contagious. You want more of it right? YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY GET ENOUGH.
Let me let you in on a little secret. An extremely wise person told me a long time ago, "Stop complaining. NOBODY really wants to hear how you are when they ask. Say "Great", and move on." That was harsh. Somewhere in those lines lies the truth, however. There are only a select few that want to hear it- and even for them-unless it's a truly tragic situation-not that often.
Praise starts with us. It starts inside. It starts by loving YOU. We can't LOVE WELL- if we don't love ourselves first. Lifting others up is an extension of yourself. Tearing them down is as well. When you think that you are placing the spotlight on someone elses flaws you are really turning it back on yourself. Dancing in front of others (may actually be cruel and unusual punishment to those around me) but it shows them that there is joy bursting out of me and I want to share it. Habits are made to be broken. Find things that you love about YOU, and then look for those in others. I guarantee that the world will look miraculously more beautiful-you will start dancing too!