Turn off the News
You’ve heard it a million times over. Be grateful. Count your blessings. Focus on the good. Lukas Nelson once said, “I believe every heart is kind; some of them are just a little underused. Turn off the news and build a garden with me.”
Yet let’s face it, living from gratitude, particularly when the news bombards us with all the “not-so-good,” is easier said than done. You can stop watching but it will find its way to sneak right into your world through your social or even an ad interrupting while listening to my music app while trying to shut the world out for just 6 minutes in the shower to recharge. Yes, us autism moms are grateful for an uninterrupted 6 minutes.
COVD-19. Devastating wildfires. Mass shootings. Politics. Hurricanes. And then closer to home, our everyday pressures and problems: job stress, financial stress, Pandemic stress, marital stress, kids stress… there will always be something that isn’t as we’d like it to be. Things that can constantly give us anxiety, sadness, self-pity, despair, frustration or resentment.
This is all true.
What is also true is that there are many good people in the world who are brave, compassionate and committed to making the world a better one.
Our reality is shaped by the emotions we feel. Our happiness is not determined by the conditions of our lives but by how we feel about them.
What you focus on expands. For better or worse.
- What good does it do to focus on what’s missing or completely out of your control?
- What good does is do you to focus on all the potential dangers in the world?
- What good does is do you to focus on what’s unfair and how you’ve been wronged?
What if you focus on all the good in your life? The people you love and what lays inside your control? What if you focus on the future that inspires you and all you can do to improve it? What if you focus on the power of gratitude and your passion or drive for something?
My youngest son for the first time ever had a friend send him a picture that said he was thankful for play dates with him. He also braved through a wellness doctor visit with little anxiety. My oldest reflected on all the support his best friends have provided him since he was 12 years of age. He also shared his passions writing an essay why special needs kids have changed him to be a better person and perhaps he might want to receive his masters to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst one day. I was reminded by a special Mom today also one of the Founders of Labeled and Loved, that I have a village supporting Cody and their vision is to have these supports throughout his life time. This is a lot of good in my life right now.
As I share my Thanksgiving this month whether it’s in person or virtually, I will focus on the good in my life. Not what I can’t control.
Remember, if you have a full plate this Thanksgiving, if you are surrounded (in person or virtually) with people you love, if you have fresh air to breath and freedom to express your truth, then you have much to be thankful for. Millions have none of this. Be blessings to others. Block all the noise you can’t control and focus on the good. Perhaps turn off the news and build a garden with me.
Just as my oldest son once wrote on our kitchen board, “One good deed, could change the world.”