We live in a world that focuses on the bad and seems to believe that ideas about badness are more real than ideas about goodness. This is a huge mistake and one that affects us in many negative ways. Once we rectify this mistake, we can feel freer and happier.
So many people struggle to feel good about themselves. So many people fear being seen as inadequate, less than, and irrelevant. I once heard an accomplished and well-known art critic talk about how her biggest fear is being irrelevant despite being highly regarded. It is a mistake to treat the good in people, their talent, and their contributions with disdain. There is something wrong when someone is so afraid of rejection.
Missing Out On The Good
It is curious how we managed to get to a place where, for so many people, the negativity in the world is their primary experience of life. We have created a world where we make it hard for people to survive, let alone take care of themselves. So changing that characteristic of modern life is a good idea. What happens when we raise the negative energy in the world? We hurt others, and in doing so, we hurt ourselves. When we encourage fear or create expectations of hostility, we essentially steal the energy of others, which could be used to do great work or even to enjoy life. We all lose.
Energy matters, and we each have only so much. We have to protect it to function well. What happens when too much of our energy goes to defending ourselves because of the toxicity around us? Where fear energies drag us down, joy-based energies lift us up because they are friendly. The negativity and fear that we are inundated by are unfriendly energies which, even if we do not think of it that way is something we can feel. If we want a thriving, healthy, and intelligent world, we need to have space for those things. Interestingly, fear, because it shuts us down, makes those very things that we desire and need less available.
In a competitive world, we can see the energy and talent of others as a threat to our survival because we may feel we cannot compete. Competition takes a lot of resources, so we may feel we cannot marshall the resources and support to be as effective as we would like and feel vulnerable as a result. So what can we do about this situation that has so many people feeling left out and unwelcome in our world? Anything?
Sometimes the negativity is so pronounced that we can feel hopeless, but I have good news. There is a way forward. The world, the way we have structured it, has been focused on the negative and based on a negative view of people and life. The key to changing things is to flip the script. It is time to neutralize the messages of badness.
Shifting To A Focus On The Good
It can be difficult to discuss ideas about good and bad because there are some very old and entrenched ideas about it. But as many have come to realize, there is a huge difference between a belief and the truth. So having a negative view of people and life is lopsided at best. It is not the truth of things any more than you not being perfect means you are a bad person.
What we focus on is what expands, so when we voice negative perceptions of someone, then we are elevating those perceptions and diminishing other information, including about that which is good. We, in essence, lose our perspective, which is how we can make life difficult for ourselves and others.
The practice of joy helps us with this because we focus on connecting with and supporting the good in ourselves, each other, and life. We are, first of all, acknowledging the good in ourselves, others, and life. That is a big step in a world that too often prefers the negative. Making the good in life our center helps us ask important questions on a moment-to-moment basis, including what good can I create? What good wants to be created? What good in myself can I bring to the table? What good in others is helpful right now? What is the good in the world that has been created in the past that supports us now?
5 Benefits Of A Joy Practice
There are many benefits to approaching life with a joy practice. Let’s talk about 5 very important ones:
- You make the best of things. Life will always be a challenge, but we can do the best we can and make the best of things also. When we do, even if something is not working out, we can appreciate ourselves and others, and that creates an inner feeling of goodwill and self-appreciation.
- You love yourself easily. When you are noticing and working with the good in you, you appreciate all the good you bring to the world, and that feels good. You are more easily satisfied with yourself, even if there are ways you want to change and grow.
- You can be kinder to yourself and others when you recognize how much we all suffer from the weight of a negative mindset in our cultural space. We are all vulnerable; however, with a joy practice, we can be tender about it, and that invites a lovely beauty to everything we do.
- You are freer to be present since you are focused on the good and the good you can create, you can only do that when you are present, and so it becomes automatically easier to do so.
- You are more satisfied with your life because you are satisfied with yourself.
A joy practice creates a lot of goodwill, self-love and self-appreciation, and contentment, all qualities which can improve our lives.
How could they help yours?