We are so fortunate to live in a time of such amazing technological advances, a time when social media can connect us to our fellow brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe. For me personally, Facebook has largely been a gift. I have reconnected with old friends, I have discovered new ones, and I have uncovered priceless opportunities waiting around every turn…and all because we are connected.
But while Facebook has proven itself to offer many wonderful benefits, there are also of course some negative attributes. One is the “instant gratification” factor; the fact that we can vent, moan or complain about our woes in an instant, at just the touch of a button.
There are times when we all need to vent, and I’m sure we’ve all posted our fair share of complaints onto our status updates. (Believe me, for me it only takes encountering a bad driver!) But where this instant communication effect can be negative, and in fact harmful to ourselves, is when it is abused to the point where people are incessantly complaining about their lives, airing their dirty laundry, or dwelling on their woes, publicly. I have seen a sad number of people posting about how dreadful their lives are, about all of the bad things that they perceive to be happening to them, and blaming the world for their problems. I have seen so many people desperately seeking happiness outside of themselves, in external factors.
I’m sure you’ve all seen this and many of us have probably been guilty of it at one time of another: we post a scathing comment about the evil ex-boyfriend who broke our heart, we hold our boss accountable for making our lives miserable, we blame the betrayal of a friend for ruining our lives. You name it. If you’ve been on Facebook for any decent amount of time, I’m sure you’ve seen these kinds of comments and many, many more where those came from. And I’m sure you’ve also seen the comments where people post what they need to be happy: “If only the right guy would come along, I will then be truly happy,” “When I get my dream job, then my life will be perfect,” “If only I could have a baby, then I will feel fulfilled.”
Here’s the thing: All of those statements are tragically flawed. When we blame someone or something outside of ourselves for our problems, it is a mistake because we are giving someone else power over ourselves and we are refusing to take responsibility for our own lives and our own choices. And when we state that we need x, y or z in order to be happy, we are refusing to live in the present, we are refusing to look inside of ourselves and realize that true happiness resides only there, within us. Happiness will never come from outside of us.
I do not care if you find the dream job, if you make millions of dollars and if you find the dreamiest guy (or girl) that ever walked the Earth; if you are not truly happy within yourself, those external factors will never truly make you happy. And not only will they not bring you happiness, but until you do the necessary inner work within you, all that “appears” to be good in your life, will eventually itself disappear or fall into ruin.
Our internal state entirely affects our external state. If we are unhappy, afraid of being alone, terrified of life, riddled with guilt or hating ourselves on the inside, then our outside life is always going to reflect that. Always, without exception. You see, we attract back what we put out. And if we are unhappy on the inside, then we are putting out negative vibes on the outside, regardless of how much we might try to put on a happy face or a false front. We cannot trick the Universe.
If you yourself are in a negative place, and if you continue to blame the world for your problems, you will continue to attract more negativity into your life. And you will continue to be unhappy. And as long as you continue to desperately seek happiness in external factors, it will continue to elude you. This I state to you as Universal truth.
To change the world around us, we must first change the world within us. We must face our demons. We must resolve the unresolved pain, anger, and fear that dwell in the darkness deep inside of us. We must face loneliness. And not only must we face it, but we must walk through it, however painful, and truly conquer it. We must take responsibility for our own feelings, our own actions and especially our own mistakes. We must see where we went wrong, learn the valuable lesson from it, and make the necessary mid-course correction to ensure that we don’t repeat the same mistake, over and over. We must admit our flaws to ourselves, uncover what we need to work on in ourselves, and truly commit to working on it and improving ourselves as human beings.
And most importantly we must learn to change our thoughts. In the same way that our muscles have “muscle memory” and we can condition our physical bodies, we can do the same with our brains and our mental/emotional bodies. We all have periods in our lives where we feel unhappy or even dreadfully depressed and miserable. And during those times it can feel impossible to change anything. I have lived many of those moments. But the truth is that we hold 100% of the power within us to do just that.
When we can force ourselves to focus on the positive in our lives, to find one simple thing for which we are grateful in any given moment, we have the power to create powerful magnetic shifts in our lives. All it takes is one tiny positive thought, and as we can continue to make the effort to focus on such positive thoughts, it becomes easier and easier and they become more and more magnetic until suddenly we begin to see subtle and then eventually dramatic shifts in our lives.
So when you are scrolling through your Facebook status updates and you see a friend expressing negativity and blaming the world for their problems, make the choice to not enable them. Instead of encouraging them to further steep in their negativity and create a downward spiral, instead take the time to remind them of what they have to be grateful for. Post something positive and encouraging. Challenge them to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.
And when you find yourself on the verge of posting a negative status update, pause for a moment and ask yourself the following: Are you about to blame the world or something outside of yourself for your problems? Are you about to vent negativity which really serves no positive purpose? If so, then use that opportunity to create an internal shift. In that moment think of something positive that happened to you that day: think of the dog wagging its tail, think of the smile of your child, think of the sweet taste of the chocolate that melted in your mouth. Think about something for which you are grateful, even if only one small thing. And instead of posting the negative comment, choose to post a positive one. And always remember that happiness is never outside of you, it is only within you. You hold the power in your hands.