Two members of the fellowship were walking down a busy street together talking to one another. Coming from the other direction walking towards them was a blind man with a cane. He tapped his stick on the ground slowly as he weaved around people and obstacles. “Look at that poor fellow” said one of the two people. “He must have a horrible life. He was really dealt a terrible hand by G-d. He can’t drive a car or view a sunset.I’m sure not a day goes by without him being angry and depressed about his life”. The other person said, “of course I don’t know him but I have a totally different take. I see a very independent man who is totally integrated in life. He’s out there walking by himself. I sense his courage, determination and strength. I even caught a glimpse of a smile on his face”.
Of course, without talking to the blind man we have no idea what the reality of his life really is. What does matter is that how we see things often has more to do with our attitudes than with our occipital lobe. That being the case, when we cultivate a more open and expansive attitude, then what we see will also be more positive in nature; as will our experiences.
Personal Reflection: How would I have viewed this blind man?
Many species in the world are social creatures. If you disturb some bees outside of their hive, you will very quickly discover just how social they are. In short order, the few bees you upset are able to communicate to their brethren that they are being bothered. Suddenly you are confronted with a swarm of bees that are just as mad as the ones you initially encountered.
We humans are very much the same way. We can easily be affected by the attitudes of others around us. That it is why, especially in early sobriety, it is so important to choose who we surround ourselves with. Do you want to be with people who have a deep connection to their Higher Power; and who are serious about their journey of personal transformation? Or, do you want to be with people who are acting out, negative and fail to take responsibility for their actions? It is very hard to not be affected by the attitudes of others; so we might as well choose to associate with positive spiritually fit people.
Part of our own growth is to carefully examine our own attitudes. Are people seeking us out because they like our energy. Or, do they run in the opposite direction when they see us coming.
Personal Reflections: Do I seek out the right kinds of people?
Do I have an attitude worth catching?
There are a number of cartoon characters who perpetually have a rain cloud over their heads. While it’s sunny for everyone else, for them it is raining.
For some people, this description is not far from the truth. Of course we are not talking about weather conditions. Rather, we are talking about life attitude. There are people who walk around under a cloud of negativity for the whole day.
When our feet hit the ground in the morning, we have our first choice of the day. Are we going to choose to have a “good” day or “bad” day. For some of us, this might be a surprising statement. In the past we might have said, “how can I have a good day with all that I have to deal with today”? We have discovered that as we work our program; our attitude is a choice and is not dependent on the events of the day. Experience has also shown that when we include prayer and meditation as one of our first daily acts, our sense of positivity is also strengthened.
Personal Reflection: What kind of day did you plan for today?