My Bubble DancePosted: August 2, 2012
One of my favorite political comedians is forever talking about the Tea Party’s “bubble”. He contends they live in one and only see what Fox News wants them to see. I tend to agree. On the other hand, when I open my Facebook page and look at the positive living quotes and the darling little photos of kittens, I can clearly see that I live in my own bubble. The point is, I prefer to dance through life in a positive bubble than a negative one. And I get to choose.
If you think about it, we all have our own “bubble dance” going on. Our thoughts and beliefs color our existence so much that, on some days, we can barely talk to each other.
The founder of Religious Science, Dr. Ernest Holmes, wrote about our individual “mental atmosphere” and how what we are thinking and believing is mirrored in our lives. At first, I had a hard time accepting that my mental atmosphere (or consciousness) was controlling my life.
I thought positive thinking was foolish and that if we weren’t careful, bad things would happen while we were expecting the best. There is a joke about a person falling out of a skyscraper and as he is diving toward the sidewalk, he waves to someone inside and calls out, “All right so far!”
It took me a long time to actually buy the idea that thinking about good things and expecting the best would attract a better life. Over the years, I have observed that, while it is not always as simple as some motivational speakers want us to believe, it is true that an optimistic attitude will bring us better lives than a fretful or fearful outlook.
When I was younger, I assumed that there was a definite reality out there, made up of “facts”. It seemed to me that people could talk or argue with each other but if they took off their blinders, they would agree with me. That agreement on the facts was a much more difficult process than I thought it should be.
I realized that how we view life is more important than anything else. Our habits of thinking inform every second of our day. Some begin the day with gratitude and others groan and feel sorry for themselves because they have to “face” the day. Both have homes, families and jobs but one has everything and the other has almost nothing. One lives in a gratitude bubble and the other is struggling in a bubble of desperate challenge.
Our bubbles are based on our habits of thinking. We learn our habits of thinking from many sources. We may bring attitudes with us, we certainly learn from parents and teachers and friends. We reinforce our beliefs with the “authorities” we choose to listen to.
As adults we get to choose whether to change or protect and reinforce our bubbles. Who you talk to, what you talk about, what news programs you watch, what books, magazines you choose, plus organizations you join, all add up to a world view that reinforces itself on a daily basis.
For example, if I believe that the world is a dangerous place, I will reinforce that view with my local news station that focuses on crime, documentaries about the dangerous streets, and political leaders who call for Second Amendment “solutions”. Pretty soon, I’ll begin to believe that I need to protect myself and I’ll buy a gun. The next thing you know, I’ve shot myself in the foot!
Even if nothing bad happens, I will have to deal with the fear and suspicion that my negative beliefs consistently feed into my body. I much prefer to believe I live in a friendly universe and that people are a source of potential joy, rather than possible harm. I may avoid certain situations that might be dangerous, but I will not live my life in fear of “the other”.
I have also realized that the more positive I am, the happier I am. Anyone who hangs out in New Thought circles comes to that conclusion by observation. While it is true that bad things sometimes happen to good people, it is also true that positive people handle difficulties better than fearful people.
There are now a lot of scientific studies tell us optimistic thinking helps at work, in relationships, physical condition, and even longevity. I’ve seen a lot more happy and healthy people in New Thought than in the population at large. In my church, good news is ordinary. To be celebrated, for sure, but ordinary.
I have spent a lot of energy over the years, teaching myself to “expect the best” or “keep on the sunny side of the street”. It pays off. All of my relationships are in wonderful shape. I love myself the way I am and I am willing to change. I am surrounded by love and joy. I can never begin to tell you how grateful I am to be able to say that.
In the past few years, I’ve had several health challenges and they haven’t been fun but I’m still here and I’m still of service to the world. Often, the doctors I’ve dealt with have commented on my fast recovery.
I’d prefer to be perfectly healthy all the time and I keep visioning that. In the meantime, I’m grateful for fast recovery, and I’m grateful to be enjoying life and helping others. I try to model self-love by taking care of myself and to be grateful for the wonderful support I enjoy.
I still believe in “facts” but I’m working on it. I am grateful for my health insurance and I pick my excellent medical team. I follow their advice but don’t necessarily accept their prognosis. I go to doctors and I pray for my health. I do not spend much time talking about my ailments, even though it is often a favorite topic in my age bracket. Talking about health problems doesn’t fix things and it makes me feel worse.
Truth is, I am very grateful to be here. Every day is an opportunity to be happy and I take as many of those opportunities to celebrate life as I can. Every age brings its joys and issues. This age is a time to rejoice, not complain.
I handle political stuff the same way. I watch the nightly news and scan a couple of on-line newspapers. I want to know what is going on “out there” but I don’t want to live in the fear or despair about things I see on TV. I look at solutions as much as possible.
I vote. I encourage others to register and to vote. I talk about political issues but I try to stay away from “ain’t it awful”. I consider it my duty as a good American to do what I can to protect the rights of all people so I speak up. I pray for improvement of our prison system and our schools. But I try not to demonize the “other” – those who believe differently – because they are also children of God. Besides, it doesn’t help.
So that’s my bubble. I’ve created it out of my take on my spiritual studies and personal experience. It is also based on the gratitude I learned in 12 Step programs thirty-seven years ago. I never have a day that I can’t find things to be grateful for.
What’s in my bubble?
What might I want to change?
What am I grateful for?