What if we believed that everyone in our lives was rooting for us to succeed?
What if we just assumed that everyone we knew—ourselves included—believed in us as much as our moms do?
I am not asking what if the statements above were actually true; all I’m asking is what if we decided to believe they were true.
We really don’t know if the people we interact and connect with wish us the best. For the most part, we’ll never know if all of our 546 Facebook friends, extended family and distant relatives, middle school BFFs, co-workers, and even the people we spend the most time with truly want us to succeed.
So, wouldn’t it be better if we just assumed that everybody did?
We may think we know how people view us. Whether through a text message, a comment on social media, or a face-to-face interaction, maybe we’ve gotten the feeling that someone doesn’t think we’re capable of doing all the things we aspire to do. This doesn’t mean they don’t wish us well—this simply means they don’t know us well enough.
Along those same lines, I’ve never really understood why people talk about having “haters.” Nor have I ever believed that I have “haters.” A small group of people who, at one time or another, made you feel less of something certainly should not be grouped together and placed in the spectator section of your life. Instead, we should look deeper into each individual person and ask ourselves, “What could be happening in their life that would push them to hurt me?” and then, with our most empathetic heart, we forgive their words, brush them off, and move on. And if we can’t seem to find a “why,” then we should release them from our arena and move on.
I would never say that I haven’t had moments where negative comments made by the people I trusted the most haven’t cut me deep. Sitting with the hurt and sadness makes sense, for a while. However, when the hurt and sadness starts to grow and spread out into other areas of our lives, it makes more sense to leave them bleeding on the floor.
A woman I hold in high regard once told me I was a negative person. This made me extremely sad and I could have viewed her as a “hater”—but then I realized she was right. I didn’t want to be seen that way, so slowly and over time, I made the choice to stop viewing my entire week as good or bad. Instead, I started viewing my days as good or bad. This made my weeks better. Then I stopped having good or bad days, and instead had good or bad mornings, afternoons, or nights. Soon after, it became good hours and bad hours, and then it was just down to moments.
What I’ve learned is that moments pass quickly and it’s much easier to drive out the bad when it’s surrounded by good. And there is so much good.
I think about this mantra often: “This is what it feels like when it’s all coming together.” I read it on the wall of a stall in a dive bar, and have found that it’s always true. When things are good, think this thought and wait in anticipation because things are about to get even better. And when things are bad, and you’re in a low place, this thought means you need to hold on because you’re almost out of the darkness.
When things do come together—which they will—you can take some pride in making it happen, in speaking it into existence.
We have the power to sit with the negative and drive it out when it’s no longer serving us. We also have the power to believe that people are inherently good and the universe is looking out for us.
Think this mantra. Believe these words. And watch your world change.
Bonus: The One Buddhist Red Flag to Look out for.
Author: Bailey Gehrke
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman