We can go through life with gratitude or with bitterness, with joy or with anxiety, with hope or with despair. The way we feel inside won’t change our external circumstances, but it can alter our perception of them and how we experience them. When we are aware and present, we can alter our emotions.
Consider this scenario. Joe feels stuck in his job, unappreciated and taken for granted. He starts his day with resentment about the situation, his superiors, his coworkers. The resentment begins a spiral of anxiety and despair. Although he is very good at his work, his attitude creates an atmosphere around him of negativity. Those around him begin to avoid him because he always seems angry.
Joe perceives this distance, which adds to his perception of being unappreciated. The day that began with resentment ends with resentment. Joe’s mood reflects this, and soon his health begins to fail. The constant anger and worry create physical symptoms which themselves create more anger and worry. His self-talk consists of “Why do I bother? They don’t like me anyway,” and “I can’t seem to do anything right!”
Consider an alternate scenario. Joe feels stuck in his job, unappreciated and taken for granted. He notices this feeling, acknowledges it, and decides to change his viewpoint and his self-talk. He starts his day with the declaration, “I am grateful that my supervisor knows I’m so good at my work he doesn’t need to check in with me. I am proud of my skills and I’m glad to have an opportunity to use them. I really like it when my co-workers come to me for advice because they respect me.”
The self-appreciation begins a spiral of quiet confidence. Joe is very good at his work, and his attitude creates an atmosphere of competence. Those around him notice the change in attitude and begin to treat him with respect. Because he begins his day with appreciation, demonstrating aspects of self-love, Joe’s health and mood improve.
Joe’s great awakening is that when he consciously begins with self-love, he can live a happy and fulfilling life regardless of past or present circumstances.