Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Fall is coming soon, you can feel it. Kinda signals the beginning of the end of the most bizarre year maybe in my lifetime. We still have an election to get through, NFL football starts next month to empty stadiums, and winter will be here before you know it forcing most activities indoors here in WI. It’s a crazy mixed up time in the world, and at times like this we can feel a lot of emotions getting pent up that might need release and maybe start coming out in ways we’d rather they didn’t. Anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, depression, despair, anxiety, fear, sadness… how do you handle the negative emotions? I started thinking about it this week when I was reading a book that made me think back to the days I was drinking and using drugs a lot, back in the 80s. The self loathing inside me came out, especially after a few drinks, by building walls around me built out of anger and mean, biting sarcasm. I still have a sarcastic sense of humor, but man – back then I could be ruthless. To this day I remember a friend telling me this at one time before I sobered up: “Dave, you have this uncanny ability to find the one thing somebody doesn’t want to hear and you’ll go right ahead and say it to them.” She told me that like 40 years ago and has probably long ago forgotten it, but it’s stuck with me since. We can get caught up in thought patterns that are positive or negative. Do we come into the world with a predisposed disposition? Every now and then I’ll get to spend some time with my grandkids. We went to a water park this week. Other kids were there. We have kids all over our neighborhood, too. I run every day – there’s a house I pass by that has a bunch of kids and they always wave and shout hello, they’re always laughing and playing – I love going by that house. There’s another house that also has a bunch of kids that basically will run and hide if you say hello or wave. Similar ages. Not that there’s anything wrong with either, but – aren’t some of us born naturally outgoing and happy, some shy, some naturally inclined to be sad? Back when I was using, I had a persona that I bought into. I didn’t give it much thought. I just accepted that this was who I was, how I treated people, what my sense of humor was, how I lived. But it’s by no means how I live today. So, even if we have a predisposed disposition, we also have the inherent ability to be the person we desire to be. We have the ability to process information however we want to, and what we focus on will become our reality. If we focus on fear, and hatred, and creating walls that separate and isolate – that’s how we will live. If we focus on sadness, anxiety and despair, we can really take our lives down with it. And if we make a concerted effort to know who we want to be, and maybe to learn to love ourselves despite our faults – maybe even cut ourselves a break now and then – and focus on love, bonding, and togetherness – doesn’t that seem more like what God’s will for us would be? It does to me, but it doesn’t mean that we all won’t have times when we get frustrated, upset, angry, and do or say something we regret. Personally, I’ve found that journaling daily, writing everything down, helps. Meditation helps. Visualizing the day going well helps. And really focusing on being thankful and grateful for whatever life we’re leading wherever we’re at helps, too. What we think about expands. Focus on thoughts that will give you the life you desire.

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