Friday, July 4

Independence & Influence

I just took pictures of an amazing sunset, which apparently was the signal for the fireworks to start. My valley is still lit with residual sunlight, but irrespective of that, there are bangs and burst in the sky in all directions. I just drove home from my moms house, and as I entered my town from a slight height, I looked down on the explosions, too many to count.

I’m not a patriotic person, I can’t see any point in it. I don’t disrespect the past, but I don’t believe how it’s told, and I don’t need to have pride in something I was not involved in. Anyway….

I see these lights as an expression of a conversation I had with a friend yesterday, which hinged upon independence day not being about “patriotism and independence” for me as it is for most. For me, it’s more about the fact that most people get to be free from work and responsibility, able to enjoy family and friends for a day. And what a wonderful thing to celebrate and have fireworks for… enjoying the company of the people you care most about.  

I have also had conversation with this same friend over the last week about how in control we are of our feelings, and if we want to look at a negative thing as a negative thing, we are choosing to see it that way. I used the example of a strangers critical opinion vs a loved ones critical opinion. For me, a stranger criticizing me isn’t worth even a few minutes thought, compared to the criticism of someone who knows me well. And yet, what is the actual difference between the two? How I decide to feel about them. Yes one might be based on history and the other not, but I GET TO choose how I react or feel to said criticism. -ME.

So I actually get to react In-Dependent of what they say. [If I choose to.] The key is seeing that fact, and doing it. AND what has kind of hit me recently in regard to this, if I choose to not be affected in a negative way, and I choose the opposite, to kind of spit in the face of negativity and go for positivity, I get to influence how others react to me. (spitting is a poor metaphor, but you get me.)

I feel like what I’m saying is profound for me, and obvious for others… but it’s so profound to me that over the last two days, I have tested my ability to affect others around me with positivity, by not just being my usual jolly self, but actually trying to influence others to be in a good mood. Paying attention to my expression, my tone of voice, and my casual conversation. It’s been very interesting. I’ve already learned, that a consciously cheerful demeanor generates cheerful interaction. As I’ve said before, I work in a coffee shop, so I get to analyze people, their reactions, what’s acceptable and unacceptable to say, and I not only get to learn by doing, I get to learn by watching and listening to others.

So, my feelings and actions can be independent of others and how they are acting, but I can also influence others for good with my happiness -generating their happiness.

In the end, I sit here listening to countless fireworks, and saying Happy Independence Day, with a personal meaning of not being dependent on another for how I react or feel.
Do you see the irony?
*oooooh…. ahhhhh….*

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