What Are You Attracting?
Some friends and I are hanging out in a small, public park, talking about music.
“Ooh, I’m diggin’ the new One Republic song, ‘Love Runs Out’,” I say.
Some hadn’t heard it yet, so I take out my phone and play it for them, amplifying it a bit on a portable speaker. I’m a third of the way through the song when I see a woman standing at the edge of the park looking at us. I wave to her.
“Turn off the radio, please,” she yells.
“It’ll be just a minute,” I reply.
“Turn it off,” she responds.
“I’m just playing one song then we’ll be done.”
“Well, I don’t want to hear the radio,” she snaps.
OK, I tried to be nice, but now she’s just pissing me off.
“Well, it’s a public place, so it’s happening,” I say.
In my mind and body, the following unfolds in all of five minutes: At first, I’m riled up and annoyed at her behavior. Then I feel “wrong” or “bad” for inconveniencing her. Then I’m frustrated at her for making me feel like I’m bad. Then I realize she can’t “make” me feel anything. Then I move to the sarcastic compassion place: “It must suck to be so miserable.” And then I’m able to feel more authentic compassion. “Ok, she lives right next to the park and is probably used to quiet, though she could’ve handled the conversation better.”
My natural curiosity about what makes people tick takes me on a ride. I wonder…. is this how she operates everywhere in her life? Does she start conflict and act confrontational when something displeases her? Does she not feel able to set boundaries with those closest to her so instead pounces on strangers?
In this life, you get what you give. Though I tried to be polite to this woman, she kept spewing her negativity, so out came the Boston/New England/Irish in me. While I’m certainly not proud of it, her energy invited that exchange.
While it’s not always easy, ya gotta take responsibility for your behavior, actions, and attitude. Playing the victim will get you nowhere. If you find you’re facing challenge after challenge, take a look at the energy you’re putting out.
If you expect things to be hard, chances are they will be, so why not expect them to be easy instead? When you’re frustrated, hurt, or disappointed, ask yourself, “What could be the silver lining here?” Sure, you may roll your eyes at first, but give it a go anyway. What if relief is merely a thought away?
So how do you show up in the world? Do you expect hardship? Has your armor become a uniform that you wear daily? Are you able to see opportunities in life’s curve balls? Can you live and let live? Do you believe you’ve been dealt a shitty hand in life?
Whatever the case may be, you have the power to change course, shift your perspective, and have a completely different experience in this life. Often it’s simply about creating a new habit. Challenge yourself to not default to the negative and instead, search for the positive.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about all this. Join the conversation in the comments section below!
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.
This is so true, Kerri. A couple of years ago I noticed a striking difference in my day-to-day experience of life. Instead of standing in the check-out line with the rude, harried cashier, I always seemed to end up in the line with the cheerful person who took all the aggravations of that difficult job in stride. When I had to call the cable company or my cell phone carrier, somehow I ended up speaking to one of the few who actually internalized the learning in their customer service training course. It was remarkable how almost all of my interactions with people were pleasant, and that certainly had not been the case in the past. Although I have always been a polite person, for most of my life I often had run-ins with confrontational or angry people. The shift informed me that I had made real progress in my spiritual and emotional work, gotten rid of my own unexpressed anger and other negativity, and now I was attracting pleasant encounters. Of course I do sometimes still have to deal with someone who is negative in some way, but I take it as a lesson to step back from my immediate reaction while preserving my boundaries. No one ever ruins my day anymore!
Awww, yeah, Jill! You know what I’m talking about! We so often get what we give, right? And you make a great point — what we give may be very subtle. We don’t have to be outwardly rude to attract negativity. If we’re even vibrating at a low level on a given day, we can become a magnet for loads of shit. A gentle shift can make all the difference, as it clearly has for you! Thanks for sharing your experience. <3