“What is right with you?”
Has anyone ever asked you that? “What is right with you?”
No one’s ever asked me that, but I certainly recall being asked, “what is wrong with you?” by parents, teachers and employers. I’m sure we all have.
All too often we, and others, focus on what is wrong with us. But there is more right than wrong with all of us.
Just as there is more that is right in the world than is wrong in the world.
People complain that there is only bad news reported in newspapers and the evening news. Well, the good news is that these events are out of the ordinary; that’s why it’s news!
The truth is that planet earth and everything on it is part of an amazing Creation, and we are each magnificent beings of light. Spiritual beings learning to be human.
We forget that a lot.
For some reason we seem to be trained to look for what is wrong.
I would say that 95% of my first-time clients ask, at the end of the healing session, “what did you pick up? What do you think is wrong with me?”
Meaning, they’re hoping for a clairvoyant reading that will tell them the problems I found.
I give everyone the same answer:
“My job as a healing practitioner is to see you as well. I am tuning into the highest vibration of healing energy that I can, and directing it towards you for your own well-being. I visualize you as whole, healthy and well. That is my job and the best way I can serve you. I’m not looking for anything to be wrong.”
In the same way, if someone gives us 9 compliments and one piece of constructive criticism, what do we tend to focus on? The one piece of criticism, no matter how kindly it was phrased.
Why is that?
According to research, the brain processes positive and negative information in different hemispheres of the brain. Negative emotions often involve more thinking, and the information is therefore processed more thoroughly than positive information. As a result, negative emotions are stored in long-term memory quickly.
Positive experiences have to be focused on for more than 12 seconds in order to be stored in long-term memory.
There is also a tendency to see people who say negative things as smarter, so we give what they say more weight.
One study revealed there are more negative emotional words [62%] in the English dictionary than positive [32%].
Of course, there is an evolutionary reason for this, as early humans had to be aware of and avoid danger as a survival skill.
But I believe we can be aware without being focused on the negative. And we may have to work a bit more to increase our focus on the positive.
How to focus on what is right with you
- Writer Alina Tugent has a “kudos file” where she keeps all the praise she receives, letters of recommendation, etc., along with letters and emails from friends that make her feel particularly good.
- Hang out with friends who make you feel good about yourself and give you positive feedback. Never hang out with people who gossip and speak negatively of others. As much as I wouldn’t have wanted to admit it at the time, my mother was right when she admonished, “birds of a feather flock together.”
- I personally focus on posting uplifting quotes on Facebook and Twitter. Going back over my posts can lift me up on a down day. My e-book of inspiring quotes does the same thing.
- In fact, positive statements and photos are so important to me on social media that when I get a friend request on Facebook, before accepting I look at the kinds of things that person posts. If it’s not generally positive, I don’t accept their request.
- Since the brain processes negative information longer than positive, spend more time on the positive to give it equal billing. At least 12 seconds, as described above.
- If you do need to critique someone, phrase it constructively and sparingly. In fact, ask yourself if it really needs to be said at all. Remember the age-old wisdom that before you speak, ask yourself three questions: “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” You need to be able to answer “yes” to all three before speaking.
- Have a daily gratitude practice. First thing every morning, and last thing every night state at least five things you’re grateful for.
- Focus on your wins and acknowledge yourself for them. That means you will be focusing on “what is right with you.”
Is it human nature to focus on the negative? Some scientists say it is. But I say we are in charge of our perspective and the world and can choose to focus on the positive. And we can choose to create the reality we want to live in.
If you practice the suggestions above, everyone will be noticing what is right with you, not the least of which is being happier and making the world a better place.
Why not give it a try and see how right you feel?
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~John Lennon
Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman” and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com