I often find myself on a penduluum, swinging back and forth between frustration with the state of something and the way I think it should be. Getting mad at myself for being frustrated and then swinging back into a state of where I want to be which is more loving and optimistic! I do drive myself crazy sometimes. Today I was loving one of my Christmas presents, a set of moccasins, but unfortuneately NOT made by Native Americans, but made, I lamented as I looked at the label, in the Dominican Republic.
Slave labor? I pondered the welfare of the workers in that shoe factory and wondered (with frustration) about their lives. Torn. I knew my options both in the moment and for future shoe choices. Frustrated with the reality of factory conditions around the world, to give me my affordable shoes, I lamented. Given my financial status, I knew what my real options were... that whole money thing again.
But then my thoughts started shifting to gratitude towards the workers, the factory, and everyone involved. I thanked them and sent them thanks over the energetic wires. It actually caught me by surprise! And then my attitude shifted also, and I thought, well...I am keeping my gift of the shoes, so what can I do? I can write/call/email the company and inquire and demand fair living wages and safe working conditions for their factory. I could take it further, but for now, that was the plan.
I then wondered what would happen if I did this all the time? What would happen if every time I was frustrated with someone and something, I magically turned into a gratitude fairy and waved my magic wand and thought good thoughts towards them? Would healing occur?
It would. It would heal me, and for sure putting more positive energy into the energy field would impact everyone, perhaps even those beings I was sending the gratitude towards. Making this shift gave me the emotional space to come up with a solution to my problem...instead of losing energy being angry, I could actually spend my precious resources attempting to make a positive change in this situation.
Now, I know that "just think positive thoughts" is a total insult to those who are truly disadvantaged and disenfranchised, and working for 2$ a day. I have seen this first hand, worked with women trafficked from Bangladesh to Kolkata, India, and forced into sexual slavery...they were rescued from hospitals, usually close to dying, by the Sisters of Charity and how I came into contact with them....thinking "positive thoughts" isn't going to give them their lives back. But that being said, from the vantage point of someone who isn't in that situation, it can be totally overwhelming to see the suffering in the world and not be completely overwhelmed, paralyzed, and completely unable to process and or do something about what you are experiencing.
Sitting in anger, as I have been known to do...because I refuse to look away... doesn't empower me to do anything other than be angry. If I transform it, however, and use it to fuel level-headed problem solving, then I can do something about what I see as injustice, and help make the world a better place, at least just a little.
Just because I'm a research geek, like totally, here's a study to back up my claims...http://www.worldpeacegroup.org/washington_crime_study.html It's been around for awhile and referenced a lot...and I always love it because I am from D.C. and can vouch for the crime rates being a topic of discussion during those years. Another group I follow closely is the Hearthmath Institute. They are doing some really cool research with heart resonance and it's effects.
Here's to making the shift...from GRRR...to gratitude, and making the world a better place!