115. Don't Poison Your Spirit

I feel weird right now. It's not a good type of weird, either. Maybe it's because I just came from seeing a violent movie that didn't sit right with me. Maybe it's because I'm currently reading a book about the killing of an unarmed teen and I'm at the climax. Maybe it's because so many social issues have been brought to me, things I've analyzed myself today.

There is so much going on in the world that just by looking at the gloom and doom at the top of the 6 o'clock hour, you'd think goodness had all disappeared. But, I know this isn't true. I know there is peace, joy, happiness, fulfillment, adventure, laughter, fun, and other positive things that exist. And, sometimes when we don't get enough of the good stuff, we can begin to internalize the bad.

Have you ever wondered why some days you can be feeling up, smiling, laughing, joking and feeling good on the inside, then all of a sudden you begin to feel miserable? Have you ever started to feel sad in your spirit, negative in your mindset, or explosive in your actions? Have you ever just wanted to be argumentative and sour and moody and unkind? 

I honestly believe it has something to do with what we let into our spirit. Yes, I know evil exists in the world. That's plain to see. I know that we can't completely shield ourselves from witnessing (or even taking a stand) against the dark forces of the world. However, what we can do is minimize all the crap that tries to pollute our spirit.

This is the reason why I am not a fan of television anymore. I used to be glued to the television. TV had a big part in molding, shaping, and --dare I say it-- raising me as a child. Seriously. Some good came from it -- me seeing people from all walks of life do things that I believed I could too. But, there was also the stuff that haunted me. Left me broken. Left me feeling empty. Left me feeling violated. Left me feeling confused, angry, enraged, depressed even. 

That's when I decided to take a stand. No longer would I allow my spirit to be a revolving door of spiritual darkness.

I've mentioned before that I don't watch the news. I don't really like watching TV anymore to be honest. If I'm watching TV, most of the time it's a sporting event. Even then I'm not sitting around dedicating 3 hours of my life to it. The 1st and 4th quarter. Really, they're the only quarters that matter to me. How they start and how they finish. Everything else is meh. 

I don't like listening to certain music anymore. Actually, I don't listen to music while I'm driving. I listen to sermons, motivational speeches, e-books, or business-related content. If I do decide to listen to music -- like right now as I type -- it's some type of classical, relaxation music. My 5th grade teacher put me on that because she said it helped us to work better. She was on to something.

Now, are there times when I may indulge in a movie, show, or attend a concert? Of course. We all have those times when we need a change of scenery in our lives. However, I'm very mindful of certain things. Namely? What I put into my spirit. 

It's the equivalent of allowing a 5 year old child to see a graphic, violent horror movie. What do you think would be the result of that? Nightmares. Fear. Tremors. An unsettled, uneasy feeling. Paranoia. Anxiety. Whatever else you can imagine that's negative. That's the same thing that happens to us. 

We, humans, are not programmed for round the clock negativity.

That's why it's so important for me to detox my mind and spirit. Don't know how to do that? Let me help you out on this one:

  • Unplug. Social media can assist with the negativity. Some people are not nice because they've internalized it so much that it's become apart of them. Follow them not. Give yourself a time limit to be online or fast from it in general.

  • Turn off the TV. I don't know the statistic and don't care to look, but I can almost guess and be certain that the average American citizen probably watches on AVERAGE 4 hours of television a day, and that's being generous. It's probably more. Get out of the house, go to the park, be in nature, connect with others. There's more to life than a closed studio set and a written primetime script performed by your favorite actress.

  • Indulge in inspirational things. Be intentional with this. Listen to positive music lyrics, Read positive materials. Be inspirational yourself. Encourage other people. Don't allow negativity to run you. Add an "i" to the word run and you have the word ruin. Don't ruin your day, your months, your years by allowing yourself to accept negativity.

  • Refrain from negative people. I cannot say this enough. Negative people can completely destroy you spiritually. These people are easy to spot too. They never have anything nice to say. They are not productive, and they're not supportive. Be around folks who are encouraging and actually living their lives. 

  • Travel. Step outside of your comfort zone. Meet different people. Have conversations. Don't be afraid of what you don't know. Try to understand it. I think that's the one thing that bothers me the most -- when people are willfully ignorant. Why? Fear. And why fear? Because that's what they've learned. Internalized. I don't want any parts of it.

I could go on and on, but I'd rather just calm my head down and relax. Nothing wrong with taking a breather and regrouping. Until next time, I'm going to --ironically and a bit oxy moronic-- take a page out of Jerry Springer's closing statement: 

Take care of yourself and each other.