Monday, April 21, 2014

What Does Your Environment Look Like?

We complain so much about our lives. About our bank accounts, our marriages, our jobs, our families, our friends, our “bad luck”, those who offend us, and the rest of the lot. We believe that life is so tough and so unbearable and we never get a good break and we never achieve much peace and prosperity in our lives. We complain, complain, complain, complain, complain, complain, complain, complain…and oh yes, complain.

I complained A TON in the past. I could have won the award for “Queen of complaints”. I wondered why so much was going wrong in my life and why I was so darn depressed. When I decided I wanted better and needed to do more with my life, I began reading books and watching videos that focused on the “change your mind, change your life” philosophy. From that research, I came upon a rather obvious yet not-so-obvious truth: Our environment significantly affects the outcome of our lives. Here’s my question for you: Who and what have you allowed into your environment?

The greatest influence on how you think, feel, speak, and act is your environment.

Do you know what that includes? It includes the people whose words you listen to. It includes the lyrics of the songs you listen to. It includes the imagery you watch on television shows and online videos. It includes the places you frequent and the energy you surround yourself with. Each person in your environment – friend, family member, co-worker, stranger - deposits either a positive or negative seed in your spirit when they speak. It does not matter if they are serious or joking, their words have power and their words have an impact on your being. Contrary to what you might think, you are not as strong as you think you are.

The greatest influence on how you think, feel, speak, and act is your environment.

If you are constantly around people that indulge in limiting, insulting, doubtful, faithless, and unholy speech, you WILL eventually adopt their language and their spirit. If you are constantly viewing imagery that promotes and glorifies sexual immorality and violence, you WILL become more indulgent in sexual promiscuity and violent thoughts, feelings, and words. If you are constantly listening to people that say things like “my life sucks!”, “I can’t do anything right!”, “I know that bitch didn't play me!”, and similar forms of language, you WILL begin to have self-doubt in your God-given abilities and you WILL become more intolerant, unforgiving, and resentful of those who hurt and offend you. If you listen to songs whose lyrics are filled with “bitch”, “fuck”, “motherfuckers”, “shit”, “cars, money, and hoes”, you WILL use foul language when you are upset and you WILL begin to link your happiness to materialism and the applause of other people. You must be intentional about who and what you allow to feed your spirit. If your environment is mainly negative, you need to start making some changes. 

The greatest influence on how you think, feel, speak, and act is your environment.

FYI, some people will try to bully you into keeping the same environment. They will tell you that you are being over-dramatic and snobbish. They will tell you that your future can only be a replica of your past. They will tell you that you are “fake” and not as good as you are trying to be. In all honesty, that is the exact reason you MUST change any negative aspects of your environment – you’re NOT good enough and you need improvement. You don’t stop consorting with people that indulge in negativity because you are better than them, you’re not; you stop because your flesh is WEAK and easily susceptible to temptation. You stop because you see how the negative words and behaviors you shared together have hindered the spiritual/personal growth of their lives, and yours, and you are no longer willing to live that way.

The greatest influence on how you think, feel, speak, and act is your environment.

Initially, you probably won’t have a natural desire to change your negative environment. Why? It can be addictive. It becomes familiar and normal. It is what “everybody” else is doing. I know for a long time I was afraid to change my negative environment. I thought it was alright because I was comfortable with it. I thought I would be perceived as pretentious and judgmental of others if I did. I thought I didn’t have the right to change anything. Then I realized that changing my negative environment meant choosing a BETTER LIFE. If you want a better life, you have to make better environmental choices. And for such a bold undertaking, you need something called courage. It takes courage to let go of the old and toxic when it has become so familiar and addictive.  It takes courage to let go of the negativity when everyone around you indulges in it. It takes courage to admit that your own acceptance of a negative outlook on life took part in creating your misery and you can't blame anyone else. It takes courage to take responsibility for choosing your environment.

It takes lots and lots of courage.

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Disclaimer#1: As much as you are to avoid negative energy entering your life, make sure YOU are not the one bringing negative energy to other people. Be self-conscious enough to know what thoughts you indulge, what words you speak, and what actions you take around other people. Be mindful enough to know that you are not perfect and if you are going to be part of someone else's environment, you'd better take active time and care to be a productive and beneficial addition to it.

Disclaimer#2: Removing negative energy does not mean you will never have anger, pain, and sad moments or you will only have happy days for the rest of your life. We are humans, not drones. We will have times of upset, discouragement, and doubt. The problem is that when you are surrounded by negative energy you are encouraged in difficult times to become overwhelmed and inactive by self-pity/doubt or to focus on living a self-centered and ungrateful life, void of God's purpose and will for your life  - which is to bring great glory to Him and be of great service to others.

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  1. Another insightful post. It's so easy to take for granted what we 'allow' in our environment instead of taking the time to fully analyse it. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you, Vegan. As part of my self-awareness, I had to really own up to the fact that my environment was negatively anchoring me down and I was the one choosing everyone and everything in it. It took me a long time to change anything though - familiarity and comfort being the main culprits of course:)

  2. I will follow your writings from today onwards, get ready you just made a fan out of me. :) beautiful piece