I have a confession. I've been bad-mouthing someone that I know very well. For a long time.
Her name is Maria and I spend a lot of time with her. And she does a lot of things that make me roll my eyes or tell her things like "wow, that was smooth." Or, "Good one, Maria!" Or just "Maria!" in a somewhat exasperated tone of voice- or thought.
The funny thing is that I would never vocalize things like this about other people and even thinking them is fairly rare. So not long ago I decided that this Maria girl deserves better treatment, too. She's really a pretty neat person.
Today as I was driving home from work I suddenly remembered how, when I was a wee thing, my mother worked to instill in my siblings and I the good habit of not saying unkind things about others. If she caught us badmouthing a family member, we were often required to say five nice things about that person. We, of course, did not really like this, since we wanted to vent our frustrations out. But my mom was on to something. Words have power. The more time I spend speaking negative words, the more negative my life will be. The more I focus on the negative aspects of my life, the larger and larger they will loom. And the more I speak uplifting words, the more optimistic and happy I will be.
So, although I was laughing about it a little bit, today when I got after Maria for being less than perfect, I told myself that I got to say five nice things about her. Because all those harsh words and attitudes are bent on controlling. And frankly, I'm not interested in controlling myself. What I strive for now is to inspire myself. Control works from the outside in while inspiration works from the inside out. And how can I hope to inspire myself by telling myself uninspiring things and beating myself up for not being "perfect?"
I want to inspire myself to live up to my dreams and aspirations. And in so doing, I want to inspire those around me to be positive and uplifting, also. In fact, I want to inspire you to live from the inside out, dear reader. Go forth. Ponder a little. How can you be inspiring? And then- do it!