If energy cannot be created or destroyed, then what happens to the energy that surrounds us? Energy is merely transformed depending on the environment in which it is exposed. For example, water changes to steam when it is exposed to the proper amount of energy to create heat. Water does not just happen to boil on its own; an action is required. Transforming energy requires action.
Let’s take a new car, for example. Imagine, fresh off the lot! It may have the potential to get you to your destinations in life, but it needs energy, in the form of fuel, to keep going. This does not just happen. You have to decide to go to the gas station and put gas in your car if you want it to run. What would happen if you just decided to let happen what was going to happen? If you said, “Oh well, I guess the car is not working now. I’ll just walk.” That would be a waste of the car’s potential—and yours! You do not have to let your circumstances determine what you do.
We all have certain negative environments or situations in which we find ourselves. If we choose to react to these environments rather than act, we are giving up our ability to embrace our potential and our greatness. We are simply allowing ourselves to be victims of our circumstances. When my clients take the time to remember their potential and who they are and then choose to act accordingly, no matter the circumstances, that is when they are empowered to be an influence and to help others.
Let me give you an example. As a mother, if my child is acting out and I react (get upset and say something I shouldn’t), I feel like a “bad mom”. I have labeled myself in a negative way. I have allowed my circumstances to define me. On the other hand, if I remember that I am blessed to be a mother to my wonderful children and there is a reason they have been placed in my care, I can choose to remain in control of my actions when they act out, and remember that this may be a learning opportunity for them and me. Then I will find myself in a position where I can influence them, instead of letting their poor mood influence me.
When it comes to life, I see so many people living far below their potential, allowing whatever happens around them to define them. What they don’t realize is that they have a choice. You have a choice.
I did not do a lot of housecleaning growing up, and consequently was faced with a rather steep learning curve when I was first out on my own. I lived in an apartment with five other girls in a housing complex at a private college. A couple of times a month, the manager would come and do a cleaning check. The cleanest apartments would get rewarded in the form of gift cards. As much as I disliked cleaning, the combination of having a very limited stream of income and having a highly competitive nature motivated me to action. I quickly found that I seemed to be the only one in the apartment suffering from this motivation, and as a consequence would often be the one who cleaned the bathroom.
I had a little tote I bought when I moved into the apartment. It contained a couple of cleaning products and some sponges. It was adequate, and the bathroom would sparkle and shine after I finished. We often won the prize for the cleanest apartment.
One day, the bathroom started to stink. It began as a musty undertone, but quickly developed into an undeniable and pungent stench. Eventually, I discovered its origin. Under the sink was my tote, and kept inside was a bright yellow sponge I used to clean the toilets. I had not properly rinsed and wrung out the sponge. It had absorbed all the icky toilet water and was now dotted with green. It had taken on the stench of the toilet and the bacteria too!
Do you ever feel like you are a sponge, absorbing all the ick in the world around you, being influenced by the energy in your environment? If a family member is upset, you get upset. If your boss is having a bad day, you are having bad day. Your environment and the people around you influence how you feel. This works out great if you are always around happy people and reside year round at Disneyland!
Now you may be asking yourself, “What is wrong with feeling sad or hurt when someone I care about is hurting?”
There is nothing wrong with feeling sympathy, or even empathy; however, there is a difference between identifying with someone and trying to help them by taking on their emotions. We cannot take someone’s sorrow from them, but often I see people who try. This just adds to the problem. If we absorb their ick, all we will be doing is magnifying the stench.
Or, how often have you said to yourself, “I am just having a bad day because my boss was grumpy, my husband was frustrated, or my daughter was mean.” What a lot of power we are giving to others when we say that. Basically, we are giving up our choice to make our day, week, month or life what we want it to be. We are also giving up the opportunity to be an example or to influence those around us. To show them that life is what we make of it. It is not determined by others.
A lighthouse is constructed in such a manner that a small light is magnified and shines brightly to help show the way for others. Similarly, God has blessed you with light, and He will bless you as you share that light with others.
I remember a beautiful lighthouse my husband and I saw on a recent trip to Kauai. It was noble and tall, constructed on a beautiful peninsula that stretched out into the ocean, like a finger pointing the way. It was broad day and we could see it from miles away. However, later that night, as we drove past the same location, it was dark and if we hadn’t already seen it earlier in the daylight, we never would have known it was there. The light was not on.
Upon further research, I learned that the light had not been on for nearly 30 years. When it was in operation, the beam would stretch up to 90 miles away, serving as an important guide, in the past, for ships sailing to and from the Orient. I felt disappointed that I would not get to see this incredible beacon. It seemed to me, the lighthouse was not fulfilling its purpose; what it was created to do.
A while ago, I saw an inspirational story on Facebook about a high school boy named Josh. He had lost his father at an early age and missed him dearly. He had pictures of his father in his locker, and the kids at his school would make fun of him for it. He felt isolated, alone, and unloved.
In an act of desperation to save her son from a downward spiral of depression and isolation, Josh’s mother moved him to a city school. The hope was a new beginning.
Josh decided that he, too, did indeed want a different experience in his new school. He decided to take action. Josh began holding the door open for people as they walked into the school. It was a simple gesture and at first, most of the students thought it was a bit odd. As the weeks went on, they grew to appreciate the simple act of kindness and others started to join in, holding doors open for their fellow students in other areas of the school.
At the end of the year as a token of appreciation, Josh was voted prom king and given a door signed by every student in the school. It was an honor, and Josh beamed with happiness. He wasn’t done making a difference though. He decided that he had an important message to share with others. He became a speaker, traveling to schools talking to kids about bullying. He is making a huge difference today. Josh is a lighthouse. He did not let his environment or circumstances define him, he decided to let his small light shine and over time it made a huge impact. (https://youtu.be/PIHtuKc3Gjg)
Each of us has a light, a purpose, a calling in life, if you will. It may not be the same for everyone, but if we choose to find a way that we can make a difference and magnify it, we will be able to influence many people.
You can be a lighthouse for others by helping
them find the way to a destination of greater happiness; and along the way, you
will find that your light shines more
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