THE MESSAGES YOU'RE SENDING MATTER By Ella Miller
I'm a firm believer in how a bit of positivity can make a big difference. And sometimes, by realizing we're not perfect, we can strive to do better and become a bold example for young ones watching what we do.
A quick story is how, a few years ago, I stopped using the word "hate." My children are not allowed to say it either. It all started when I realized that a lot of what I was seeing on social media is, "I HATE my job." "I HATE my neighbors." "I HATE this political party." "I HATE these policies." "I HATE people who do this." And as much as I believe in social media as a powerful outlet for everyone, I wasn't seeing these deep-rooted feelings of angst being balanced with anything that suggested taking action in a positive way, trying to find a solution, or turning a bad situation into good. What ever happened to being the change you want to see in the world?
So, I did some serious self-reflection about what kind of message I was putting into the world and in front of my young sons. Was I focusing more on problems than solutions? Was I using social media as a platform to talk about what I didn't like... but not backing it up with what I was going to DO about it? The answer was yes; I was guilty of this! I realized that I had to stop being a hypocrite and start being the love and change that I wanted to see in the world. Why? Because our children ARE watching. They feel when we hate things, situations, and each other. They hear it when it spews from our mouths. They see it when we angrily tap on our phones or keyboards. How can we be models for change, love, and a better life for all humankind if we project hate from inside of us?
Then I began to explore what would happen if, instead, we expressed what we LOVE. So I started posting thoughts rooted in beauty, simplicity, creativity and more: I LOVE how blessed I am. I LOVE that I have the right to vote. I LOVE writing and finding inspiration in my family life. I LOVE that I have the freedom to make choices that can create change. I LOVE bringing my son with me when I volunteer. I LOVE that by doing right, what hurts today in the world can be healed tomorrow. People around me and in my extended social circle began responding with enthusiasm. They seemed to truly appreciated the inspirational and uplifting messages that cut through a bit of the negativity that had been circulating.
Now, just imagine what would happen if we all fell in love with spreading love. Did YOU post something positive today?