We must be so careful with what we put into the universe! What we speak, what we think, what we do – positive or negative – it all affects the world around us.
I was reminded of this in the past week. We recently moved to Portland, a city we’ve wanted to return to for years. The move came about because we simply made the decision. No more wishing, no more waiting. We decided to rent out our house and go. Of course, that opened the way for God/Universe to work. The right renters appeared, the right apartment materialized in Portland, job possibilities came unsolicited, even a cute little studio space fell into my lap.
Three days ago, I sat by the pond with a glass of wine, enjoying the summer breeze. Then came the phone call. “How are things going for you?” asked my friend. I recounted all the blessings in my life. “Oh, that’s nice. Well, it’s been TERRIBLE for everyone else,” he replied, launching into a horrifying litany of death.
The thing is, I didn’t know a single one the people (or pets) whose demise he detailed. I was neither intimately nor casually related to these events. If I had been, I would have absolutely wanted to know, to be given a chance to mourn and to remember, to commiserate in community. But this wasn’t informational, it was inflammatory, fanning the flames of distress so it broached its natural borders to singe passersby like me. Misery loves company, right?
I was trying to figure out how to politely end the conversation when it happened. A neighborhood rooster started screaming. Across my yard streaked a flash of feathers followed by a huge brown form. A dog trailing a leash mauled the chicken in front of my eyes. I screamed at the dog. I screamed at the dog’s owners, clad in flip-flops and blank faces, who stood and watched. They finally got their mastiff/bulldog mix under control, but the rooster was dead.
In the midst of my friend’s recitation of ruin, destruction appeared quite literally on my doorstep. Did he cause the rooster’s death? Of course not. Did the negativity emanating from me as a result of our conversation affect my surroundings? Of course it did. What we say and think yields results. For better or for worse, whatever we put into the universe multiplies.
Multiply it did. We buried the rooster and said our eulogies, but I had trouble getting my emotions under control afterward. Fear and anxiety tried to nest in my heart. “Shoo!” I said. But the damage was done. Blessings from our move showed signs of stress. That which was rock-solid became shaky. But I got a grip, gave thanks to God, and moved forward. The power of the positive is stronger than that of negativity. Everything will be well. But it could have been well all along.
Lesson learned. I will be much more careful about what I allow into my life. I will be much more careful about what I put into others’ lives. August’s mantra: be a blessing, not a curse!