I am so very happy to live in a really wonderful neighborhood! I think about it all the time. Our homes spread down the street almost two miles long; there are cul de sac fingers all along the way, and all the homes are filled with top-notch people. Our neighbors range from newlyweds to families with young children, to grandparents, to couples with no children at all. The ladies all get together about once a month for a wine/appetizer night, there are block parties every few months, and there are dinner parties and gatherings all the time. I am so lucky to have the neighbors I do. We go out to lunch to celebrate birthdays, we have swim parties, and we help each other out. Everyone gets along; it is so unique and refreshing to have such a diverse selection of people who enjoy hanging out with one another.
I really appreciate all these people. They enrich my life in a number of ways. I get to talk with women who have raised their kids already…they have lots of wisdom. My kids get to play with kids who attend different schools. The men get to talk business and sports and help each other out using their big, strong muscles. We get to try new dishes cooked for us, and mingle and chat and laugh. We exchange recipes and drop off food for each other. We watch each others kids and carpool. It is so rewarding! I know that if I ever need anything…I can call any one of them, and I would be rescued. (I know, because I've done it before!) We all look out for each other. We keep an eye on the homes and the neighborhood in general. It is a safe place and a tight knit group of people.
I tell you this, not to make you feel inferior, but to illustrate a point: I am choosing to focus on all these wonderful people and situations in my life and neighborhood. I am choosing not to give any of my energy to the one nasty lady (Let's call her Mrs. Magoo) who lives across the street! She has done some really hateful things to me and my family. She has yelled at us and called the authorities on us. She has tried very hard to make our lives as miserable as she is. It would be so easy to talk about and focus on Mrs. Magoo…but that would only take my focus off other things that are more positive.
I could very easily take for granted all the wonderful people in my neighborhood
and focus on how awful Mrs. Magoo treats us.
I have learned a lot from Mrs. Magoo. I have learned that she is probably just a sad woman who doesn't have a lot of joy in her life...I have learned compassion. Every time I see her, I smile and wave. She never smiles or waves back…she looks down and pretends I'm not there. My kids smile and wave at her also, and she just ignores their attempts...I've learned to keep smiling! She drives by our home dangerously fast, but I have never called the authorities on her...I've learned that getting even does not feel good. I think nice thoughts about her and pray for her...I've learned that those who are the meanest need the most love. I often wonder how and why she got so mean. I think she has got to be very unhappy to do the things she has done...I've learned to forgive her. I feel really bad for her also, because if she were nice, she would be invited to all the great events going on in the neighborhood...I've learned that there are consequences to people's actions.
With this all said I have to teach a universal life lesson from this experience: What we focus on grows…Period! If I spend all my time thinking and stewing over Mrs. Magoo and all the awful things she has done, where does that lead me? What good does it do to dwell on the negativity and plot my revenge? I have to not let my morals and scruples be compromised because of someone else's actions and my reaction to them. I have to make sure I am true to myself and not let my temper or pride get the best of me. I have to make sure I don't set a bad example for my children in how to handle cantankerous people.
I know a lot of people who have their own "Mrs. Magoo" in their lives. It can consume them; you can tell it does by the words they speak, the stories they tell, the thoughts they think, and the emotions it stirs within them. Do you have your own "Mrs. Magoo"? It could be a neighbor, a family member, and friend, someone you work with, etc. Do you let the negativity consume you, or do you take the high road and focus your energy on all the other people in your life who bring you joy and positivity?
Take Action: This week and beyond, let's identify the "Mrs. Magoo" in our lives. Let's not let their hurtful words and actions consume our thoughts and drain our energy. Let's send positive, loving thoughts their way. Let's focus on all the wonderful people in our lives and not focus our energy on the negative Mrs. Magoo!