First published by Moon-Books.net, February 2014

It has been a rocky start to 2014 for many – chaos around the world, strange and unpredictable weather, and in Ireland at least, a wave of flu and cold hitting a huge number of people I know or know of. I’ve been ill myself, enough to take to the bed for a week, which is most unusual.

And accompanying feeling ill I also found myself wallowing in self-pity and negativity for a time. It has also struck me that there has been a lot of negativity generally – connected with illness and death especially, together with a general gloom about the incessant rain and the sluggish economy. It seems that the most exciting thing many local people have had to talk about recently is a new giant superstore that has opened on what was the last remaining green field in my nearest town.

Of course this will provide some extra jobs, but in truth it is a wholly sterile and soulless place, cleverly designed and exploiting shopping psychology to sell us more stuff. I’ve visited it once and felt quite depressed by the experience, vowing to avoid returning if possible. But then I thought about it some more – I have a choice about how this and other perceived negative things make me feel.

I can choose to let it depress me or I can chose to do something more positive like supporting the local health food shop instead. Negative and bad things happen all the time. At this time of year illness and death are to be expected – winter is the traditional time for such things. Every moment of every day bad, unfortunate things occur and it seems to make no sense in its apparent utter randomness.

However, good things are also happening constantly, at the same time, although they are sometime less powerful in drawing our attention. The world is full of life, potential and constant renewal. Looking at the balance of things, in seeing the chaotic and the destructive gives us an opportunity to value the good things we have and realise that everything is cyclical – a run of bad luck cannot run forever and it is in remembering that the sun always returns that we can hold onto positivity and help others to do the same.