Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.
- Robert Brault
If it was just me in my apartment, I would put off turning on the air conditioner as long as I could. I’d rather open the windows for cross ventilation, breathe fresh (if warm) air and avoid the huge electric bill. Besides, I’m in the office during the heat of the day.
But my dog, Winky, has a thick coat and when the temperature shot up into the 80s last week I came home one night to find her lying flat on the wood floor (cooler than the rug, the couch and both of her beds) panting. Time to turn on the AC.
First I had to clean the filter, though. I opened the front grill of the AC unit and slid the filter out. So much dust had collected on the mesh, it looked like someone had covered the thing with gray fleece. Nasty!
I brushed off as much dust as I could with a cloth, then washed the filter in soapy water. It took a while and a fair amount of scrubbing to get all the grime off. But getting clean, cool air flowing in my apartment was worth it. Winky agreed (she immediately parked herself on the rug in front of the AC).
I couldn’t help but think of how we sometimes let our minds get clogged with resentment, hurt, anger, jealousy, negativity. Emotional debris that keeps us from filtering our experiences properly, from thinking clearly. And from thinking positive.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you clean air conditioner filters every month or two during cooling season. Well, I have a recommendation for all seasons from the Department of Positive Energy: Every few months, make a conscious effort to clear your mind of negativity. Resentment, hurt, anger, jealousy, whatever... let it all go. And let the refreshing air of a positive attitude flow in. It’ll be worth it.
Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).