Saturday, January 23, 2010

What a Buzz Kill....

Negativity is such an buzz kill.

Well, as a writer, not so much- you need negatives to balance the positives, conflict in order to have resolution and a HEA- Happily Ever After.

But in real life? Honestly? I don't like to dwell on bad things, but it seems here lately I'm surrounded by so much negative energy— whether it's those around me or just things in the world itself. There are so many sad things going on- natural disasters, the economy, disease. I could list so many things that are heartbreaking, but I won't.

Instead, I will focus momentarily on things going on in the little world around me. I only bring it up because I have been in a "down" place for quite some time on a personal level and I've been trying to claw my way to the surface of this hole before it sucks me down so far I can't get out.

Yesterday morning I woke up in a mood that had me thinking about how badly I want more positivity in my life, more happiness and joy and I find it kind of hard to do when I feel the electrical charge of negative energy flowing around me, hanging in the ether and zapping me when I least expect it. It's like when you slide your socked feet across the carpet and accidentally shock yourself on the next piece of metal you come in contact with. Not fun and it gets OLD real quick.

I guess it started when I went searching for a quote to fit how I was feeling about negativity and cynicism the other day and found one that spoke volumes about how negativity effects us.

"Avoid destructive thinking. Improper negative thoughts sink people. A ship can sail around the world many, many times, but just let enough water get into the ship and it will sink. Just so with the human mind. Let enough negative thoughts or improper thoughts get into the human mind and the person sinks just like a ship." ~Alfred A Montapert

I've felt that weight of negativity in recent days trying to sink me like a ship, I tell you! It feels like a major force of evil attempting to hammer me into the ground and choke my happiness out of me. It makes me tired and exhausted and drained.

Perhaps it IS the state of the world we're living in now, that we expect only the worst and can't see the good in others- or anything for that matter. Perhaps being critical and cynical is just a way of life, but I would like to believe there's still good in this world. I struggle to think how much better life would be if I could wrap my head around the idea that I should "always look on the bright side of life."

If Monty Python's Life of Brian should have taught me anything, it's that!

Unfortunately, I've forgotten it along the way since I watched that movie years ago. Now would be a good time to take up that notion though, especially when things aren't going great, for me or for others around me— Negativity drags us down in this life and I'm tired of droopy faces always griping and complaining. I'm saddened to see people of faith lose heart. I worry about those who wear a phony smile and then endlessly find fault in everything.

Life is full of differences and it's those dissimilarities that make the world go around. Sadly I find myself wondering what kind of emotional or mental payoff people get from looking down their noses at others, always finding some way to "sneak" a snide or disheartening remark into conversation, always leaving crumbs of doubt in their wake.

This gets lumped into the "weighed, measured, and found wanting" category when others find fault in something we feel, something we've said, something we believe. Sadly, they use a measuring stick of their own making- THEIR "standard" of what they believe is right, all the while forgetting WE have the very same right to OUR own beliefs and "standards"- things we were raised with or have come to embrace as part of WHO we are. No one said we have to agree about things, but what makes them think their way is the ONLY way? Or vice versa?

Sometimes we need to stop and think about what that negativity does before we let it ooze out of us. Does it become so deeply embedded as a force of habit we don't realize we even do it? What would it take to trigger some sort of heartfelt knowledge that we're guilty of it?

Face it, people don't think before they speak. They don't reflect upon what their personal opinions or words might do to a friend or a loved one. Honesty is a good policy—up to a point- but every word spoken doesn't have to be cold harsh truth. There are ways to be diplomatic and kind and tactful, without tearing some one's heart and spirit to pieces because they aren't you and don't think like you.

To my understanding, this also falls under the heading of living with a critical spirit and leaves me shaking my head when I see so many "emotional" vampires out there- sucking the joy out of the lives of those around them, for whatever reason they have~ whether they be the doubting Thomas or the Debbie Downer or the Wendy Whiner.

Have we all forgotten that it's better to THINK before we speak- that if you don't have something nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all?

How about taking a deep breath before adding your two cents about someone else's life or feelings or opinions, because, you don't know where they're coming from or what they're going through. You might misinterpret what they've said or read something into it that isn't even there. Don't find a way to jab that cold cruel dagger of negativity deeper into a wound you may not be close enough to see or know exists. It does far more harm than good.

Show kindness. Use your head to speak from your heart. Remember to treat others the way you would want to be treated. Find a way to insert POSITIVITY into your words so that you also insert it into the lives of others you come in contact with rather than dwelling on the ugliness. There's enough ugliness in the world and I don't want any more of it. I'm sure most of us don't.

That's why I've decided to start turning my negatives into positives. Lemons to Lemonade. If I start to whine, I'm going to bite my tongue before I speak. I want to be a positive in the lives of my friends and family- not the grumpy Gus who always brings everyone down. The only way to do that is to flip the script.

You get the picture?

Positively Marvelous! Have a wonderful weekend! It's going to be great!


Devon Matthews said...

Taryn, I'm also plagued by negativity. I think it becomes ingrained after a while and we end up spreading it around, at least that's probably true in my case. I hope we can both throw it out with the rest of the trash and have a better year. :o)

Taryn Raye said...

I think that's what worries me so about it- that it does become ingrained. I agree, here's hoping we can throw it out and make this year a POSITIVE one!

Thanks for stopping by and posting!

Amy Durham said...

Sometimes it's an effort to find the positives, isn't it? I often find myself in the same boat - surrounded by negativity. Given that I teach middle school, it's more often than not! In my classroom at school I have a bulletin board that reads "Choose Your Attitude!". It's a reminder not only to the students, but also (especially) to me. I think many times positivity isn't so much about the way we FEEL, but about the attitude we CHOOSE. So I'm going to choose to find the positives, even when it's hard! Great post!

Taryn Raye said...

Couldn't agree more, Amy. Thanks for stopping by!