It’s not often I pop into this series but I love it because it’s dedicated to staying real and positive. So many people have their demons, have had horrible life experiences and feel more of a natural pull toward darkness, negativity, complaining and generally just not liking anyone because it’s easier for them to be mad. If you know me today, you wouldn’t believe it but I have definitely been this person before and I can tell you… it’s a very lonely place to be.
Imagine looking in the mirror daily and not wanting anything to do with that person. It’s a low, sinking feeling and there are a million reasons someone would feel that way but I can tell you that mine was definitely a combination of being the daughter of an alcoholic which led to serious body image issues as a way to control the uncontrollable chaos that was my life as a teenager, then an assault in college, then just so many dark moments to follow that I would wake up and literally not care what could possibly happen to me that day.
One day, I remember going to sleep just wishing to not wake up. I was 22 years old and I wanted nothing to do with anything anymore. I felt like I had nothing good to offer anyone because if I didn’t like myself, how could I believe that anyone else in the world would actually genuinely like me? Or that I could be a good person to anyone when I saw no purpose in my life?
Whenever I encounter someone perpetually negative, I pray for them because I know that pain. I know what it’s like to not like myself to the point of needing to criticize everyone else, it helped take the focus off of my insecurity for just a moment…but it creeps back up when you’re done talking about that other person. I repeat…it does NOT fix your problems to start pointing out someone else’s. It will hit you back and eat at you, but there IS HOPE for escaping this vicious cycle of negative talk and behavior.
Catch yourself. Call yourself out. Challenge yourself to NOT be negative. Don’t complain for a day… not about being tired, not about the weather, not about the rude person in the grocery store. Am I clear of complaining? NO – I think I complain about not getting the office time I want at least once daily but that’s also because I have SO many work ambitions that I truly love love love and value office time, so even with a decent amount of it…I want more. I should really can it though, because complaining DOES NOT create more office time. FACT: complaining doesn’t fix your problems!
Any fellow anxiety sufferers out there? I’m slowly getting way better at handling my anxiety with this one simple thought whenever it creeps back in…worrying doesn’t fix what I’m worrying about. It only makes me exhausted, stressed and crazy. But problem solving? I can get on board with that.
Adopting a mentality of “how can I stop being negative and fix this issue?” can truly save you. Yes, some things we can’t change…and it’s not fun, but if it’s something we CAN change, we should work toward figuring out how to make it better. When Mike and I have been stressed about big bills and post-car accident medical payments coming up…complaining about it doesn’t create the money to appear and pay the bill. But talking about how we can cut more corners budgeting and then go make more money? THAT DOES.
What if you’re around negative people all the time? Family, coworkers, friends?
BE THE POSITIVE ONE. Insist they drop the negativity by never ever ever sinking to the level of jumping on the complain train with them. Now, there is a difference between empathizing and being there for them when they have a valid complaint they need to vent about, but every single day complaining DRAINS the soul. I have negative family and friends like everyone else and I won’t go there with them and I insist on being positive because it sets a beautiful and uplifting example to them on how much better their attitude and day can be just by being positive…CHOOSING to be positive instead.
You may not even realize how much negative talk and behavior is affecting your day until you pay attention. For one week, listen a little more closely to the people around you and to yourself and see if you can make this shift today. I promise you…it’s what changed my life. It got me to a point where I began to value my life more and respect myself and finally decide that I could love myself enough to be ready for a relationship and then guess what? Mike and I started dating not long after. THANK GOSH 🙂
This is our real sea glass we’ve found on the beach and my new wedding ring to replace the lost one after our accident. It says WE LIVED, a reminder daily that we are here, we are grateful and we have so much to thank God for!
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