“Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.” Joseph Sugarman
When surrounded in negativity, it can be hard to see anything positive. The more you fall into negative space the more negative your life becomes. A vicious circle and it can feel never ending and take you to a place where you don’t see any light.
My childhood was filled with negativity, so many negative dynamics shaped my environment and dictated my daily emotions even though the dynamics were completely out of my control. As a young child I knew that the dynamics would not change and I had to find a way of facing the dynamics and figure out a way to check out and find my positive space. I spent a lot of time outside, we lived in the city but I found nature in fields and parks and spent my days either finding spiders and snakes or just hanging out. It was here I found my light and each night I went to sleep, I knew that the light was waiting for me in the morning. If I couldn’t get out of the house, I found happy spaces in the house – it is how I survived the negativity swirling around me.
I would like to say that I continued to be positive and never checked into that negative space, but as I journeyed on in life and became a teenager, rebellion took over and I found ways to be with negative people in negative spaces. However, the light was always just a throw stick away and eventually I found my way back there again.
Now raising two teenage boys I find myself with negativity swirling around me that seems to be out of my control. I really try not to be negative but the very nature of living with two teenage boys going through incredible hormonal changes can be extremely negative. At times my 16 year old when faced with a problem, can only see the negative side of the situation and when I try to bring forth the positives that can come from the struggle, I face rebuke and confrontation. All of this is normal as our family faces continuous growing pains, but I find myself looking for my positive space by venturing out into the fields and the parks again to refresh myself in the light and find joy in watching insects, looking for snakes and feeling at one with nature.
Nature and time to myself replenishes my soul and allows me to breathe giving me the freedom to be who I am meant to be all the while pondering the problems that I’m faced with in relationships, friendships, home and work and with each problem I ask myself “what can I bring to the table to make this situation work?”
Amazingly when I give myself the space, I am less reactive to the negativity in my life and I am able to put myself into the shoes of the people I’m dealing with leaving me with less anger and more love allowing me the opportunity to connect, truly connect with the people I love.
“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”
Negativity can take hold and make its presence comfortable in your life and home. Just like a persistent rodent who enters your environment, you know he is there and you are constantly aware of his presence but the hunt to find him and eradicate the little bastard can be daunting and exhausting, leaving your energy and your spirit completely depleted and unmotivated. When you take a little time away from the little rodent; you refresh, re-cleanse, as you will, helping you overcome the helpless feeling, enabling you to come to your senses and hire the big guns to get rid of your rodent problem.
The same strategy must be applied to the negativity in your life. Allowing too much negativity in your life can rob you of the joy of living. There are so many negative events in life that we are not able to control; death, sickness, job loss and political tensions in your community and in the world. We can’t alter the event but we can alter how we handle the event and what we make out of it. The negativity that I’m referring too isn’t necessarily the big event, it’s the persisitent, gnawing little things in life just like that little rodent who moved in and made himself comfortable in your home. Negativity as well as that little rodent, if we leave it too long, will work its way into our everyday life and bulge at the seams until the ultimate explosion. Recognizing negativity and the way you manage it is a sure way to a healthy balance.
If you are in the presence of someone who is constantly negative, you may not realize how much that negative person’s energy is weighing you down. You may have to make the decision to hire the big guns and eradicate that presence from your life. Recently I had to make such a decision and it wasn’t a decision I came to overnight. I considered this person a friend but as time went on I realized the constant chaos and negativity she brought into her own life had not only come into my life, it had entered my family life as well. As in most break-up of relationships, there is an event that changes all perspectives and makes one stop and realize just how much negativity the relationship is bringing to one’s life. The big event combined with many other under currents of the past, I decided it was time to move away from the negativity and chaos of this relationship giving myself some clarity to think things through.
Interesting, because as time moves on, I know I’ve made the right decision; the anger and hurt that I felt has moved to a more peaceful, accepting and forgiving frame of mind. In the past there have been other events that has led to discussions or arguments that I thought were resolved but the past keeps creeping into the present causing more problems and deep seeded negative feelings. At what point does this stop? When all those deep seeded feelings lead to an event, an event that is the monster of all events and you say it’s time; time for peace, time for tranquility and time for happiness. Time for you to love thyself!