just a thought – down and up

Positivity and creativity can reinforce each other and it is incredibly liberating to feel that momentum build.  On the opposite side, doubt and negativity can drag you down, deep.  So much of the my journey thus far has been battling my own dark side.

It used to be that I was unconsciously negative.  I would complain and blame, criticize and make excuses without being aware of how much of a downer I was.  As a teenager my sense of self was so low, I had no experience being positive at all.  I felt that nothing I said or did mattered.

As I slowly began to realize I was negative I would defend my negativity – I was being realistic, I was being cynical, I was being pessimistic – really, I was being irrationally sort of proud of it.  Looking back, this stage embarrasses me the most – I was being a know-it-all fashion student.

The next stage of awareness was when I started to notice the effects of my attitude.  I never before noticed when people would be hurt or annoyed by things I said or did.  It had never occurred to me before that my actions and attitude would actually be important to anyone else or affect people besides myself.  This consciousness was painful, I felt really bad for things I said and did.  The blog played a huge part in this process; before blogging I had never been able to see feedback to my own expressions in such a direct way.

Thus began the process of acquiring a positive attitude and trying to recover from years of ignorance and depression.  It has been a huge challenge.  I am not full of positivity all the time, I am sure no one is.  Sometimes I feel discouraged and down, but the difference is now I know it – I can feel the negativity crash over me like a wave and identify the irrational feelings that stifle me.

Just recently I have been able to go beyond just awareness and develop an ability to control myself.  When I notice the downward pressure I try to shut myself off and take a time out – the negativity can undo the things I have tried to build and oppress the people around me.  So I avoid the internet and the phone and try to do things that comfort me and give me energy – talk to my family, make food, take naps with my cat, take a walk, read my favourite funny books, until I feel my best self resurfaces and I can recover and get on with the good stuff.

The whole LOA stuff doesn’t appeal to me – too mystical, evangelistic, and a little creepy – but I do really think that what you put into your world is what your world is.  It just seems like common sense, I do not know why it took me so long to realize it.  I try to be helpful and creative and I put a lot of effort into making the scene around me fun and exciting to be in – and bit by bit, the life I always wanted to live is becoming real.

So – I became aware, and then I took the responsibility for my environment and now I am learning to control my own actions.  This must be what growing up is.

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5 thoughts on “just a thought – down and up”

  1. I’ve been going over this very thing in my mind for the last few weeks. I’ve come to grips with my own negativity, lack of self-esteem, and over-sensitivity to failures, be they personal or professional. Having realized that I’m negative by default, I try to keep myself in check, but that’s a form of energy-drain, too, and it has to be watched just as closely. You can’t let “being good” block out things that might be totally valid. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to balance it all. It needs a complete overhaul that takes so very much time and work to even begin. But you’re absolutely right – you get out what you put in. And I’ve made a decision to stop putting bad things in. It’s all a matter of staying on top of it.

    Cheers to you for having the presence of mind to think about your thinking. Too few people in this world do that, I’m afraid. Thinking happy thoughts for you and me, both!

  2. Negativity can definitely be a hard thing to control if you are drawn that way — that’s why I made it one of my two resolutions this year!

    “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” People project themselves out into the world all the time. As a person with a freakishly high level of emotionally intuition, I am literally overwhelmed on a daily basis by people’s passively leaking narratives. I love your narrative because you are so deliberately creating a positive, hard-working, community based, mutually beneficial narrative with your clients and readers (and commenters who ramble on and on… :P) It’s never whining and complaining; it’s all “make it work” around here.

  3. Jaka Merriman – “You can’t let “being good” block out things that might be totally valid.”

    True; being relentlessly positive I think is just as unrealistic as being relentlessly negative. However, when you get that gut feeling that something is bad, I think how you react to that can be either destructive or defusing. I think in most cases (not always), shutting off or cutting the negative away is more useful than attempting to combat it directly. Above all, you should always trust your instincts when you feel that something is wrong.

    Nadia – “I am literally overwhelmed on a daily basis by people’s passively leaking narratives”
    I feel like this is a side effect of awareness. I used to be very solipsistic (not very empathetic) but lately I find I listen more closely to WHY people say the things they say – and in situations where I am around a lot of people, it can get very noisy, psychically heavy (and sometimes very annoying).

  4. It’s great to hear someone else talk about the same struggles I (many of us, really) have been working through. “I felt that nothing I said or did mattered.” = exactly how I felt for a long time.
    As Jaka said above, this kind of self-evaluation seems all too rare, but if a few of us make the effort to inject positivity into our environment, one can hope that good things will grow out of it – be the change you want to see in the world, and all that 🙂
    Blogs & forums can be unbelievably toxic places, and as a new-ish, but fairly frequent reader of your blog I have appreciated the fairness and self-awareness you bring to the table.

  5. 100% agree – this is what maturity and growing up is all about. I feel like I have gone through those same stages as well. Thanks for the additional pointers on staying positive and keeping a happy environment..

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