By nature, I am a negative person. This may come as a surprise to people who know me now, but it’s the truth. Between my depression and some unfortunate experiences in my life, I got to the point where all I could see was darkness. All I could see was bad. I was empty, angry and bitter. I had lost hope in happiness or anything good. I had hit rock bottom and it was reflected in all aspects of my life.
People started to walk away from me. Friends disappeared. I withdrew and ignored those trying to reach out. I enclosed myself in negativity and shut out the rest of the world.
And I spent many years like this.
Then I realized I had to make a choice. I could continue to isolate myself, focus on the bad, keep a tight grip on my anger. Or I could choose to overcome the anger and the pain, forgive those who had treated me poorly, face the trauma from my past, and pursue the good.
I chose the latter. I made a conscious decision not to let the negativity overpower me. I actively sought out the good. I worked daily at adjusting my attitude to be positive.
I didn’t change overnight. It took years to overcome my demons and let go of all of the anger and pain built up inside me. It took years to defeat the negative and let the positive in.
But I did. I made the choice to do it and I worked very hard to make it happen.
I don’t want a life cloaked in negativity and unhappiness. I don’t want to focus on the things that go wrong. I don’t want to live with anger.
I want to be happy. I want to find joy. And I want to be someone who is a positive light for others.
There are still times when negativity gets the better of me. There are times when stress and frustration weighs me down. There are bad days.
But there are a lot more good days.
Because of how hard I have worked to be positive, and how hard I’ve worked to be able to focus on the good, negativity can only get so far with me before I spring up to fight it. Now I naturally see the good first, and even in situations that seem awful, I can usually find something positive. I can find some light.
When saying goodbye to negativity, I had to look at the people in my life and also say goodbye to those who are negative or cynical. Though I have changed my whole outlook, I am still susceptible to getting caught up in negativity if I spend too much time around it.
Negativity triggers stress, which triggers my depression, so I can’t afford to have it around. Nor do I want it around me.
So I was forced to make some hard decisions in my life when it came to those I spent my time with. There were some I had to say goodbye to, despite how much I cared about them. They were bringing me down, and I knew their negativity was dangerous for me.
I now only surround myself with positive people. People who look for the good in life. This doesn’t mean they haven’t faced struggles and terrible things in life. It doesn’t mean they don’t recognize reality, and it doesn’t mean they live in a fairy tale.
They are amazing people who live in the real world, have faced tough times, chosen to focus on the good and overcome their trials.
They are people who have chosen to focus on the light instead of the dark. They have chosen positive over negative. Just like me.
And in troubled times, we are there to lift one another up. To remind one another of the good. To point out the light at the end of the tunnel.
I still sometimes have the habit of getting involved with negative people. Because my heart breaks for them. I see their misery and I want to help. But a friend recently reminded me of how dangerous that can be. My desire to help is not a bad thing. But it is impossible to help someone who doesn’t want it. They have to acknowledge their negative attitude and choose to do something about it. The same way I did. No one could help me until I decided I needed to change.
And I have to be conscious of the risk that comes with starting a relationship (whether a friendship or more) with someone who sees life negatively. Although my desire is to help and be a positive influence, I have to recognize my own limitations in what I can handle.
And the truth is that I can’t handle being around negativity.
As I’ve already said, I made a choice a few years ago to change my outlook on life and focus on the positive. And it changed my life for the better.
Life is short. Don’t waste time in anger. Don’t focus on what is wrong or negative.
Find the good. It’s out there.
And you can be someone who helps create positivity.
You just have to choose to.