Focusing on the bad is easy. Anyone can pick out something wrong and dwell on it. What takes effort is finding the positive, even in a bleak situation. By focusing on the positive aspect, we push ourselves to find the light and happiness. Focusing on the positive forces us to view our lives from a different perspective and work towards finding a solution to the small part that is poisoning our experience.
I have a personal pet peeve against constant complaining and yet I too have been guilty of it. However, being around negativity doesn’t do anyone any good. Negativity breeds negativity just as happiness breeds happiness. When you spew vile words out of your mouth, you will more vile things into being. There have been times I picked up the phone or started a conversation in a perfectly pleasant mood only to walk away feeling angry, sad, or drained. I’m sure we’ve all been there. If we each do our part to make sure we’re putting our happiness into the world, happiness is what we get out of it.
I think having an outlet for negativity is important. I don’t think that you should always use the same person or place as an outlet though. If you constantly go to the same person, same place, same avenue to vent, you cast a negative image of yourself on that area of your life. If all someone ever hears from you is the bad, they probably don’t look forward to your conversations and eventually, they’ll end up hitting the ignore button instead of the answer button. If someone allows you to bring negative space into their life, make sure you also bring them positivity and light. It’s only fair that you fill in the bad with the good, casting a glow instead of shadow.
For my generation, I often see Facebook being used as an outlet. Whether it’s a status update, an offhand comment, group post, or just a negative take away there is far too often a negative undertone. It always bothered me to post something I thought was light-hearted and fun only to have someone else come in and ‘rain on my parade’ with a nasty comment or their spin on why what I thought was great sucked in their world.
There is often an argument of free speech and the thought that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, there are times when we all need to step back and think about what is coming out of our mouths before we throw it out there for the world to see. How would you feel if that person did the same thing to you? Would it make your life better to have them cut you down; would it make the world a better place in general? If the answer is no, then it’s probably best to leave someone to their happiness and think about why you really wanted to interfere with it in the first place. The answer likely has very little to do with them and more to do with your own personal state of being. We don’t have a right to leave a negative foot print on someone else’s heart.
In the past, I often used Facebook as an outlet to vent and of course sometimes I still go there. Over time I have tried to lessen the negative I put into the world and replaced it with positive. I’ve started trying to do this in all of my life and like most others; I am a work in progress. What I’ve found as I work towards a more positive outlook and more pure approach is that I am happier. I’m less stressed and wound less tightly. I don’t NEED to complain or vent as often because I can see the good in a situation that I may have only seen as bad in the past. It’s that old paradox of getting out what you put in – attitude affecting outcome.
We don’t have to be perfect all the time… We don’t have to be the ‘ray of sunshine’ in the lives of all those around us, but I think we have a personal duty to try to be that ray of sunshine in our own lives. I’ve rarely been inspired after sitting down and listing all that is wrong. Nor have I been inspired after listening to someone else do the same. Listening to someone exclaim their happiness, gratitude, and love of the good in their lives can inspire millions. Letting go of the cynicism is a vital part of kicking out the bad and welcoming the good.
Be careful what you put into the world…it will likely come back to find you.