Every day is a battle to keep negativity at bay, to keep motivation in front of me.
I know that I am prone to depression and anxiety and for this reason I do whatever I can to wrap myself in positivity. I believe wholly that the best way to keep myself from succumbing to the ever-present darkness curled around my ankles is to keep shining a flashlight of positive vibes down at it.
It’s not easy. Nothing that’s worth doing is easy. But like housework, doing a little bit every day makes the work easier in the long run.
I feel like I write about this often. And it’s because I see so many examples every day of people who allow themselves to be subjected to negativity that is completely within their control.
I just wish more people got it.
Notice the main point back there? It’s people allowing themselves to be subjected to negativity that is completely within their control. I understand there are things that are outside of your control, but for the things that aren’t – get away!
My buddy Herb was at my house on Sunday and hung out with me while I played Mass Effect 3 on my Xbox. He asked how far into the game I was and I told him I wasn’t very far because I take a long time to play video games. This happens because if I fail a mission a couple of times and start to feel myself getting angry about it, I stop. Video games are supposed to be my relaxation and my entertainment; they’re not worth getting angry over.
That situation is within my control, so I don’t stick with it when it becomes negative. If I’m running along, killing the bad guys, saving the human race, I’m gonna keep playing. If I’m consistently getting taken down by the baddies, it’s time to take a step back. I also don’t watch movies or read books that are sure to make me cry unless I know I’m in a good place in my life. I also don’t subject myself to people that only make me feel worse about myself.
You are in control of whether or not you subject yourself to negativity 99% of the time.
I have a friend, let’s call her Suzy, who is one of the sweetest but also probably one of the most depressive people I’ve known. Suzy is a great person but has so many negative influences in her life, it’s hard for her to see the goodness that is within her. I know how hard it is, and I know sometimes thinking happy thoughts just doesn’t help, but then she goes and does things that make me shake my head.
Apparently she follows PETA on Facebook.
Before I really get into this, let me please say that I love animals and I can’t stand the sadistic things that some people do to them.
However, I hate PETA.
I feel like PETA is an evil organization running around in a bunny suit and pigtails, bobbing their heads from side to side with a sadistic smile on their faces saying “We looooooves animalssss!”. But in all actuality they’re hate mongers. There simply has to be a better way of sharing the message of animal rights than how they go about things. (For instance, they could stop objectifying women and attacking strangers. I pretty much have a problem with any organization that makes attacks on other human beings one of its major ways of “sharing the message”.)
So today Suzy was talking about this video that PETA posted on their Facebook wherein they show the way animals are skinned while still alive.
(I seriously want to puke even writing that sentence)
She talked about how horrible it was because the animals were screaming as they were being skinned. Of course they were fucking screaming! What did you expect to see when the title of the video was “Animals beings skinned while still alive”?
Suzy and I have the kind of relationship where we can be completely upfront with each other. So we had this conversation:
Me: Why do you follow PETA?
S: Because I believe in the ethical treatment of animals. I don’t believe people should wear fur and that we shouldn’t use animals for testing purposes.
Me: Ok, so did that video change your feelings about the ethical treatment of animals?
S: Well, it showed me that people don’t treat animals ethically.
Me: Did the video inspire you to do anything differently with your life?
Me: Then did you need to watch a horrifying and emotionally scarring video in order to reaffirm your belief that people treat animals unethically?
S: No, but – *sigh* yeah, ok.
If all the video does is pump gruesome images into your head, it’s not accomplishing anything positive for you (or for the animals).
The same idea should be applied to anything – only surround yourself with positive people; only participate in positive activities that make you feel good about yourself; never allow anyone to degrade you; don’t degrade others; don’t tolerate negativity from other people or put negativity out into the world.
Trust me, I know it’s hard work to keep negativity at bay, but you can do it and your life will be better for it!