This is a hard post to publish. But I think it’s necessary for my self-growth. So here goes.
This morning I was too tired to shower (another horrid night of sleep thanks to my toddler, who I suspect is teething). So I took a long, hot bubbly bath instead. And instead of resting my eyes like I should have done, I caught up on reading blogs. I subscribe to oh so many blogs (I’m probably at about 100 now), but there seemed to be a theme that jumped out at me today–several of my favorites had tackled or at least touched upon the topic of energy vampires and negativity and being kinder & gentler to ourselves and others.
There was the post by Celes entitled “How to Deal with Energy Vampires” that made me take a look at myself in a new light. In her 8 tips for dealing with negative people (“energy vampires”), she wrote about sticking to light topics. Bells went off. Certain close people in my life tend to do this in conversation with me, which kind of annoys me when all I need is for someone to listen and offer compassion. I started wondering whether they feel I am an energy vampire or overly negative or too needy. I caught myself thinking about failed relationships and friendships and whether I am indeed to blame for those failures. It was a painful few moments as I recounted the examples of my negativity and how it might have affected the people in my life. Is this why I feel so lonely?
As long as I can remember, way back into my earliest memories, I have always been an anxious, more-negative-than-positive (maybe even pessimistic) person. I strongly believe I was hardwired that way. One side of my family is full of people who struggle with depression and anxiety, so it’s really not a shock that I am the way I am. I just wish I knew how to change it. Permanently.
Don’t get me wrong, I try my hardest to be positive and light. The thing I want most for my son is to not inherit my negativity. The thing I want most after that is for him to think of me as a happy person who truly is in love with life–and sometimes I am. I at least try to be happy when I am with him, and most of the time, I truly am happy to be with him. Nothing brings me greater joy. I try to keep in that frame of mind even when we aren’t together, really I do. But I’m working against 33 years of ingrained behavior. And it gets the better of me some days. I’m not perfect. I’m just doing the best I can, which should be good enough, right? If you read my blog, even if you don’t but just glance over to the righthand side of the page, you will see that I frequently blog about my quest for happiness and my attempts to derail the negativity. I’d guesstimate that at least 50% of my waking thoughts are about this topic. It’s something I’ve worked on endlessly, alone and in therapy. I like to think I’ve made progress, but you tell me!
The next post I read that got me thinking again was “20 Things to Stop Doing to Others” by Marc and Angel Hack Life. I’m guilty of 1-4, 6-8, 13-16, 18, and 20. Wow. That was eye opening. There is so much good advice in this post that I’m tempted to print it out, miniaturize it, and carry it with me everywhere I go. Or at least hang it on the wall above my computer so I see it every morning. And maybe on my fridge at home, too. And maybe in my car! Though I guess reading & driving is a no-no, huh?
The good news is, I don’t lie. I don’t “screw people over,” I believe I am more selfless than selfish, I never make promises I can’t keep (I strive to keep all of my promises and plans, no matter how stretched thin this makes me feel), I try not to judge or gossip (being a mother has taught me not to judge others), and I try my best to avoid drama. I may be negative, but I know I am a good person.
Gala Darling posted “10 Really Easy Ways You Can Love Yourself More Today“, which I think is essential in combatting negativity. The first tip, spend time alone, is going to be a challenge for moms. But I am going to take my lunchbreak (I get a whole glorious hour) to be alone and reflect on everything I’ve written and read this morning. In fact, I am craving alone time. I think the hour alone will be good for my soul today.
Gala’s #6 tip, “evaluate what you’re feeding yourself,” is the best one, in my opinion, and it reminds me of Celes’ post about energy vampires & her #7 and #8 about reducing or eliminating your contact with negative people. I am eternally grateful for the positive influences in my life. I just wish I had more contact with those individuals so that it would possibly maybe rub off on me!
Hmm, I hope my friends and family aren’t reading this and deciding to cut me out of their lives because I’m too negative! And that right there is why I need to do better. Well, for that reason and for my son.
The thing I like about Mondays is that it’s a fresh start. So with that in mind, I’m going to start the day like it’s awesome & beautiful. Maybe it will be!