I’ve been pondering negativity lately. Well, that’s a nice way to put it. I’ve been in a snit about negativity lately.
Not only are we coping with another tough diagnosis for Benjamin, but it seems that many people we know are struggling with harrowing circumstances as well. The weight of the chaos in the world has been a constant burden, one with which I am striving to cope effectively.
My method for approaching challenges consists of taking a limited time period to pout. I feel the feels, take a deep dive into my emotional cavern, then once I’m ready I hop out, put on my game face, and go. Sometimes this takes longer than others, but generally speaking, once I emerge from the emotional dive I can drive on with positivity as my navigator.
This time my emotional plunge went deeper and longer than usual. I permitted myself an extended wallow in negativity, and sanctioned emotional eating, extended hours of useless couch flopping time (complete with comfey quilt and slippers), and a pretty pissy attitude. I worried about the depth and duration of it, which furthered the descent.
After a prolonged hibernation in my cave I poked my head out, seeing if it was safe to emerge. In doing so I felt bombarded with negativity. The result was recoiling, wondering if it was safe to emerge when I was so susceptible to the complaints and frustrations of anyone with whom I interacted. You see, when you’re trying to wrap your mind around Parkinson’s disease in your 10 year old, which was caused by the drugs used to save him from leukemia; and an acquaintance freaks out over a stomach bug, it takes superhuman self control to keep from sporking said complainer in the eyeball. (I just might have done the facebook comment version of the eyeball spork to that specific individual, but you’ll never know for sure).
That incident was the impetus which prompted me to piece together an armor of sorts. (I’d thank said Negative Nelly, but she might have blocked me for pointing out that the sky is not actually falling because her child threw up for a few hours, not that I actually did that.).
What I’ve realized is that living in gratitude is the only way I can navigate this world.
In witnessing self pity over an episode which to me seems petty, I began to recognize that self pity, no matter the reason, is repugnant.
Let that sink in a minute. Self pity is vulgar.
I know it’s strong wording, but truth necessitates strong wording.
I recognized that the magnitude of my reaction was because I felt entitled to self pity because my situation is worse than hers.
No matter the enormity of your challenges in life, self pity is a maladaptive reaction. It preempts effectiveness and stymies gratitude, and is no part of a strategy toward a healthy, happy life.
My goals for myself, my son, my whole family is to live in joy, peace, hope and love. Pity has the thief of them all.
I’m not saying that I will execute it all the time or flawlessly, but I choose this day to spurn self pity whenever I observe it in myself. I write this not because I have already mastered it, but to firm my resolve, to dimiss destructive thought patterns in pursuance of thoughts which align with the joy, peace, hope and love that I seek.