Fighting The Negativity

Have you ever gone through a time period when you feel like you’re completely surrounded by negativity?

I’m, personally, fine.

My life is fine.

I’m not saying my life is perfect …

We all know that isn’t (remotely) the case.

I’m as “fine” as I’m going to get though, considering my reality.

(Or is it realities?)

Lately, it feels like everyone I know is in some type of crisis.

Family members, friends, acquaintances, neighbors ….

Everybody seems to be going through a lot more BIG BAD STUFF than usual.

Pretty Flower Photo Titled:  The Pain Fades With The Memories

One family member, plagued by an eating disorder for years, has becoming increasingly erratic in her behavior.  She’s alienated more than one family member, her neighbors, her friends ….

We all sit by, helplessly, watching her self destruct.

Long term eating disorders affect a person’s entire body chemistry leading to mood swings, unreasonable anger, anxiety/mental disorders, erratic thinking, etc., etc.

Maybe some of you have gone through a struggle with an eating disorder yourself?

Or watched someone you care about have their life unravel as the result of one?

A few of my friends are going through divorces.

The situations vary, of course, but none of their situations are GOOD.

Raw, naked, emotional pain is a terrible thing to watch someone go through.

A few people I know are out of work, or so miserable in their jobs they wish they were.

One friend is going through a novel-worthy work-related nightmare.

Three families I know are in the midst of horrible financial crises.  Two of them have lost their homes.

I know most people feel better if a friend just takes the time to be there and listen.

It sure seems like a lot of people I know are struggling right now.

I try to be supportive of the people who are in my life.

I feel like, if nothing else, my car accident (and its ongoing aftermath) has made me a very compassionate person.

I know pain.

I live with pain, every second of every day.

I know pain in a way very few people ever will.

I may not know your pain,

But I do feel for you.

I admit, though –

Having so many people surround me who are going through bad things (all at the same time) …

Well, it’s starting to affect me too.

I want some happy news.

I want to hear someone say they had a great day.

(And mean it!)

I want to see my friends, and the people I care about, smiling and excited about their lives.

Life is hard, I know that.

Oh, how I know it.

Someone out there must be happy though??

Maybe at least one of you?

Or have some GOOD news?

I think I’d like to hear some good news, if you have any to share.

Or maybe you have some tips on how not to absorb a lot of sad/negative emotion yourself while still being a good friend?

26 Responses to “Fighting The Negativity”

  1. Diane

    We are lucky that everyone we know is employed, not losing homes, not in dire financial straits, no eating disorders… well, except for a sister in law in California. She’s about to self destruct too and is ruining her marriage. You know… the kind of person with closed ears who only hears her own needs.

    Otherwise all is good in this neck of the woods and life is rosey. Must enjoy these times because we all know that nothing ever stays the same. Life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. So, as long as Hubby has employment and our children are good and we all have roofs over our heads and food in our pantries I’m not complaining one iota. :-))

    Hope your friends and family members find their way through the hard times soon.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Thank you Diane. I feel fortunate I’m not the one having a crisis, but you’re right. Life is cyclical … for everyone, I think.

  2. joanne

    People open up to me like that every day. (hairdresser) For me it is important to realize that by listening to their problem stated in words, they ARE helping themselves, so just by listening ,we are helping. The next step for me is to allow it to roll over me, kind of allow me to care for the person, but not the problem. Sometimes the hardest part of life is being thankful for what we DO have, but it’s the best way to get negativity on the road out of town. love ya!

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      joanne – thank you for commenting on this one. I bet you do hear a ton of people’s problems and your perspective is a good one. I love you right back! xo

  3. Jan's Sushi Bar

    One happy thing coming right up: I won the Paleo Iron Chef competition. It’s no big deal, of course, but it’s a nice thing. Could have knocked me over with a feather, though, because I surely did not expect to!

    Hang tight, Suzanne – like Diane said, nothing ever remains the same; the pendulum should swing away from all the unpleasantness soon.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Congratulations Jan!
      It is SO deserved. And it IS a big deal. As adults, we don’t get that much positive feedback on the things we do. It’s always important and a big deal when our accomplishments are recognized!

      • Linda Tustin

        Yee haw ( that is a midwestern expresion of congratulations!)Jan!!!!!

  4. Judi

    Congratulations, Jan, that’s awesome! My best friend is a raw vegan but listens to a paleo podcast because she appreciates all of the nutritional info they provide.

    My positive news of the day is that my Dad’s recovery is finally taking hold and I’m feeling more positive that he will be OK. He’s 86 and had heart surgery two weeks ago, they ended up doing 5 procedures instead of the planned 2. He’s been in the ICU for 2 weeks but has made major progress in the last few days and I’m hoping to hear today that he’ll be released to rehab soon.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Wow – you’ve had a lot on your plate Judi. I’m glad your dad seems to be doing better. It’s so scary watching our parents struggle with health issues. Big hugs!

  5. Gaelyn

    Life is Great here at the Grand Canyon. But I know what you mean. I’ve been around lots of people with bad shit happening. As much as I try to keep my cup full and share the wealth it often doesn’t spread. Just keep smiling. And some people just seem to need the drama in their lives.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Ahh … it has been several years since I’ve visited the Grand Canyon. It has a way of putting perspective on life like few other places do. Hmmm … I might need to come for a visit!
      : )

  6. Kathy

    I think I have GREAT news! Even in the face of ridiculous financial adversity…my pain and fatigue is under control for the moment! It just seems like the rest of the stuff really doesn’t matter if I have a chance to feel better. It’s like my world opened up. I know things change, but this is an awfully nice respite.

    It seems to me that my pain causes me to feel the negativity more strongly. I hope your pain recedes soon. Take care…

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      That is WONDERFUL news Kathy! I’m so happy to hear you’re getting some peace from your pain. I think you’re right … I think when I’m in a pain flare-up, it’s harder to shrug off the negative stuff – whether it’s mine or not. I’m glad you mentioned it, because I’m sure it’s affecting me too. It’s nice to have your perspective and to know I might be able to handle it all better in a few days when I’m not battling pain quite so intense.

  7. Julie

    I’m happy because I get to see some fabulous photos of yours everyday!!!
    I’m happy because it’s almost quitting time here at work!
    I’m happy because tomorrow is my favorite day of the week!
    I’m happy that I’m alive and kicking with parents and siblings still here with me!

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I’ve been seeing your photos on Facebook – ADORABLE!
      I hope you’ll keep posting photos because they do make me smile – a lot!

  8. Sherry

    I just wanted to let you know my mother just turned 70 in March, and she is taking me to the beach for 4 days for Mother’s Day. There are 5 children in our family and she as always made us EACH feel like we are the ONLY child. I am so blessed to have her for a mother and for my life, Happy Mother’s Day to you too!
    Hugs, Sherry

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Awww … that is so sweet.
      What a great comment to leave. Heartwarming – and that’s exactly the type of thing I love to hear. I hope you have a great Mother’s Day!

  9. Dorothy

    I have learned it serves no one to let myself be dragged into someone else’s pain or drama and to not let myself be happy because others are not. That’s their life, not mine. My choices, my life. Their choices led them where they are, as mine do, and it’s also our choice to learn or not learn from them and change things. Love them, and let their stuff be their stuff, not yours. Negative energy actually can contaminate you, make you sick, if you allow it.

    There’s something called Victim Mentality. Some folks enjoy that kind of drama. I had to let one friend meander out of my life because, omg, everything in her life was one big drama, and none of it was her or her kid’s faults or doings! It was everyone else who was the problem! Eeek! Finally, I gently left her out of my life, bit by bit. Now we wave if we see each other and are friendly, but I don’t have to listen to her list of woes anymore. It seems like her family will never get it that they are responsible for what happens in their lives. Whew! What a relief that was to no longer have “Debbie Downer” in my life.

    Be a spreader of joy, that helps our world. Be yourself, be happy, enjoy your photography and spread joy that way. That helps everyone.

    My world is good now. I am appreciative of everything, even the lessons I have had to learn. As I get older, I like myself more and more and care less (if at all) about what others think of me. Their opinion is just that, theirs. (Their loss if they don’t approve or like me.) Only my opinion of myself counts for I know myself better than they do. Oh and material stuff is just stuff and not important to true happiness, it’s the love that matters, so if I lose “everything”, all is well, I’ll start over. Life lessons, learned the hard way.

    I am truly grateful for life. It’s beautiful, and beauty is everywhere if you look. It resides in the small details. As you show us with your gorgeous, heart-filled photography.

    I wrote a book, lol, oops. I hope it helps you feel better! I love your photos, they make my heart smile and I come here everyday to see what new ones you have posted.

    You are a blessing. Thank you.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Thank you for your “book” Dorothy. I appreciate every word of it.
      I agree, I like myself more as I get older. I’m more confident in who I am too. I think Kathy might have hit the nail on the head with her comment. I think I’m usually a little better about separating myself from the bad stuff I don’t own … Perhaps, being a pain flare-up is making me more sensitive to it than usual.

      You are a blessing TOO!
      : )

  10. cc

    Your photos inspire me. I am looking forward to your photography page, thanks to your post on aperture (way back in May of 2010) I started shooting in something other than full auto. (This was the first post I read of yours and I’ve been an avid reader since.)

    Thanks to support from my sister-in-law, she’s lending me lenses, I am taking Photography 101 at the college in the fall. I figure an elective might as well be something I enjoy not just something that will fit my career choice.

    I’m hoping to pick up a Canon A1 on eBay this summer and get in some practice before classes start at the end of August.

    I’m really hoping your photography page will be up and running by then.

    So, anyways, thanks for being you and writing what you do. I am inspired by you. If you can be you, most of the time, with your chronic pain. I figure I can find a way o be me, even if I am going to be medicated for the rest of my life.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Thank you CC.
      If all goes as planned, the photography page will be up in June.
      (Fingers crossed!)
      I’m very flattered you find my photos inspiring!

  11. Linda Tustin

    A friend at work told me that I don’t have a bitter bone in my body. ( in response to a co-worker exclaiming they were bitter over a change in policy) They call me the “negotiater” and the counselor at work. All I say is when other people are really in pain- I seem to absorb it. I would relate myself to an empath. I try to divert people to the light though. And I LOVE yours (and Jan’s) blogs. You inspire me every day Suzanne. You have so much good (in my opinion and yet you have paid so much in temrs of lpersonal pain and yet you triumph. Hurrah


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