I am fortunate, in my life, to have a lot of love. Love means many things. It can be the support of one another. It can be a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. It can be sharing laughter with. It can be cooking together or teaching each other lessons in life or craft. The truth is, there is love in everything that we do. My husband A likes to tell me that when I make him a simple sandwich, it tastes better than one he would make for himself, because I put love into it. There is real validity behind that concept.
I want to look at the words love and positivity vs. the words hate and negativity. I believe that love and positivity are friends who walk hand in hand. They are different in content and association, but they work well as a team and are often found as a pair. On the opposite end of the spectrum, hate and negativity are also friends. Conniving friends... Not the kind of friends I want in my life, but friends nonetheless.
- On a side note... our parents always told us, "hate is a strong word...you don't hate broccoli, you just strongly dislike it." Well that may be very true and it truly is one of those parent influences that just holds strong in our very being, but for the purpose of this blog, I will use it because I think it deserves some respect. And I'll explain that in just a bit...
I find it interesting how something negative has the potential to immediately pull me out of a positive mood but when I'm feeling negative, it takes a lot more than just positive words to lift me up again.
I've had to encounter some painful hate and negativity directed toward a friend this past week. I will write about L and his negativity not to slam who he is as a person but to showcase how easily negativity can turn us into hateful creatures.
L is someone who has so much love in his heart and so much care and compassion for other people. I think challenging times suddenly swallowed him whole and he was unable to see the bigger picture. Negativity and hate seeped into his life based on these struggles and it became the fuel of his behavior. It became more important to find the solutions to his struggles no matter how much negativity and hate was needed and less important to continue to care and love other people in spite of struggle. Up until today as I looked at this scenario, all I could see was that negativity had won the battle... but I'm not so sure that's true anymore.
Today, as I write, I know that negativity did not and will never win the battle. Not as long as I choose to see the light in the dark tunnel. I look at L and think that he must be really suffering inside to lash out in a way that is so hateful and full of negativity.
L taught me this week that with his negativity and hate, I cannot be brought down. That I have control over my feelings. That I have the ability to take the situation and learn from it, write about it and grow from it. I learned that if I decide it is so, positivity can always trump negativity.
His negativity is actually an opportunity to learn, change and grow. And it is a fuel to my positivity! Take that!
I am also reminded this week of how powerful negativity and hate can be. We must respect what a powerful thing that it is.
It's like the lions and tigers that my friend K works with. She is an employee of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas where they rescue animals and build them habitats to help rehabilitate them. Although she has gained comfort around them and has great knowledge and experience with their behaviors, she has a very healthy respect for who they are and their wild animal instincts. Even though many of them are domesticated in ways, she knows that at any moment, the tamest of felines could turn into the wild animal is was innately born to be.
I think we need to respect negativity and hate with this same approach. It's a beast that we often tread too lightly around. We get carelessly close to its fangs and often risk being bitten and injected with its poison.
L gave me an opportunity to really dig into a subject that plagues all of us. And I choose to use that opportunity to be even more positive than I was before.
I leave you with a positive challenge...
Everyone needs a shield to bounce the negativity away. It could be a word, a sentence, a sign, a smile, a mantra, or something else you have in mind. This blog is my shield. It's a safe place where I can take negative things that happen around me and turn them into something productive and something that I can learn from.
I use my BPositive BFree knit sign as a reminder that I always have a choice to have positivity in my life and the strength and heart to ward off the negativity. It hangs on my wall where I can see it everyday.
I challenge you to make a shield of love and positivity to ward of the hate and negativity. And don't forget to use it!
BPositive and BPOSITIVE!!!!