What do we do when negativity rears its ugly head?
We can try to always be positive and optimistic, but we can’t control it when others are negative.
However, by categorizing others’ words or actions as negative, we necessarily attach our own judgments to them and actually contribute to those words or actions being negative. We feed their negativity.
But what about inconsiderate drivers, rude retail clerks, catty relatives, surly teenagers, arrogant coworkers (I could go on all day)? Aren’t these people’s words and actions inherently negative? Maybe, but it’s not that simple.
There can be a tendency, especially as we get older, to believe that we’ve done our best work: We’ve run our fastest race; we’ve written our symphony; we’ve painted our masterpiece. We might go so far as to base our identities on our past accomplishments rather than on our current lives.
It is interesting to think of the periods in our lives when we were (or will be) on fire. When is our heyday? If we think it was in the past or will be well into the future, that’s a sign we’re not living our lives the way we could. Why can’t our heyday be right now?
Some believe that there are many factors that influence how we interpret what is or isn’t true, including our values, experiences, culture, and condition.
Our truth may not be the same as someone else’s truth. Each of us has our own reality based on what brought us to where we are in our lives and how we see the world.
When the truth of two different people is revealed as different, it can seem as if one or the other person is intentionally obscuring the truth (aka lying). Of course, some people do tend to give truth (even their own truth) a wide berth. So how can we tell if people are misrepresenting what they believe to be true, or if their reality just differs from our reality?
We have a small house, and it doesn’t take much to make it look and feel cluttered.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our small house. It’s cozy. It has plenty of space to work and live. It promotes “togetherness” as a family. But, as I tell my overly generous mother-in-law, our house is “full.” It has “exceeded capacity.” It is, in a word, cluttered.
It’s not that we’re disorganized. It’s not that we have a bunch of stuff lying around that needs to be put away. Everything is away, there’s just too much of it.
It’s very interesting to see how the lingo changes through the years and how phrases that are firmly associated with a certain subset of society (e.g. surfers, bikers, environmental scientists) explode into common usage.
For example, I started thinking about this entry and have since noticed that I use the word “dude” a lot.
It’s not intentional. I have no idea where it came from.
I’m not proud of it.
But is it in affectation? I can honestly say that I do not say the word “dude” to elicit any specific response or present myself in any particular light. But it begs the question, when is a figure of speech (or action or fashion statement) an affectation?