For as long as I can remember I have always considered myself a positive person. Am I perfect? No where close, I have my negative days and my stressful weeks. I always try to see the bright side, to think or comment on the positive, to know it will get better.
I am passionate and love easily, I also enjoy the little things. Anything can easily make me happy, watching movies I love the houses, the hair styles, the clothes, the cars etc. Out and about any given day, its “look at the puppy!”, check out these flowers, “OMG” that is adorable! That’s awesome! That is so cool!
I offer to help people every chance I get, I complement anyones hair and clothes. (if my social anxiety says that day I can). I get called “smiley” and “happy” from strangers all the time. I always considered myself a positive person.
I’ve always considered myself a positive person. Even with the continuous track of negative dialogue from some of the closest people in my life. Why are you so negative, you’re the most negative person I know. Stop being selfish, you’re lazy, it’s all about you, you always get your way. You can be happy because it is always about you. This comes from family and friends, those who are supposed to love you. To care about you, people who I have bent over backwards to see and help. The ones I hurt for when things don’t go their way, and did what I could to help. Even something as small as just an I’m always here to talk text. Or meeting for a rant session over coffee.
Not everyone in my life who is close to me sees me this way. There are a few who tell me not to listen to them. They are just angry, you are kind, you are gentle, you are not selfish.
It is so hard to listen to the positive voices when there are so many negative ones. Even when there is only two, one of those voices is mine. “Maybe they’re right”. Maybe I am negative, selfish, and everything always goes my way. Just maybe I haven’t struggled like them and that is why I can be positive.
Stop everything, and no! I know I am not the only one who worries. Who sees the worst in themselves when others do, who listens to the negative voices and people around them. Do not listen! I feel guilty for being happy about someone buying me food. I feel guilty for them buying it for me, and for being happy about it. I’ve felt bad when something goes well in my life or I finally get something I have been working towards for years.
They just see you getting what you want, not the work you put into getting it.
I finally sat down with some of the people who have been saying these negative things to me. Who have thought and felt the worst about me and asked them why? Why am I negative, why am I selfish, why am I lazy and why do you think everything comes easy to me? Not everyone wanted to be honest. A lot of the times it was back peddling. “I never said that” I wouldn’t say that, I never thought that about you! Some days I wish I recorded everything in my life.
However there were some who were willing to be honest. Some who after a long discussion realized why they felt this way and gave me a lot of closure. It doesn’t change the fact that it happened. Doesn’t stop the negative thoughts and worries in my mind that I am this way. It doesn’t help the guilt when I am happy, but it gave me some clarity.
For some, they were honest that they didn’t know why they said it, but remember saying it. They said they didn’t feel that way now but at the time maybe they did. Or maybe they were having a rough time. Taking it out on someone else was easier then facing what they had to do.
Others were a lot harder to discuss. Some thought I genuinely was and still am selfish or lazy. It all started with me going after my dreams and working towards what I want to do with my life. Instead of getting a job, any job I could. Not asking for help to go to University and for not “doing it on my own” I was being selfish.
Those four years of University were some of the hardest times of my life, but I wanted that degree. (I am through the moon happy I have it) but I struggled the entire time. I worked any and every job that would hire me. Only asking for help when I needed it and tried to do as much as I could on my own. Through it all and my own struggles I drove two people to and from work every day they worked. Even when I had classes and my own job to get to, I let them take my car and not pay for repairs.
I didn’t blame them when it broke down and I couldn’t fix it or afford a new car. I asked for help where I could find it, while I helped others. I’d helped others with their school work, I sat and helped friends and family through their struggles. I was a shoulder to lean or cry on, I visited family every spare second I had.
I got sick, I got really really, in the hospital sick
right before I graduated. I did graduate, and on time, but it wasn’t easy. The next few years (these years, this year, this day) I now have to recover the health I lost, get back to where I was before University, which means focusing everything I have on self care, health, diet, exercise, stress relief, on making sure I am okay.
Over these last few years I have lost a lot of those people I helped, because they didn’t want to help me. I don’t blame them, and I’d never ask for anything they couldn’t give, just patient, nothing more than patient to wait till I am better to hang out, or until I am healthy enough to work more hours to be able to go out somewhere that costs more than staying home in our PJ’s.
Because I can’t visit family as much as I used to, because I can’t visit my significant others family because I don’t see mine enough, because I can’t run my car into the ground for others anymore or afford to do all the chores so that someone else can relax, while I too work a full time job, I am selfish. Because it doesn’t benefit them, I am selfish. This is what I got from those conversations, this is what two of them said to me, during those conversations, because it doesn’t benefit them I am being selfish.
When they said it out loud it was like watching the light bulb moment go off in their mind, they saw, or felt what they just said, they realized how ridiculous that sounded out loud. Two different people, two different instances and conversations, both felt this way. They in the past had given their all for someone else and it was taken for granted, now to do something for themselves seemed like too much, they wanted me to do it.
To do all the chores and pay the bills, a housewife and bread winner, to give them what was making me happy, to be less happy in the pursuit of their happiness. To show my struggle to the world, to work as hard as I do for what I want but to not get it, because they weren’t getting it either, without the work.
After these conversations usually followed apologies and an understanding that we would both try harder in the future to communicate with each other. They agreed that just because they now realized why they thought all these negative things about me, wouldn’t stop them from thinking them, because we all get jealous sometimes, we all look outwards instead of inwards sometimes. However now when it happens they will think about why they feel that way, they will consider if it really has anything to do with me, and if it does, if it 100% does they will talk to me about it. So we can work together, we can work through it, and we can both be happy and essentially, we can both win.
Not all the conversations went this well, some got angry when they tried to explain why they thought these negative thoughts about me, some didn’t want to admit it and blamed it on me and that I “think to negatively” or it was all in my head, ironic right?
I will continue to help others when I can, I will continue to fight the negative thoughts in my mind and never hold anyone elses against them. I’ll continue to see the good in people, to smile at puppies and flowers, to point out the things (many many things) I like without (outward) guilt. I will always work hard for the things I want in life and appreciate every minute of having them.
Living positively is one of the hardest things I do in life, because you can’t be 100% positive, sometimes shit happens, sometimes nothing goes right, or nothing is happening fast enough. Sometimes we just can’t be positive, but I will think and do positive everyday that I am able and when those negative thoughts creep in, I will make a coffee, I will sit and remind myself of all the positive things. I will take the time to dwell in the negative thoughts, to acknowledge and move on from them, journal them, let them be said, to be written, to be known.
Then I will write and think the positive things, I will volunteer or donate, or focus on self care, I will exercise, journal, meditate and read, I will talk it out with those closest to me who want to talk. I will work on it. Because living a positive life is something you have to work on everyday, it is something that you consciously have to decide and know, it is not easy, but it does get easier.