We Don't Have Space For Negativity (and Negative People)
I am a firm believer in leading a joyful life. There is just too much negativity in the world and so limited time that we refuse to waste our precious time indulging in negativity or contribute in spreading it any further. Negativity is a nasty thing, it can poison you and before you know it, you become pessimistic: Toxic, bitter, and unlikeable. It is highly contagious, too. When you indulge in it once too often or keep a company that feeds of negative energy, you will embody it soon enough. Then you contribute to the vicious cycle. There are very few things that we can control in life, two of which are how we react and how we let stressors affect our lives. We can choose to be joyful everyday, no matter what the day brings. I love the idea of "bringing my own sunshine" everywhere I go.
This is not to say I am that perennially perky person in the office at 8 AM. This does not mean bad news, bad manners, and bad behaviour do not affect me. It does, quite often in fact. But I limit the time I give myself to process the negative feelings and move on. This often means a quick call to the husband to rant (poor guy!) or a quick chat with a trusted officemate. Then take a deep breath and move on. What has been particularly helpful is that we have identified people whose opinions matter to us. This made the processing so much simpler, because we realized that the pressure to please is not that much. We have identified our "VIPs" as our spouse, parents, siblings, a couple of mentors, and a handful of friends. That's it. So when we encounter negativity from people or negative people (period) outside our VIP list, we avoid them or deal with it quickly and move on or let their poison slide off our back. Because nothing is worth that extra wrinkle or free-radicals circulating in my body. On especially trying days, a short quiet time helps me re-group and ground me. I pray for grace that I can control my tongue and avoid unleashing venomous words of my own. It reminds me that the only person I should ultimately worry about pleasing is God. That everything in this world, everything I have and hold dear is transient. Once we accept that everything is temporary, our focus on what matters most becomes razor sharp. At times, I stumble and forget, but that's okay. I can start again next time, I always say to myself half of the battle is won in the trying. :) What is important to me, is that I do things honestly, with the best effort and intentions.
We have a rule at home telling us that we should leave bad vibes where it belong, outside. It wouldn't be fair to subject my family (of two) to foul mood when they have nothing to do with it. They wouldn't even know what caused my bad mood, much more understand it. Bringing home that baggage would only spread the negativity and in the end ruin everyone's day. That would be such a shame since we'd rather spend our limited time together making each other feel treasured and loved. Then we can spread the sunshine. :)