Finding Beauty in Things That Suck

sunriseI really dislike commuting, it just feels like an epic waste of time. However, then there is this view. I snapped this a few days ago on my morning commute (yes, I’m an irresponsible driver, but some opportunities you just can’t pass up!). The sunrise makes me so happy. I couldn’t exactly stop and take more pictures, but I can also see a mountain out there further to the right. It is epic.

There is nearly always an upside (I’m sorry, but I am just not advanced enough to see it in *everything*), and I am working hard to see it. For example, I wish I wouldn’t think that I hate commuting. I actually am really happy about the fact that since we moved over the summer, I have been able to shave 20 minutes EACH WAY off of my commute. We’re now close enough that I can go home at lunch to let my puppy outside. I also get to enjoy views like this, and when I can pull my mind away from the insanity of drivers around me (like that irresponsible driver taking pictures of the sunrise πŸ˜‰ ), I actually have 20 minutes or so of peace to think about how I want to live my day. Part of seeking minimalism for me is to minimize the mental space that I give to stress, pessimism, and negativity. This is a huge stretch for me. Those that know me well probably have a lot to say about that, but in my mind I have made progress.

The more I try to banish negativity, the more I notice these things:

  • many of my negative statements to others are based on insecurity. I want to insult myself before someone else can. At my personal training appointment, I kept saying negative things about myself to my trainer. She scolded me for it and it sucked, I wanted to cry because I already felt so bad. But why was I doing it? Because I didn’t like how I looked or how I was doing, and I thought she felt the same way. I doubt she even cared.
  • people that say negative things to me often seem to be worried that I am judging their choices, or worried that I am missing out on something. For example, those who are overly critical of my vegetarianism are usually eating meat. I haven’t said a word about it (I don’t care what they’re eating), but they are still defensive. I also get many negative comments about how I don’t have children. They upset me for many reasons, but I am working on seeing this negativity as loving concern. If I can see that harsh comments are not necessarily about people not liking me, it helps me because I have less anxiety.
  • negative thinking destroys me. No good ever comes of it, and nothing bad ever comes from seeing myself and the world around me in a positive light. If I want to be happy, I need to love myself before I expect other people to.

I don’t enjoy doing laundry or making the bed, but I focus on how good it will feel to crawl into those soft, fresh sheets. An argument makes me anxious and hurt, but talking things out in a constructive manner brings people closer together.

I will admit, the harder stuff- death, illness, etc,- I’m just not there yet. But maybe someday I will be. For now, dealing with the smaller stuff is really tough for me, so I have to master it a little at a time.

Has anyone else tried to minimize negativity? Did it work?

Jillian

Comments

  1. Yep! Been trying all my life. It used to be really hard, now it’s almost always pretty easy. You’re way ahead of me… I was a complete train wreck in my 30’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My first thought was to say I’m still a complete train wreck. Killing those impulses is hard!! However, the negative is not always my first thought, so that has to be an improvement. I’m so happy to hear that it gets easier!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. newlifechance says:

    Just loved the post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a hard time believing in myself , I feared that I cannit be loved or have any quality to be loved for that matter but when I started to open up and mingle more I found that the only thing that stood behind me and happiness was myself. I still have some down moments but I am able to dust myself and put a smile . πŸ˜‰ Wish you luck , this valentine swear to love your self and be much better individual you dreamt you could ever be ! You definitley got it in you! Lots of love ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. * between

    Like

  5. I like to think that I’m a pretty positive person for the most part, but I too get caught in the spiral of negativity occasionally. Supportive communities, like the online blog world, tend to help me feel better and then I can tell myself to lighten up. Good luck getting rid of the negativity. If you ever need some positive vibes, just let me know, I’ll send some your way. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw the negative side to just about everything until I reached a point about five years ago when I realized how unhappy I was. I made a vow to change, and with time and a lot of conscious effort I did. Now I find it easy to shift my thinking to a positive outlook. It’s a process, but after a while it begins to happen naturally. You don’t seem like a negative person to me, at least not based on what I’ve read on your blog. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s basically exactly what happened to me last year. I realized that I don’t like being seen as a negative person, and I am the one making myself this way. I can try to blame it on other things, but they aren’t what it comes down to. It comes down to making that conscious effort. I’m glad I don’t come across as negative! I do think I am changing, a little at a time.

      Like

  7. Breathe taking photo. I live on a lake and one of the most beautiful things about my commute is the sun reflecting off it and ducks strutting across the street. They have been known to stop traffic for 10 minutes! I’ve learned to embrace them over the years (and their message, which I believe is β€œI am beautiful, this is my life and moment and I will decide how to use it”). Keeping negativity at bay is a life long struggle. We ALL want to be a tad negative at one time or another. The days I’m not feeling zen I honk at the poor ducks. Yes, I can be an ass. If anyone tells you differently they are lying. I think you nailed it when you stated β€œIf I want to be happy, I need to love myself before I expect other people to.” That is your truth- no one will love you more than you and God!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love ducks! I really enjoy how people will always stop for ducks around here, too. I wonder if they do that everywhere? I like the idea that the ducks are thinking that πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  8. I am lazy, I am messy, I am not dirty but I do not meet any form of tidiness standards. I do not have children, I do not WANT children….fuck, I don’t even LIKE 95% of children. If I am honest, I think it is the same percentage of asshole adults that I don’t like either… hmmm…

    I am all about insulting myself before anyone else does. Perfect defense mechanism. However, you need to be sure that you aren’t actually believing it yourself. It’s kinda a British thing – you are not ever allowed to say that you are any good, even if you think you ARE good. We’re a bit weird though, if I am honest…

    The key is being true to what you ACTUALLY FEEL. I spent many years feeling A Thing, and kept running it through filters to try and make it make sense in context of XX job or XX relationship. Truth is, sometimes people and jobs that you once liked end out sucking massive balls, and the only way to be true to yourself is to actually say, you’re now sucking balls and I need to leave.

    I think there is a reason why I am not paid to be a counsellor lol πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. You’re so right, a lot of it is societal pressure to be modest and such- and not just in the UK because it’s true in the US as well. It really is the way I think that needs to change. I want to have self esteem, instead of hating on myself.

      There are a lot of people I don’t like as well… I’m trying to give them less space in my brain.

      Like

  9. I really do agree with your assessment that a lot of negativity comes out of insecurity. I’ve wasted a lot of my life being negative. Just recently I’ve decided to choose happiness and try to be positive. I’ve noticed such a change in my life since doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved this post. Recently I realized I needed to change the voice inside my head too, because it was seriously inhibiting my happiness. Plus I was harboring negative thoughts about Mike and my pets and just about everyone. I’ve been making a real effort to mute that voice and it’s been amazing because once it’s turned down, it’s opened the door to a flood of calmness and serenity and happiness. Like the other day my laptop died and I had a ton of work to do. Normally I would have let that ruin my day and I would have blamed Mike for not being able to fix it. But instead I was just like, okay, this is beyond my control and I just have to figure out a way to work around it. No tears, no frustration. Life is so much easier this way! I’m glad you’re working on this too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so inspirational- exactly what I’m talking about. I used to always think that I can’t help the way I think, but now I believe that it’s a habit like anything else. Like I said, it’s still a struggle, but it’s truly amazing how much it helps. It’s frustrating when you realize you’re the one standing in your own way, but also empowering because, hell- all it really means is you can change it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Every day! A lot of it is second nature and a lot of it takes work every day πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for sharing this. Minimzing negativity. What a great subject!
    Yes, I have tried that, too.
    I had to.
    I was forced into inner peace by the universe with rather unique teaching methods.
    With stick and carrot.
    When I was in anger, weird things started to happen. Like light bulbs burning out when I was in the room .
    Whereas when I was in peace, wishes tended to be fulfilled suddenly.
    That made me think. Inner peace seemed to be really important. Divinely enforced.

    The most important books about dealing with the hard stuff like loss and illness for me were the two books by Robert Schwartz , Your Soul’s Plan and Your Soul’s Gift.
    About pre-incarnation planning of our life’s challenges. It’s all aimed at making us turn inside and making us remember our true nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We-e-ell, since I started blogging, I’ve discovered that negative stuff can turn into great posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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