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 😉 ), 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