The negativity is getting me down.
Life is a struggle. Death awaits us all. People do bad things. People believe things that enrage you and make you want to spit flames.
Okay, but, uh . . . you’re a downer, man. You only get one shot at living and it can end a lot sooner than you would like. Wouldn’t you prefer to focus on the positive? Wouldn’t you like to try to attain a little happiness here in this life?
I’ve spent a lot of my life focusing on the negative. I’ve been in therapy for a long time, been on happy pills to try to tame my own personal low points, and I’ve hit bottom at lows that you wouldn’t believe (and probably would think less of me if I detailed them for you.) But, damn. I’m thirty eight years old. Even assuming that I live to eighty (which would be nice), I’m almost halfway through this ride.
If you disagree with my religious or political views, fine. You’re free to disagree. But does it really do you any good to rant about my preferences? To spew a bunch of vitriol in the general direction of anyone who doesn’t make the same choices as you? To post link after link after link to the screw-ups and accidents and horrors? To treat your Facebook page, Twitter stream, or weblog like it’s your personal “fuck you” to everyone who disagrees with you?
We need to agree on a basic fact of existence, here. You will Never Ever Ever get everyone to agree with you. Even if you have a religious faith, you won’t get them all to agree on every tiny detail. Not in your entire religion, your parish, not even in your own immediate family. If you’re a non-believer, you will never get everyone to join you in non-belief on the terms that you set out as necessary. If you’re a liberal or a conservative or an independent, you will never get everyone to your side. Never. It’s impossible. That’s the big negative. Never will everyone think that you’re entirely right. Never.
We’re adults here, let’s just agree (for the most part) that such is the peril of human existence. I don’t expect that everyone will even agree to that; I’m sure someone out there is dreaming of mind control, whether through devices or some change of the human psyche. Whatevs. You can rant about everything with your hatred and anger and fear stunningly obvious to everyone who reads your rants, but mostly you’re going to make yourself sound like you’re a bummer to be around and/or an ass. Yes, I’m aware that I probably sound like an ass for saying this, but I’m willing to take that risk. I’ve been down that road. It lures me still. I have to fight it.
The negativity isn’t helping. The people who disagree with you will most likely just shut you out, click another link, unfriend or drop you. People are drawn to joy, to pleasure, to excitement. Sure, people also listen to acidly hateful preachers and bitterly miserable political pundits, but they’re focusing on the negative. They’re a definite buzz-kill for anyone who wants to feel good without feeling good at someone else’s expense.
As any AA regular would tell you, you have to let go of your resentments. They’re negative attachments, holding you to bitterness and hate and unhappiness. Let them go. I have to let go of my resentment of people who denigrate my beliefs. I’m trying to do that, but I’m idealistic enough to put this post out there for people to laugh at, scoff at, and accuse me of hypocrisy for writing.
Post something GOOD. Post something you love. Praise someone who is doing right. Link to something amazing. Pass happiness along. Tweet about something awesome.
Trust me. Your own experience of happiness is the best persuasive argument that you can make. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you don’t believe ME, believe him.