how to deal with negativity

May 22, 2016


People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.



Not sure out of what side of the bed Plato rolled the morning he penned this little nugget of positivity but it seemed he was drawing his relational parameters with a heavy-tipped, black permanent marker and possibly hadn’t yet had his first cup of coffee.

Reading this began a meandering line of thought about the people we encounter daily, occasionally or even just once. I would suggest there is likely a broader range of ways that those we meet may reflect our own lives back to us beyond the simple “people are dirt” simile.

And I take exception to the point that someone else has the power to “stunt” you or “make” you do anything. The relinquishing of personal power and awarding it to an external source this way artificially limits us and gives us false permission for us to shirk responsibility for our own actions.

I’ll give old Plato a break and agree that some people do walk around resembling the Charlie Brown character, Pigpen, with dusty clouds of negativity swirling around them and leaving a greasy film of unpleasantness wherever they go. You know them. The complainers, the proclaimers, those naturally prone to general unpleasantness, the takers, the scarcity-worshippers and the compulsive silence-fillers.

When paths cross, it can often be too easy to begin our own silent rant about their sour disposition, their unkindness or otherwise dusty demeanor. Doesn’t take long after that before we look down to notice the dust of negativity circling us. How about letting the dust settle and seeing more clearly?



What is it that you that dislike about this person? Specifically, what annoys you? What compels you to speak unkindly to others about their unkindness?



Now turn the whole thing around. Ask yourself what part of that annoying quality, already exists in you? What part of you recognizes that part of them?



Look that newly discovered dark part of yourself directly in the eye, recognize how it manifests and accept it. Accept it in you, accept it in them.


That’s life – dust happens.  But, we have a choice whether or not to remain in the dust cloud and inhale or to accept and move away to where the air is clearer.  Accepting is simple, but not easy.  A new pattern to be practiced.  A  new way of seeing without judging or labelling.


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