Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Negativity

I have been feeling really drained the last while - mentally and physically drained. I have been seeing the worst in people and situations, focusing on the negative, short tempered and irritated, and it is not like me at all. It took me a long while to figure it out, but I think I finally know why.

There are people around you, people we encounter in every day life, who are Joy Stealers. They see only the bad in every situation, complain about everything, belittle and bemoan others. They are the Negative Nelly's, judgemental and condescending, very vocal about their opinions about the situations around them. They are the people for who life never seems to work out. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is always necessarily their fault. Sometimes, life does deal someone a bad hand, especially in our current economic and political landscape, but it remains your choice how you choose to react to it. The choice between a positive and a negative outlook, rests with you. Instead of loudly complaining about the situations you find yourself in, why not try be part of the solution? Change your outlook, change the words you speak and the way you react in certain situations and you will be amazed at the difference you will see in yourself and in the people around you.

To get back to the beginning of my post, I realised that I had allowed the negativity of others to influence the way I was viewing the world. I allowed the bad attitude of someone next to me, to dictate the attitude with which I approach my day. And, to follow my own advice, I decided that I need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It doesn't help that I blame my bad patch on the bad attitude of (someone else. Starting today, these are the steps I need to take in order to put my positive frame of mind first:

  • Remove myself from negative conversations
  • Acknowledge the feelings of the other person, but realise that I do not have to agree with them
  • Suggest ways in which their views could be improved, instead of merely shutting down their opinions
  • Build my internal barriers strong enough not to let their negativity flood into my psyche

Try, in the coming week, to challenge the way you react to situations. Try get someone close to you to approach a situation with a positive mindset, and if that doesn't work, reset your own frame of mind, so that you don't allow the negativity of others, to make you negative.

And remember, happiness is a choice!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Finding My Tribe

As you are all well aware, things have been very VERY quiet on here lately. The only person I can blame for that, is myself. Life has been a b*tch in the past year, and I fully admit to letting the circumstances around me get the better of me. I allowed outside influences, people who are not worthy of my tears, to dictate the course of my life.

In the past year, I have loved, hurt, loved again, experienced loss, smiled, cried and laughed. I changed careers, moved towns, travelled, and challenged myself. I studied again, followed my dreams, and continue to work towards my goals.

Looking back on it written down like this, it is easy to see the many places where I could have fallen down and chosen not to stand back up, to allow life to get the better of me, but I didn't. And looking back now, I can see that it is solely due to the people I have chosen to fill my life with.

Everyone close to me knows that I don't have many friends. I have loads of acquaintances, 'fair weather friends' as my mom calls them. Those who are always there when things are going well, but who have no idea who the real Elmarie is. But the lucky ones, the ones I have learnt to let in, they are the friends who I will lay my life down for, and who I hope will do the same for me.

My friends, my tribe, are from all works of life, all cultures, all histories, each with their own dreams, their own goals, their own ideas, their own fears, but who understand me in a way that I did not know was possible. They are the individuals who push me, support me, encourage me, call me out, put me in my place. They have seen me cry, heard me laugh, listened to my dreams, helped me conquer my fears, pushed me towards my goals. They are the people who have seen my true self, who have accepted me for my excited squealing, my awkward dance moves, my insecurities, my pain. The people who have seen my true heart and not run screaming. The people who know what a handful I can be and who still choose to put up with me. And the people without whom I most definitely would not be the person I am today.

So, I urge you, go out there and find your tribe. Seek the people whose souls connect with yours, and cherish those friendships. Find the people who accept you for you, and hang on to them dearly, for it is your tribe who will help you get to the top of your mountain.

And to my tribe, to the people who know who they are, words can not explain how grateful I am to each and every one of you. You are the reason I am still standing.


And remember, happiness is a choice!