Funny things happen when you look back on your immediate past. For me, that was the past two years. You see my cursumstances were far from ideal. When I originally started writing online, I had enormous amount of joy and spark to share my vision of life with anyone who would listen.
I have learned that no matter how much happiness I felt, I couldn’t help those around me to focus on the positive things that were happening around them. The harder I make my case to have them wake up, the more they would push back with more negativity.
At some point, I was surrounded by a sea of negativity. Everyone that encountered that environment became negative. Next thing I knew, I was engulfed. Everything that were outlets for me became things that others pointed out as selfish, stupid, or pointless. The things that I loved to do: blogging, photography, raising my kids became a point to argue and for ridicule.
Now, that I look back on it, it wasn’t me that had this problem, but those around me who couldn’t find ways to make themselves happy. What they wanted to do was take the joy from everyone else. I didn’t realize this then, but I do now. Things do become clearer when you’re removed from a stressful situation.
Surrounded by that all day and night became soul crushing. Just going out with my family became a week long battle of trying to protect myself from the guilt trips that was constantly being pushed in my direction. Everything would be fine if I didn’t make plans on the weekends, but I didn’t get a chance to breathe. In a way, it was manipulative to get me to do what they wanted–be miserable.
I lost my spark during this time. It became hard to see that light that used to be so bright before. Before I knew it, I stopped blogging, I stopped photography, I stopped everything that brought me joy because I was no longer inspired. There were times when I tried to force myself to do those loved hobbies, but it became difficult–like trying to draw water from a dried up well.
When I stopped writing, I became mute. My voice became serious and very soon the pain that I was experiencing came out in words. I was not lighthearted as I used to be.
During this time, I can honestly say that I was in survival mode. Drawing into myself to keep a semblance of myself alive. During this dark time in my life I have found ways to keep hope.
- Drew deeper into my faith. This is the moment when I noticed that my faith had deepened. I found strength in the words of Bible. Tons of inspiration from the Saints, especially those who faced far worse. Also, those moments where I can steal a prayer for strength, and fortitude to finish the day.
- Living for the Small moments. Knowing that I was self preserving, it was truly the small things that put a smile on my face. It could have been something that my children did or said. Sometimes, it was just remembering conversations of the past.
- Looking forward to the future. I knew that my circumstances were temporary. I was shellshocked how negative the environment was, but I was determined to always look for the break in the clouds. There would always be something more positive down the road, I just had to deal with nonsense to get there.
Yup, during that time, I had to raise a lot of wall. Many walls that I thought were destroyed, but I quickly remembered why those walls were built–to protect me. It be silly of me to say that I have that negative environment unaffected, but that would be a lie (and I’m not a liar).
Too many things were already internalized. Past pain and hurt that should have been left in the past came sweeping to the present. My health suffered, and my outlook on life suffered. To be completely forward, my happiness was missing for a while.
I’ve been out of that environment for a while now and I can feel parts of me reawakening. My voice has been coming back, and my passions are returning. Like a catiplliar I feel as thought my changing backing the person who I was. I’m getting my wings back and nothing is going to take that away again.
Years ago, I wrote a post that said don’t let anyone steal your joy. Well, I’m here to remind you that if they manage to, you are resilient. You will bounce back, and you’ll be stronger than before.
What do you do when you are surrounded by negative people that you cannot remove from your life? Do you limit contact? What are some ways you managed to heal from your encounters?