The Big Difference (K.Blais)

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Awful things happen to us or to the people we love and care about. Terrible things occur continuously in our daily lives. We make decisions which end up being disastrous, although they may have seemed like the best option at the time, and in other cases choices are made for us without our having any say in them at all. Sometimes we hold the power in the decision-making process, and other times we are completely powerless.

Through it all though we strive to stand up and not to sink. We do our best not to let the floods drown us or to pull us down into the depths of despair, even though they may threaten to.

It isn’t always easy. And it doesn’t always work for all of us.

It is essential to remind ourselves that eventually the waters will recede. It’s tricky to remember that sometimes though and, by no means, do we ever intend to make light of the terrible things that happen, but it remains extremely important to attempt to search for the positive amidst the negative.

Out of every horrendous situation is there always a positive to be found? Depending on individual perspectives the answers may vary: maybe, maybe not… and maybe not right away. But, if we search hard enough there is always a bit of light, a small glimmer of hope, a tiny piece of dry land that we can place our feet on, even if it’s just a tiptoe to start. Maybe sometimes the negative just requires a different perspective.

A very close person to me, my dear friend Tracy, has struggled with some health issues over the past couple of years. She one day found herself with mobility issues, needed surgery to repair her knee injury, had a health scare with a dangerous item on the job site, and was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after that (all issues completely unrelated to one another). Add to that other issues which she has dealt with throughout her life, the scope of her tribulations was immense. To be perfectly honest, her world was bleak and dark and at some very low points. With so many negatives piling up on her, there were days when getting out of bed was too much for her to think about.

The floods threatened to close in on her on more than one occasion, but through it all she always searched for that tiny aspect of hope, that glimmer of light, that small piece of land on which she could attempt to stand. Her faith led her to the belief that her cancer was a blessing because having gone through what she had, she was able to be a support system to others battling with cancer. Her journey led her to new friendships which she may have otherwise not have made. Her struggles allowed her to realize the love that so many people had for her. The darkness has allowed her to appreciate the light all that much more. All the negatives that have happened to her have led to so many more positives in her life because she chose to see past them.

Some of us battle with physical or mental health issues, or have loved ones which are battling, which have affected our (and their) quality of life. Frustration, powerlessness, and a feeling of incompetency may overwhelm us. It can be hard to find the positive when we feel so awful. Sometimes we have to realize the negative for what it is. Sometimes we need to surf the waves when we cannot stop them.

Financially or materially we may be experiencing damage or loss. There may be days when our situation seems so bleak that there seems to be no place to go. It is hard to find the positive when the negatives are reflected in everything we have, even our bank accounts.

We may have lost a loved one or loved ones. We all know someone who has experienced the immense grief of losing a person very close to them. It’s extremely hard to see the positive in death and loss, especially when we are in mourning. Sometimes though death can bring us closer to those who remain in our lives. Sometimes death brings a new appreciation for all that we had and all that we have shared with that person, and it may encourage us to cherish and hold dear the time we have with the loved ones left with us. A belief that we will be reunited with our loved one one day can offer peace. Sometimes death can lead us back to life: to living each moment to the fullest and with a deeper appreciation, and may even lead us to taking nothing, even the little things, for granted.

Perhaps relationships have dissolved, friendships and partners have been lost, and life as we knew it has become an illusion. It is difficult to see the negative when everything around us in our personal life seems in a disarray. Sometimes it is difficult to understand how things can fall apart so easily… and perhaps we neglect to see that sometimes things need to fall apart so better things can come together.

Being positive does not mean to ignore the negative. There is no need to put blinders on and pretend that the negative does not exist. Being positive, and living a life which chooses to focus on the positive, can simply mean to live by overcoming the negative. That’s the big difference.

I Won’t Be Sending A Boat (K.Blais)

It has been a very interesting week, to say the least. Knowing I needed a pick me up, a special friend sent me this:

(image courtesy of Bing images)

It spoke volumes to me at the time. I had had a series of negative things happen to me, I felt a little out of control of my own world, and I felt like everything I came into contact with was turning snaky. One particular incident was the icing on the cake for me – being told, in so many words, that no matter how hard I had tried to be a good friend in the past my efforts were still in vain. I would be blamed for falling short and yet another one of my apparent shortcomings would be pointed out.

Now don’t go feeling sorry for me – please don’t. I am a girl with big shoulders and, trust me I have heard and dealt with worse. This time, however, the timing was bad, (or good depending on how you look at it.) You see, I realized that I didn’t need anyone in my life that would make me feel like a failure or like a bad friend, and, practicing my own preaching (finally), I decided it was time to let go.

It was time to let go of holding on to something which would never be the same again. It was time to realize that we all make our own decisions in life and there will either be people who will support us in those decisions or people who won’t. More specifically, we may have people in our lives that just can’t support us. They can’t stand by and watch us make decisions which we know aren’t in their best interests. They can’t be a part of a world which will eventually destroy us. So sometimes, as those people, we just need to let go.

Later in the day, my supportive friend sent me another quote, one which I could relate so much to that I eventually shared it on social media.

(image courtesy of Bing images)

It didn’t matter that I was considered an inadequate friend to someone else, what mattered was that I had other people who cared about me enough to make me smile again: Friends who told me that instead of feeling defeated that I should feel “triumphant” because of the life I have and the life I will continue to have regardless of this incident, friends who can tell exactly how I am feeling by how I respond to their texts and won’t believe me when I say “I’m fine” when really I’m not, and friends who know exactly what to say when the days are dark and others seem determined to break me down.

I have to say that sometimes we need those negative people in our lives too because they give us the reality check we may need. We might realize that while we yearn for the way a friendship was in the past we realize through their actions that it most likely will never be the same again and that it may be for the best. We might realize that it is time to move on and to focus our energy on those who value who we are and who appreciate the caring nature we have. We may need to remove ourselves as the doormat of the lives of the negative and focus on helping those who want to be helped. We may need to spend our time being a part of someone’s life who actually wants us in it.

I’ve thought long and hard over the week and I’ve realized that while I have reconstructed this particular bridge so many times, there is no lumber left to build a new one. This time the bridge has burnt and there will be no rebuilding it.

I have also realized another thing:

I won’t be sending a boat.