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July 14, 2004

I'm struggling with this incessant negativity lately. I've struggled with negativity my whole life, actually, but it'd disappeared to a large extent until the last month or two. Much of the vanishing seemed to correspond to my enlightenment (of sorts) earlier this year (which I documented in here), but now I feel like I'm falling back into my old ways again. This, despite my sincere attempts at connection with the divine and the remarkable nature of my present life.

When I see someone on the street wearing a strange outfit or acting strangely, my mind immediately judges them. . . I'm remarkably short-tempered and impatient with things that normally wouldn't deserve a second thought. . . I'm far too quick to dismiss other people as ignorant. . . etc. These are things I really don't want to be anymore -- I'm tired of being this way -- yet lately I find myself doing and thinking these things more and more.

In looking for God I'm looking for a way out of this negativity, a light in the midst of all these dark thoughts. I realize that spirituality isn't going to cure me of negativity, but I also know that a part of me felt significantly lighter earlier this year.

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You are absolutely precious! Start the New Testament, then jump back into Isaiah. Pray before you open the Book. Very soon it's all going to make incredible sense.

"You have to admit, the way the Bible is written-all sorts of books and styles jumbled together-well, it's pretty hard to read. I wish God would have laid it out a little more simply: 'Q: Who created the world? A: God. Q: What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments? A: To thank God for his love.' It would be so much easier."
"But God isn't interested in making your life easy," Josh countered. "He's interested in making your life an adventure. And that's why the Bible is very much like the adventure that life is. Life is not a series of questions and answers, but a journey. And a journey only slowly unfolds. It has many twists and turns and unexpected surprises. How interesting would The Lord of the Rings be if Frodo had been able to complete his mission by answering one question or simply walking across the Shire? It is not just the destination, but the journey itself, with its hazards, setbacks, victories and discoveries, that makes Tolkien's story so great. And it's what makes our lives so great."

This is an excerpt from a really cool article from a campus life magazine........Life is supposed to be an ADVENTURE I LIKE THAT!! Don't settle for anything less than an EXCITING life.....hang in there .... love b

http://www.christianitytoday.com/cl/2003/001/4.42.html

I have been a Christian for 6 years. I felt many of the same things you describe in your blog, the ups and the downs. Its just part of being a Christian and I dont know a single one that has not had the same experience. So, hang in there.

Another one of your posts discussed praying. Someone asked me once, how can you have a relationship with someone you never talk to? This comment made me realize that prayiing is about more than asking for what I want. Its about spending time with Him.

i'd suggest some action. go out and do something for others; volunteer. don't just think your spirituality, live it. even if its not a decidedly Christian spirituality, pretty much all religions want their adherents to do something that benefits humanity. you've got to put what you've learned into practice or it will disappear like learning trig in high school has done to me.

Speaking as a non-Christain, don't worry too much. Negative feelings are kind of part of the human package. We feel bad sometimes, and that's ok. It happens. What matters is how you act on them. My brother deals with his negative emotions by placing blame on himself, to a point he has made himself physically sick! That's not good, of course.

My grandfather, Gaia give his soul peace, was raised in a very racist society. He felt threatned by black people, asians (4 of whom he claimed to have killed in WWII) and Middle Easterners. However, is fear did not prevent him from treatning them with real kindness, helping them, and if they asked, being honest. Part of your feelings is how you react to them. If you feel them, you need to be honest. Search yourself as to why you feel like this. Was it taught to you? Do you not know? It's ok not to be sure. Just consider.

Ignorance is something I struggle with too - I deal with people on a regular basis who judge major life choices on things like what they think would be more fun, what they think a flighty partner might want, or not consider any long term consequences to a long term solution. Your goal should be enlightening those around you. You can feel frustration, but how you funnel that frustration is the real test of a person. If you take it into anger, then your feeding the negative aspect. If you take it into a desire to help, your feeding the positive aspect.

hope this shines a slightly different light on the situation.

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