Monday, September 28, 2009

Things can always be worse

“A pessimist is one who feels bad when he feels good for fear he'll feel worse when he feels better.”

Have you ever known one of those people who are always waiting for the other shoe to drop? The ones who are always worrying about their kids, their husbands, their friends, their family members, their pets, their jobs, their everything? The ones who make themselves crazy over everything to the point that everything is a crisis? I have seen it a thousand times on message boards, on facebook, even twitter over the years: "I need prayers for my son. If he doesn't get an A on his test today he might not get into college (the child in question is 7)" "I need prayers for my daughter, if she doesn't make the softball team it will ruin her summer and her self esteem." "Please say a prayer for Fido, he threw up this morning after eating leftover sausage, I am afraid he has liver failure or worse!" Pessimists of the worst sort, these folks are not happy(?)unless they have something to fret over.

There was a time when I would have, at most, sent up the prayer they requested because obviously it meant something to them if they were taking the time to request that prayer in a public forum and at least I would have acknowledged their request in some form. These days- not so much.

The longer I live with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the more people I meet in what I consider "my" (the invisible illness) community, the longer I try to live my life from a place of positivity and gratitude and the more I surround myself with like-minded people, the less patience I have with the "drama mama's" of the world.

This weekend, as I was reading through the different social media sites and groups I saw quite a few of these messages. I think they have begun to stand out to me more these days. I found my fingers literally itching to type a response that would have been far from what they wanted. The problem is that I don't know how to, in a positive manner, remind these folks of all the things they have to be grateful for. I don't know how to help them see how blessed that they are if that is their largest concern. In fact, I have doubts that they would even want to hear that they are blessed because it would go toward eliminating their constant negativity. It had me thinking so much- and so many negative thoughts that I realized that I was almost feeding into the bad vibes and that is counterproductive for my journey.

I am in a quandry. Some of these people I care for deeply, but I need to find the point where it becomes toxic for me. Do I in essence delete them from my life? Do I use them as a reminder to count my OWN blessings? Do I ignore the pleas and each time I see one take the time to give thanks for my life instead?

There is a psychologist from Scotland that I follow on Twitter ( @Andrew_Johnson ) who often posts a message that I would like to pass along to them. It may be the tact that I take- but in the meantime I am going to repeat it as a mantra until I figure out what to do about this situation. I leave you with his quote:

STOP: With every thought, positive or negative, you create your reality. You are creating in every moment. Change your thoughts!


RA Guy said...

I agree, one of the true blessings of living with RA is learning to appreciate the small things and to not worry about the trivial things. Thanks for sharing!

MissDazey said...

This is so well written and so very true. Thanks for putting into words what many of us think- things could be worse.

I have lived with OA & RA for years, yet I know my aches and pains are minor compared to others with live threatening illnesses.Now that I am older and the damage is done, pain extreme, I still don't want to whine or feel too sorry for myself. We all have something we could complain if we thought about it.

As for pessimists, I avoid them. You are so right, some people are toxic. Stay away from them.

Thanks again for your blog.

Anonymous said...

A valuable post on gratitude.

Karim - Mind Power