Monday, May 28, 2012

Arrow to the Heart: Blocking the Urge to Internalize Negativity

Been away from the blogosphere for awhile on a wonderful journey of self-discovery. One thing that stayed with me this past year is the realization that I will face opposition and doubt from the most unlikely of places. It is something every successful and not-quite-there-yet person will face.

If you plan on accomplishing anything in life there will be a doubter or two in the mix. People bold enough to voice their discontent with your life choices. Hmm...are you telling yourself that you do not need to read this because you are soooooo past that stage? Do you pride yourself on being the person who has not cared what people thought since grade school? Well if this is you, all I can say is I wish it were that easy.

Yes, with maturity comes greater will and stronger resilience, but there are certain thoughts that penetrate our psyche. If you are like me, you take great effort to fill your inner circle with people who are in essence shareholders in your life. They are vested in your future and when you grow, they grow with you. However, there are times when the most well-intentioned family, friends and mentors may place their fears, doubts and bad experiences in your lap. Some of these folks turn into Naysayers, Haters, Frenemies, Cynics...etc.

The most important thing to pinpoint about these moments is not so much the person, but the underlying issue and how it affects you. Take a minute to focus on the topics:  fear, shame, doubt, inadequacy, insecurity, etc...One or more of these may be your issue and if so the wounds may not be fully healed. Let us take it a step further. On occasion this person might even be you. Some call it the lil' devil on your shoulder", some say it is your inner child who recalls the full timeline of your fears and disappointments.

Oftentimes these events are accompanied with harsh words that pack a powerful wallop. Then there are the sly remarks and slow cookers. Like drinking liquid sand, you may not feel the pain until later. That excruciating first glass of orange juice alerts you to injury, but it is too late. Some people even resort to saying things about you in front of others that they know will gossip (pardon me) "relay the message". While others take to emails, social networks & texts. No matter how you serve it up, a dish of negative words will never be mistaken for comfort food.

3. My Personal Examples
Believe me I've been there. Here are some that have been said about me: Church Girl, Goodie Two Shoes, B!tch, Teacher's Pet, Just a Lil' Girl, Flower Child, Crazy, Fat, Stupid, Black Power Sista, Broke, Spinster, Push-over, The Token Black Girl, White Girl, Girl with Potential, From the Wrong Side of the Tracks, Suburban Brat, Too "Country", etc..

Guess what? I embrace who I am and reject notions that do not define me. Period. I address all repeat offenders of negativity by first recognizing their frame of reference and life experiences (if known). If I receive more negative than positive I evaluate those relationships and take proper detachment action.

4. Solutions
No qualms about it...words hurt! But there are some easy coping mechanisms that you can use almost anywhere. Prayer, Meditation, Deep Breathing, Exercise, Listening to a favorite song, etc... However, sometimes a quick pick me up is as close as the nearest Fortune Cookie or Tea Bag Tag. QUOTES. Yes those lil' strips of paper we often dismiss. If asked, my friends will tell you I always take time to smell a "word rose."

5. Bonus Tips - Quotes
The next time you or anyone else decides they can limit your rise by choking your spirit, take some of these and internalize the spirit of strength and love they possess. Stay faithful to your purpose in the face of adversity.

    1."Don't dignify dirt." Southern Saying

    2. "Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them." African Proverb

    3. "The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks." African Proverb

    4. "Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong." ~Leo F. Buscagalia

    5. "Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him." 
                                                                                                                           Mark 11:23 Holy Bible

Jot a few quotes down or save a strip of paper with a good tidbit on it. Keep them in your phone for quick reference or put up a sticky note. Be vigilant in taking care of your atmosphere. Now go reach those goals!