Thursday, September 6, 2012

Positive Versus Negative

Every once in a while it's a good idea for me to reassess my current life situation, and then consider what I can do to improve it.

I'm not wallowing in self pity, as some may claim, when I talk about how screwed up my life has been, especially the early years of my life.  Our early years define us in many ways, and affect how we interact with life for the remainder of our years.   Just as no one is born a racist yet by being raised by racists, one become a racist, no one is born with overwhelming negative thoughts about life and about themselves, and yet here I am, negative as can be.

The people who raised me were negative people,  (I no longer refer to them as my family).   Not only were they of a general negative disposition, their interaction with me included an extra helping of negativity.   Even after I moved away from home, all they could see were the negative aspects of whatever did, and they never hesitated to tell me what they thought.    Because of this, negativity dominated my life. I grew up thinking in completely negative terms,  I saw only the bad in things, viewed myself in only negative terms.   No wonder I was just a lump of a human being, no friends, no self esteem.  For the first few decades of my life, thoughts of suicide were prominent  in my head.

Oh, there were some few moments when things got better, and could have changed my life, but they never lasted.  The influence of my parents negativity was that strong.   When I was actually experiencing and thinking in positive terms the few non-family people around me usually noticed and mentioned the change.

"You've been walking home from school with your head up, usually you're just looking at the ground," a neighbor once said.   it was said with my mother standing next to me.  It didn't phase her.  It didn't make her pause and think for the moment about my overall state of mind.  My mother was too rapped up in herself to notice such things.

Fast forward to today.  It's been about a decade since I last spoke to my parents.  I've been in therapy for a while.  I've been working to overcome my problems, first by making myself aware of what my problems were, then finding ways in which to fix them.

One of the things that helps  me realize just how negative  I can be is to witness truly positive people as they live their lives.   Seeing what they have as a good thing, I've tried to engage them, make friends with them, join in with their group of friends.   What happens, though, is that my negativity eventually comes out.  It becomes more than these positive people want to deal with, and so these friendships, or attempts as friendship, don't last very long.   I imagine their view of me is much like the SNL character "Debbie Downer".    And I soon revert back to being a lonely, friendless, lump of negativity.

Sure, this is all very sad.   But my life is not a complete loss at this point.  Actually, things are a lot better today.   Yeah, I'm still struggling with life, but there is  hope.    As has become apparent at this point, every good thing that has come my way, has had a positive affect on me and my life, has come to me by way of the Internet.   It is near impossible for me to interact with people face to face, without there eventually becoming a problem.  But on the internet, I can experience people, and life in a safety zone of sorts.    Yes, I have lost friends via the internet as well.  But on the internet I am comfortable enough to continue experiencing and learning about life - something I just can't do in the "real world."

For about a year and a half I have been watching videos on youtube.com, made by a guy known as Shay Carl.   Every day he posts a new video, about his family.   There's really nothing special about how the videos are made.  They are just family videos, they usually last about 15 minutes.

The thing about Shay Carl's videos is that he and his family are the most genuinely positive people I've ever seen.   They are happy people and it comes across in the videos so that watching them being happy makes the viewer happy too.  Their positive attitude about everything is contagious.  I can't help but feel better after watching them.    These people are not fake, are not trying to be something other than themselves, they have the same general family difficulties as any other.   Yet, whatever the problem, they respond to each other, not with angry words and hateful thoughts, but with showering love on each other.    The four children are well behaved, not because they fear the wrath of their parents but because they are so loved by their parents that they purposely honor their parents by being good.   (Children who are well loved by their parents will honor their parents.)

So, for about 18 months now, every single day, I watch one or more of Shay Carl's videos.   And seeing the love and happiness and overall positive attitudes of that family is having a positive affect on me.   Environment means so much.   I was raised in a negative environment and so I ended up being a negative person.   Now I surround myself with as much positiveness as I can, and for this I am becoming  more positive - I am becoming happy.

Shay has also become aware of the positive impact he is having on his fans, and has recently started another youtube.com show that he uses to help motivate others.   About a year ago, Shay was overweight, and he became motivated to lose his "excess Shay".  He has since lost over 100 lbs.   He even inspired some of his fans to lose weight too.    Since then, Shay has been working to help inspire people to do things to improve their lives, in whatever area of their life they want to improve.

He has set this month, September, as a goal setting month.   He has motivated several hundred people, including myself, to set goals for this month, losing weight, saving money, or whatever.   And every day this month he's making a video, talking about our goals, how to achieve them, how to stay positive about them, encouraging everyone along the way to achieving their goals - and even encouraging people to network amongst themselves, those who have similar goals, to be each other's support and inspiration.

I have set some goals, including exercising more, and working to get my blog converted into book form, for kindle.   So far, I'm still on track.   Right now I can only do 5 push ups, and it kills me to do them.  But I am working towards the goal of being able to do 20 push ups by the end of the month.   I'm also transposing at least 5000 words a day from my blog.  By the end of the month I should have a 400 page book completed.

Being able to complete these goals will go a long way in helping me build my self esteem, which will make my happier, and thus more positive in life.   Wish me luck.


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