I hope all of you enjoyed a restful, peaceful Easter. There was no Hello From Shari column last week. Every year, SKIL is closed in observance of Good Friday. My family and I had a cookout for Easter.
This week’s column is about negativity and some ways to deal with it. “Negative” is the opposite of “positive.” The word negative has a problematic, unhappy connotation in many people’s minds. Generally, we don’t like being around people we deem as “too negative,” for they can have a bad influence on us, our thinking and even our entire lives if we allow it.
That said—let’s be honest. Most or all of us suffer from occasional bouts of negativity or a negative outlook in our lives, don’t we? We arise in the morning feeling grouchy (some call it “getting up on the wrong side of the bed”) and, even when the sun is shining and the birds are singing their hearts out, we feel unhappy. The proverbial “glass of water” is half-empty, not half-full. We may feel unfulfilled, unappreciated, disrespected, fed up at our spouses and kids, ready to quit our jobs and at our worst, even unworthy and unloved.
Sometimes, our feelings and outlook do stem from a legitimate basis. In my own life, I have had to overcome tremendous negativity and heartache after experiencing terrible events like our house fire last year. What helped keep me plowing forward was the huge outpouring of love, compassion and tangible help that so many showed me and my family during one of the worst times of our lives. It made me realize, in a way I never had before, just how much I truly am valued and loved.
And that’s the best way to fight negativity…to really focus on the good things in life instead of the bad things, while continuing to put one foot in front of the other to move forward. Another effective way to fight negativity is to get in touch with what’s really bothering you, examine if there’s a genuine basis for your unhappiness and try to deal with it. Focusing on actual solutions, and then working to effect them, is a great answer to resolve what’s bothering you.
To do that, and do it effectively, we must first practice acceptance…of our negative feelings, of whatever the situation is that is fueling our unhappiness and realize that we, ourselves, may have a part in the problem.
Tackling negativity, and in a healthy way, is a struggle for many people with disabilities. I encourage all of you, especially during this difficult time in our lives amid the Coronavirus pandemic, to realize that this is a common struggle, not a unique one. It is not “evil” to feel negative, it’s human. Think of yourselves as overcomers, because all of you are.
And remember always that our staff at SKIL and I love you, for we are all in this fight together to overcome negativity in our lives. Thanks for reading my column; I hope it’s been a positive experience for you!