I have a friend who has gone through more than his fair share of hardship in the last couple of years and it has affected his attitude and outlook on life. He was always a pretty positive person that chose to see the good in people and the good things in life and that has changed recently and he struggles with it. He doesn’t like the fact that life has beat him down (his words) and that he no longer thinks people are in general good and that things will always turn out right.
It has gotten to the point where people are avoiding being in his presence because he drags them down which he has noticed. This depresses him even further which makes the sarcasm and hurtful words even stronger which of course makes people avoid him even more.
What to do?
How do you turn off the negativity and regain that “rosy outlook” on life?
Read a book? Listen to a tape? Go to a seminar? Read the Bible? Seek professional counseling?
YES to all of the above but I think it goes even deeper than that. I think you have to get right with yourself and in your own head before any of those external things can help. I think you need to find one thing or person that you can count on no matter what to make your “rock” that everything else can be built on.
Here’s what I suggested he do:
(You might have to modify this suggestion to fit your situation)
Ship your kids off to your mother-in-laws for the weekend and take your wife away for the weekend somewhere quiet and secluded where there will be no interruptions. There is a cabin up in the mountains that is perfect for this situation. Turn off all cell phones, computers, radio and TV and only give the phone number to the cabin turn your mother-in-law for emergency purposes with strict instructions not to call unless a child is in mortal danger.
Let your wife know as soon as you get to the cabin that you are not looking for the answers you are only looking for an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on.
Spend the entire weekend doing nothing but being alone with your wife, take walks, sit on the porch and talk, make love to her and just be a couple. Tell her your worst fears, your greatest dreams, your most private thoughts and all the little things that are bothering you about everybody you know. In other words, vomit up every single thought that comes into your brain…don’t hold anything back no matter what it is or where it comes from.
As the weekend progresses and you get all of that anger, pain, hatred and fear out of your system you will be able to refill your soul with good thoughts and feelings. Think of it like a glass that is full, you cannot add more to it until you take some of what is in the glass away first. So you have to empty the glass of all the negative and pain before you can put back the good and positive that you knew before.
By the time you drive home Sunday night you will be a completely different person who has chosen your own outlook on life and how you want to react to the world around you. You will also realize that the “rock” I mentioned before is actually you. You are the person that you can count on no matter what may come and that you can build the foundation of your life upon.
Don’t get me wrong, your relationship with your wife will be much, much deeper and healthier than it ever was before but your wife can’t be the rock in your life because she is a different person with different wants and needs. If you make her your rock and something happens to her everything you built on that rock will disappear and you will be worse off than you are now!
Now, take that seminar and read that book and seek that counseling and you will gain the benefit from it.
What do you think dear reader?
Are you willing to try this? Are you willing to let your defenses down long enough to empty that glass of hate, fear, lothing and pain?
Will you do what it takes to change your whole life and the lives of those around you?