Friday, June 12, 2009

Striving for Positivity

Awhile ago I read this Buddhist philosophy that one must accept suffering. Not in that we need to be resigned to the suffering and give up, (especially of others)but rather just accept that no matter what we do, living involves some suffering... No matter how hard we try, we might get sick, or lose a job, or have a hard time financially... it is bound to happen as part of life. Once you can accept that suffering is going to happen at some time, then you don't need to dwell on it.

I really like this idea, especially as someone who is going through a hard time. I have found that the more I remind myself of that, the easier it is to see through the difficulties, and be able to concentrate on the positives that are happening in life. I have been working really hard to try to incorporate this mind-set into my life.

But seeing as how there is a lot of stuff in my life that is difficult right now, it's really quite a challenge. I think the most challenging thing is living with my parents again. At age 27, it's hard enough to live with your parents. But coming back here, I have noticed how hard it is to strive for positivity when you are surrounded by family who is often dwelling on the negative.

I wonder if anyone else has an ideas of how to deal with this? It is already a struggle for me to strive for positivity while being unemployed, very poor, living at home, and half way around the world from the person I want most to be with. So now, how do I deal living with my parents and sister, who are often prone to dwelling on the tiniest things.

I wonder the right way (if there is a way)to try an encourage family members to strive for positivity too... I think my methods of a.) pointing out how negative they are being doesn't work (since now you are complaining!) or b.) pointing out that most people in the world, for example, don't have a dish washer to complain about don't seem to work.

I don't want to come off haughty, or to be complaining about complaining... so how DOES one encourage others not to (ahem) drag me down into negativity land?

3 comments:

chitta said...

You probably already know the answer. I would say, by being positive. It will rub off on the rest of the family. (Came here via Sepia Mutiny)

linzi said...

hmmm... I hope so!

agoodtraveler said...

I went through something similar a number of years ago. Even now, many people I know intimately are enduring a lot of painful things ranging from home foreclosure to cancer. Libraries provided a free and inspiring place away from difficulty, as did public green spaces like parks. Currently, I am buoyed by prayer and meditation the most. Meditation helps clear a space to acknowledge the pain and injustice life sometimes gives without being flattened by it. Also, allows other people to be negative without sponging it up for yourself. :) All the best, Elizabeth