The other day growing through the internet I came across a statement made by someone who was looking to rid themselves of what they called a “negative” person in their life. The claim was made that someone was always making negative statements and the person was saying how they didn’t want to hear the negativity.
When I first read that post I thought, “that could be me”. My posts recently have been very negative as we have encountered one problem after another with our new project of updating an old 1950s condo in the middle of nowhere, Montana (named by the national news media not me) and a simple job has been one endless nightmare. I felt badly. I felt like someone had thrust a knife into my back and turned it because I have been negative and here I’m hearing that perhaps my negative (honest) posts are a problem for someone else.
But the more I thought about it, the more I think the original statement is in error. You see, in life, we have ups and downs. We have good times and bad. Life cannot be all happy, skipping through fields of flowers and laughing. No, there are bad times as well. The question is…is it wrong to share the negative aspects of our lives with others? The original poster would have you believe that sharing the negative aspects in our lives makes us a “negative Nellie” and that just brings others down. We should be GRATEFUL and have GRATITUDE for everything at all times.
Yeah, that’s a nice idea. Sure, I’ve gone through that. I’ve kept gratitude journals. I’ve kept my chin up. I’ve done all those things.
When my husband left me after 2 years of marriage with no explanation and no reason, I pushed onward. I kept going to work, I looked at it as an opportunity to examine my life and find out what things I might be doing wrong in the marriage. I read books, sought counseling, did all those positive things to push onward to make my life better. Sure he left, but I was not going to waste the opportunity to examine myself and become a better person. Was I sad, absolutely but I didn’t drag anyone down. I persevered. I overcame.
And when he returned and we started a family and I had to give up everything I wanted out of life to make his life what he wanted it to be, I continued to persevere. I endured many nights dealing with our children alone while he was out God only knows where doing God only knows what. But I kept the faith. I didn’t tell anyone of our problems. I continued to seek improvement to better myself and the children so we could be the perfect family.
And when he cheated on me openly while I was 7 months pregnant with child number 5 and he wanted a divorce but couldn’t file due to the pregnancy, I prayed, kept the faith and didn’t tell anyone what was going on. I endured the emotional pain alone with my children and no one knowing the torment I was in daily as he told me every day he didn’t love me and he was leaving as soon as the baby was born. I endured as he brought his mistress to our house and introduced her to our children. All the while I was being the dutiful Christian wife, not condemning him of his sin but reflecting on my own, working on myself to see where I could improve.
And when he decided he wanted to try to restore our marriage, I endured the endless counseling and marriage seminars to build a better marriage all while not divulging his sins. For five years I endured the torment of knowing he cheated and him refusing to admit it in every counseling session we ever had. I endured all the blame that our marital problems were all my fault. If I would only ____ he would be happy and we’d have a good marriage.
And I endured the shock and horror of Valentine’s Day when he decided he didn’t want to be part of our lives anymore and he put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, leaving me with a half finished house remodel, six children,2 of whom were in diapers.
And I endured everything that came after that with his relatives calling CPS making anonymous accusations against me and trying to take our children away. I endured my children being placed into foster care and all the rumors and gossip being spread about me being the reason for his suicide. I endured all of that and I kept the faith, I persevered, I endured, I smiled when inside I was devastated on so many levels. I sang when inside my heart was not just broken but shredded to pieces, waded up and kicked around.
And I endured when 8 years after his death his friend called to tell me that for 18 years of our marriage my husband was having a homosexual affair. Yes, I even endured that. I accepted my husband never loved me and that our entire marriage was nothing more than a lie.
I also handled my father’s illness and subsequent death, settled his estate and helped my mother get settled in a new life free of the things my father asked me to help her out of.
I have been strong, I have battled, I have kept the faith, I have smiled when there was absolutely nothing in my life to smile about. But through all of those things I learned that God didn’t put us here to go through life alone. He put us here to share with each other and we don’t need someone to lift us up when we’re happy,. I discovered that sometimes the only way to get through the difficult days is to share our problems with others and even if they only say a quick prayer for us that day, it is one prayer of hope that you, or I might not have had the strength that day to utter.
So when you see others sharing something negative or they just seem to always be sharing negative comments, it may be because they have reached their limit as I have with this tiny little condo in the middle of nowhere, Montana. It is the proverbial straw the broke the camels back. I have no more positivity, I have no more perseverance, I have no more smiles to hide the reality. It may seem silly to be upset over what others might perceive as small problems in the world, but in my world, it is the end of a very long journey that has been more difficult than I ever imagined. Perhaps when someone shares with you something negative, they don’t need your judgment, your criticism or your suggestions on how they could do better or should get over it, perhaps, all they need is a little prayer uttered on their behalf because they don’t have the faith to utter one of their own.