What advice would I give to somebody living with very negative people who talk negatively about life is something I’ve been asked a lot.
This is such a poignant thing which impacts so many people. When you get into recovery and you start reading recovery support literature, listening to podcasts, and start speaking to people who are on the recovery path, it really challenges us to consider what the beliefs and messages that we were brought up with are and how many of them are really helpful to us today. If you are still living in a household where people are very negative and are reinforcing these negative and destructive views all the time, it can be really challenging to keep your focus on your own recovery path.
We all have a tendency to focus our attention on what we don’t want so if we are living with people who are really negative and we can see that they have become trapped in their own destructive cycles, then it is tempting for us to focus our attention on that.
We can feel resentful about that – to feel like,
“I can’t believe I’m living with these people.
I am trying to work my own recovery.
I’m confronted by all this negativity all the time”.
We become really negative as well. We get dragged into this negative way of thinking and we focus our attention on everything that we don’t want.
I believe very strongly that if we want to heal and manifest things in our life we need to focus on what we do want as opposed to what we don’t.
By looking at those people around us, we can begin to reframe how we see things. We can look at those people and think
“I recognise that they are negative.
I recognise that they are trapped in these negative cycles but I am going to make sure that I am not going to repeat these patterns myself.
I am really grateful that I am able to recognise these negative cycles that I am surrounded by.
I have a lot of empathy for those people and am really sad that they are stuck in that cycle.
I am really sad for them that they don’t have this personal insight that they are able to harness a bit more of a positive perspective to life.
I am grateful that I have the opportunity to recognise that because then I have a choice whether I want to be that”.
Sometimes we can use those negative environments to draw strength and to fire us up, to give us motivation and make us fight for something different.
For so many of us who have been raised in an environment which has been abusive or traumatic in some way, we can either be drawn down into that path or we can really come out fighting from the flames and feel like, actually,
“I want something different for myself.
I am going to create a life which is different for me”.
We may stumble or fall and make the same mistakes along the way but we can learn from them and embrace all of those experiences as opportunities to be reflective about the journey that we’re on.
We can think about the people we are having relationships with and think about how we are contributing negatively to those relationships.
When we get trapped in this kind of blame culture, we really get drawn down into this negative spiral ourselves. What we need when we are trying to foster a world of recovery, self compassion and nurture is to start with a place of gratitude and being grateful for what we have rather than focusing our attention on what we don’t. I know that is so hard when you’re faced with abuse/a traumatic situation.
The only way to change things is to shift that energy and to begin to have that sense of gratitude. That doesn’t mean not feeling compassion for how hard things have been for you or how difficult life can be for you at different points. It does mean that you can foster a more positive energy towards yourself and for the life potentially you can be building for yourself.
There are things that I have been through that I would never want to repeat but I recognise that they have made me who I am.
They have given me the opportunity to be deeply empathic with other people who have suffered. They have given me something that has made me want to fight for a different kind of life and to fight for something different – fighting for change. I still have that drive!
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