I find it rather disheartening in a way, as I aim to make change and be the person I want to be, that there are those who will make snide remarks along the way. I normally don’t use labels but for this blog I will use them as examples.
When I decided to stop hiding my non-belief in any gods and announced my atheism, I thought I received a pretty decent reception to my announcement, although a few people made hurtful remarks. Strangely in the years since, the only people who shower me in hate speech are a tiny portion of people who claim they follow the teachings of Jesus. I followed the teachings of Jesus early on in life and hate was never part of his teachings.
I really didn’t follow politics closely but at some point in my life I started hearing remarks made about some of the values I hold close to me. I found these views were similar to “Liberal” views. While derogatory remarks were made of Liberals, I took those remarks to be equally made about me. It seemed more hurtful when friends and family made such derogatory comments.
Throughout the years when I have decided to quit smoking or quit drinking, I found that I lost friends because of it. I was no longer their drinking or smoking buddy. One of my aims is to quit coffee (Caffeine) so I anticipate losing my coffee mates 😉 (Pun on Coffee-mate).
One only needs to view the world around them to see hate, divisiveness and anger. I made a choice about two years ago to make a change. I can’t change other people but I can change myself. I am a good person but know I can be better. In order to change the world, it is not enough to change yourself, you need to make the world of people around you a better place. Start off with kindness!
I had a challenge the other day. I’ve been slowly changing my environment for the better. Upon seeing this, someone made somewhat of a negative comment about the positive changes I am trying to make. I’m quite sure this person was trying to be funny but I was taken aback by the comment and I struggled with it. Unfortunately, I attached to their negativity. I sat with someone else’s negativity for 30 minutes before I realized:
This is not my negativity, it is their negativity and I am not going to hold onto it. I am happy and positive about the changes I am making!
I felt so much better and didn’t think about it again…until I got an idea to blog about it!
Any changes you make are going to come with challenges. You may lose friends, you may gain friends. You leave a job, you start a new job. You move to a new city and leave an old one behind. Change can be stressful, sometimes there is a fear of the unknown and sometimes fear of failure. If you are making the changes for the better, you ought to think positive about such changes and not attach to the negative.
I wrote this as a reminder to myself. While I still somewhat struggle with clinging to the negative, I am happy that I am aware of it. I will not let it interfere with me being the person I aim to be.