Thursday, 29 December 2011

Purposeful Negativity


Everything on earth and in heaven has a purpose. If that’s so then every negative force also has a raison d’etre. It’s a tough one to swallow especially when you feel that your life’s been plagued by a series of tragedy, miseries, mishaps, mayhem and plain, old bad luck. It’s even worse when we believe that other people out there have not suffered similar fates and would never understand how it is for you.

You and your life are unique. You and your life are dysfunctional. You and your life are like buds that have never had enough water or sunshine to flourish. You and your life parted company long ago and now you think you’re living someone else’s life – you just don’t recognize it anymore!

Your life has been hijacked and there are hostages.  At least that’s how it feels whenever you try to follow your heart and do something meaningful. Emotional obstacles, financial obstacles, environmental obstacles all appear to thwart your plans. This is the grand plan since you are meant to miss some opportunities as you’re not ready for some and missing some of them could even save your life. 

Stroke of luck?
Just think of the job applicant on 9/11 (01) who threw a sickie as he changed his mind about attending an interview at a brokerage firm in the North Tower. Yup, the boy done good! When you miss a plane, train, bus or taxi there could be a reason so never curse your fate since it could save you from a worst one.

An optimist understands  that negativity serves a purpose and she tries to look on the bright side. When you snag your tights before an important board meeting it makes you feel a lot more human. There’s a silver lining in an injury – perhaps you were overdoing it and needed some well deserved rest. Hard times test your mettle and its good to improve your survival skills. As Martin Luther King once said : the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

Ride the storms
Negativity is a judgement and we can’t help making them. There are some negatives that we can’t find the flip side of and acts of God are excellent examples. When hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and freak weather conditions hit and leave people homeless and the environment devastated its not easy to find the bright side. When there’s a death through illness or accident we cannot see the purpose. A loving and heaveny father sends his son to die on a cross seems a contradiction. When we fail and make mistakes we cannot understand that there is a higher purpose.

Handling our failures is a learning curve. Dealing with the emotional aftermath and our feelings of not being good enough is like treading on hot coals – each step hurts.  As time passes we see that there was a reason behind it, an unexpected blessing, a moment of awakening, a resolution that would never have occurred without the negative event.

So live purposefully and see negativity as something that is character building and makes you appreciate the good times. 
Never wallow in it and do whatever you can to turn it into a positive. 

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