We have been given everything! Isn’t it beautiful?! What wondrous beauty is all around us! We should spend every waking minute with a prayer of gratitude in our hearts for the beauty of the earth, our families, our homes, and our very lives. No matter what our circumstances, or what trials we face, we are truly blessed. Many voices out there would have us believe there is no hope.
In the age of technology, we have become whiners and complainers about seemingly everything—in public via the internet. Even if I manage to get out of bed in a good mood in the morning, it isn’t long before someone is trying to bring me down and have me believe that life stinks. We must fight that! All the negativity comes from Satan. Heavenly Father’s plan is full of light and happiness. We need to drown out the voices of negativity around us.
We live in a less-than-perfect world filled with too much negative self-criticism. Negativity reinforces itself until we see ourselves as sorry creatures with few abilities or gifts. But understanding that there will be problems throughout life diminishes pressure and allows us growing room as we work our way toward our goals
I made a decision long ago to serve the Lord in whatever situation I found myself. When I am under stress, I try to figure out how what I am thinking will help me become more celestial. This self-examination, coupled with prayer, helps me face and overcome the negative aspects of my life (Mildred Barthel, “Happiness along the Way,” Ensign (Apr. 1987).
I learned a lot about drowning out negativity from my parents. My parents struggled with trials their entire lives, but they never let life get them down. Sure there were times when they were discouraged, but they always managed to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was always a silver lining. Most importantly, they had a sense of humor about everything. Humor is the natural antidote for negativity. I have often wished that I could be the fairy god mother of social media and sprinkle humor from status update to status update. Wouldn’t that be lovely?! I picture myself as a plump little fairy stumbling over words, but always with a funny way to look at things.
There is a time to be serious, but there is also a time to laugh. We are supposed to enjoy life here on earth. If that were not so, there would be no flowers, no birds, no waterfalls, and no ocean breeze. When we stop to smell the roses, we bring peace and joy into our lives and drown out the negative voices around us.
We can’t always remove the Negative Nellies from our lives, but we don’t have to let them spoil the way we look at life. Some Negative Nellies can be trained to see the beauty in life; and some not. You just have to let the words of those who continue to remain negative go in one ear and out the other.
Accept them for who they are, but don’t let them rain on your parade. Sometimes a little distance is necessary, even if it is to move to a different cubicle in the office. If that is not possible, a cute sign over your space banning all negativity may be in order. At times it is even necessary to have a conversation with Negative Nellie about an attitude correction—in a nice way, of course.
It is especially difficult when the negativity comes from a member of your own household. Those are times when family councils may be in order to set goals, solve problems, and adjust attitudes. Often people don’t even realize how negative they are becoming until it is pointed out to them. Tact is needed when discussing this type of an issue, as no one likes to see themselves as someone who brings others down. Most often they have no idea how their attitude is affecting those around them.
Of course, there is always some self-examination that is necessary before confronting someone about negativity. First and foremost we must decide if the negative aura is really coming from within us. It is possible to see those around us as being negative when the negativity is really coming from our own personality. One must ask, “Am I reacting inappropriately to this person, or is this person really Negative Nellie?” Self-examination is always the starting point to any conversation.
Don’t let the world get you down! Be of good cheer! You have survived a lifetime of problems already, and today won’t be any different. No matter what happens today, you will still be a child of God. You are loved. Isn’t that worth a little rejoicing? Isn’t that worth tolerating today’s problems?
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Jesus Christ gave us our reason to rejoice and be of good cheer. Let that be our reason for drowning out the negative voices around us.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.