A few weeks ago, I wrote about dealing with change. As I said, I have been enduring a season with a lot of change lately and I found myself in the middle of a cesspool of negativity because of it. It can happen pretty easy, right? We humans can be pretty resistant to change, especially when circumstances that directly affect us but are outside of our control are involved. It’s made worse when the amount of change is significant. Job changes, financial stress, relational conflict, and loss of a loved one are all examples of circumstances that can often be outside of our control but have the potential to rock our world!
So the negativity grew like a cancer within me. I found every reason to complain and every excuse not to press on and do what I knew I was supposed to do. And it didn’t help that those around me were wallowing in that same cesspool. Something had to give because I was on a path that I knew was bad for me and I was not being a good example to those around me. My attitude stank like a rotten egg and it was time to take out the trash.
That blog post I alluded to early was the starting place. As I realized that I didn’t have control over any aspect of the situation, an urgency began growing inside to change my perspective. (There are few things we truly have control over, and perspective is definitely one of them!) It was almost like someone tossed a rope ladder down to me in the pit so I could climb out. You’ve seen the movie scenes where the good guy struggles to escape danger by climbing up the rope ladder dropped from a hovering chopper. It doesn’t look easy, does it? And that’s how my exit from negativity happened. Slow and intentional. I’ve had setbacks, but I kept climbing hand over hand, foot over foot.
I also received help along the way too. I specifically remember one night a buddy exchanged text messages with me for close to an hour about the situation. (Probably would’ve been easier to pick up the phone!) He related to my situation (grace) and added some perspective (truth) to it, and helped me more than he probably knows. It’s like he was there holding his hand out to pull me out of the cesspool. And it worked! I’m very thankful for the number of family and friends in my life that have helped me over the years.
So now, I’m finally out of the negativity. It feels fantastic to be back to “normal”. But there are still moments or days when I’m drawn back into it. Those are the times that I have to remind myself of the perspective I so desperately want to maintain. I can’t control the situation, but I can control how I respond to it. No matter how bad the circumstances are, I can still choose to work hard and give my all to whatever tasks that are in front of me.
If you find yourself in the negativity cesspool and want to escape it, I encourage you to remember these same things that helped me out. Change your perspective. Reach out to someone you trust. And remember how easy it can be to slip back into it. Let’s face it. Change and hard times are going to come which means negative attitudes will emerge in all of us. How we respond to those circumstances is what really matters.