Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Positivity in politics: Is there such a thing?

It's been hard for me to come out of the funk that's shadowed me for the last few weeks and as I go through one of the most pivotal changes of my life, I'm sure that shadow will periodically cloud me over the next several months. For the most part, my journey from this point out is clear and I continue to learn and grow as a person. But just because things are clear, doesn't mean it's easy.

This political campaign season, both nationally and locally, has been especially heated; I don't remember any such time before where it has been so bad. It's no wonder that people become apathetic or are afraid to voice their opinions.  Over the last several months, I have found myself withdrawn from posting my own opinions, simply because I just don't want to deal with the negativity that usually follows. I have enough drama and stress in my personal life that I don't need to scramble to defend myself online. So much for strong, vocal me, huh? It's hard not to let this stuff get to you. It's hard to stay positive when you read and hear so much negativity. One of my pitfalls is that I tend to focus on the bad things people say and dismiss the good. Negativity seems to have so much more power than positivity and I guess that's why people have to work harder to be at peace with themselves and the world around them. One of my Facebook friends, Bronson Lee, wrote, "Individuals who are able to maintain a positive outlook on life no matter the situation are an inspiration to me. I wholeheartedly desire to obtain this type of emotional balance in my life. I am often put to the test, and I frequently fail!" I feel the same way. While I'm not quite to that point where I don't let others get to me, I feel that I'm continuing to learn and will soon be able to say, "You know what? I really don't care what you think of me. I'm happy and my kids are happy and that's all that matters."

Politics in of itself has such a negative connotation that during my campaign for council, anytime someone called me a politician, I vehemently denied that title. And each time I hear or see someone post or say something that is blatantly false, or an opinion that isn't backed by information so abundantly out there for them to read, something inside me starts to boil and that's something that I need to learn to let pass. Though I'm currently involved in a political group, it has taken some time for me to acclimate to that role. I'm gradually learning how to navigate the negativity without letting it impact the very details of my life.  I had to ask myself if I felt strongly enough about this cause to pursue it without doubts, to work at it without letting the aura around it affect my life in a negative manner, and if I was really pursuing it for the right reasons. I don't know that I've fully reached a decision yet but the decision-making process has been an educational experience for me.  To guide me, I take a look at what a dear friend of mine has accomplished. I watched him go from one of the worst turns of his life to reshaping it into something toward the better good. It's inspiring and helps me focus more on what I need to do for myself.

In the meantime, I will try to be as positive as I can be. It's hard to see how dismal the world has gotten while maintaining a sense of sunshine. It's difficult to see what new ways people are coming up with to hurt each other while trying to stay optimistic.

Enthusiasm and positivity, though, is what is needed to further oneself in life and that's exactly what I strive to do. Here's hoping your goals are the same no matter where you are in life.

Peace, love, and optimism,


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