Staying on course

I have been insanely busy over the past few months navigating through an office move, several extracurricular projects, a very full workload, a new and wonderfully fulfilling relationship, and some home improvement thrown in for entertainment. But I haven’t been so busy that I have failed to notice a disturbing level of negativity, blaming and stubbornness all around me — particularly in the arenas of business and work.

It is incredible how many times in the past few weeks I have hit a wall someone has built around themselves because they have focused all of their energy outward to prevent whatever it is they are trying to prevent from happening. It’s hard not to get sucked into it — especially when it seems that the force of the circling negativity threatens to pull everything down and in.

Believe me, I am not perfect — I often wake in the night fearing we are all going to hell in a hand basket. I am super-efficient and prone to dismissing what isn’t working well by just letting a bridge completely burn because it seems like too much effort to stop it.

I made a pact with myself earlier this year to accept and embrace that the only thing that is really in my power is the ability to manage myself in space and time. I can’t fix other people. I can’t make someone else fix themselves. I can’t change another persons way of being or replace what they are missing in their own heart, mind or soul — that is their own life’s work.

So, how do I fight it? How can I help somebody who needs help? How do I do battle with the negativity monster without losing myself in the war?

Every day, I thank whatever is out there for giving me this life. I pet my cats and tell my loved ones they matter to me. I thank myself for getting my lazy butt into the gym and doing some cardio, and for topping it off with a healthy meal. And, I am thankful and extremely grateful I have skills and the talent to provide me with a means to support myself in the current economic climate. I am grateful that I am mentally and physically able to work very hard and even do extra work to stay afloat in the churning storm. And, I fervently hope and believe in my heart that calm will come again.

Yes, I am grateful for this life, because I have seen what it might have been if circumstances were different when I was born. I try not to blame, even though the temptation is great. Instead of blaming, I repeat my mantra: ” All I can do is manage myself in space and time.” And then, I act on that mantra and manage to find a way in myself to turn negativity around and find something to be thankful for in whatever vexing thing is in front of me. When someone close to me gets sucked into negativity, I try to steer myself clear of their spinning, and then point out a direction they might navigate toward — to change negative thoughts they are locked into. I accept those things I have no power to change, and instead work toward keeping myself and my ideals intact in the face of it.

Try to find the good. Focus on that good and keep going. Help others to see the good. And be grateful for it.


About Helen Driggs

Metalsmith, Teaching Artist, Writer, Maker of things. Former Senior Editor of Lapidary Jewelry Artist Magazine View all posts by Helen Driggs

One response to “Staying on course

  • Dottie Moon

    Thanks for the reminder Helen. I struggle around negative people at work and have a spouse that often falls into that pit. I try to see & focus on the good and the blessings in my life…… and then escape to my bench for some quiet creative time.

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