I grew up Catholic and while I might possibly be the worst Catholic in the world, and disagree with quite a few beliefs within Catholicism every time lent rolls around I can’t help but take part in the Lenten tradition of making a change for 40 days. I don’t know why but it might have to do with the same reason I love New Years Resolutions. Its like those few times a year where you get to decide what you want to improve about yourself and challenge yourself to stick with it. BONUS you have the support of others who are doing the same. And by the way, if you’re religious or unreligious you can definitely join this challenge with me. It has more to do with tradition than it does to do with faith, at least for me.
I’m giving up ranting and complaining because, as much as we love to do those two things, they stem from negativity. We all know negativity is like this never ending black hole-a contagious black hole that sucks all the energy out of you until you have nothing else. Once you’ve been completely depleted you turn to a friend/loved one and unintentionally spread it.
I am a chronic ranter. Whenever I get upset about something I call my trusted tribe consisting of a few friends, my mom and boyfriend. I spill my entire heart out and lay everything on the table. You know when you’re having one of those days and you call your friend and the conversation starts with “Girl…”. For some reason society has told us that this will ultimately make us feel better. I disagree. When I rant to my tribe I am just looking for someone to validate my feelings and say, “OMG you’re so right Danielle, so and so was such a b*tch for that.” But inside, I definitely already know so and so was a b*tch for that. Sorry, so and so but you kind of suck.
Somehow I got the idea that it’s therapeutic to release and spill out all my emotions onto another person, but that’s called dumping. All I’m doing is releasing my negative energy and putting it on someone else. For the other person it may mean nothing, some people genuinely want to be there for you through the good and bad. Keep those people around, they’re so hard to find. But for others it could be the icing on the cake for them to hear a negative story. You have no idea what goes on in someone’s day that they might not want to tell you. It’s just plain out unfair to dump your negative energy on someone else. Especially if they can’t fix or help you rectify the situation.
I think the key to this is really understanding what you want to get out of a conversation when you’re upset. There’s a difference between calling up a friend and discussing something that happened because you want their perspective or help and ranting. But calling a friend to just agree with you isn’t really fair.
At the end of the day my problems are so small. My Starbucks taking 20 minutes, my group member turning in their part of the assignment late, or my coworker being unfair to me doesn’t outweigh real issues like people in Michigan still lacking access to clean, safe water. We are all so incredibly blessed to live the lives we have-even with all the sucky stuff. I am definitely not perfect and I know I’ll have tough days but instead of feeding the urge to wallow in negativity and spread it to others I am just going to try to understand the root of it, let it go, and focus on all of the good in my life. I never, ever, want to be the source of negativity in anyone’s day, especially the people I love. Who knows, I might even have a few more hours of productivity in my month to write some consistent blog posts, lol.