The Fifth Element

I’ve heard it said many times over the past ten years that we become like the 5 people we hang around most. unfortunately this is not just something made up to scare small children and the elderly, this is really true. Keep in mind I will never tell you something is so unless I have personally experienced the “something” as truth (for me anyway). Whenever I hear that, my blood runs cold, my hair stands on end, and I get a lead ball feeling in my gut. Maybe I exaggerate ever so slightly but you catch my drift, yes?

I spend most of my time around negative people, and not just regular run of the mill negative folks, but chronic “I see dead people” doomsday negative people who almost become angry when someone tries to be positive, for cryin out loud!

This, my friends, is where the real horrifying story unfolds…roughly two years ago I realized I HAD BECOME ONE OF THEM!!! WTH??? Somewhere along the line I let myself become the truth of that saying. I had become cynical, bitter, resentful, hopeless and mean-spirited. (okay, I’m not totally cured, I still have my moments) and it broke my heart. I realized I had become the very thing I despised (maybe I should have been more loving, forgiving, and understanding?) and I was at a loss at how to undo the ugly perception of life I was living!

Just like Reader’s Digest “Drama in Real Life”, about two years ago,  I stepped out of a wreck that should have killed me- with a tiny scratch on my nose where my sunglasses had dug in a little when the side of my face hit the glass as my flipping car came to rest on the driver’s side. I stood up and walked out through my broken windshield with the help of a guy very grateful I didn’t hit him head on, and as I lay in the ER with those closest to me surrounding me I saw the truth very clearly. And I wasn’t living it.

That was the beginning of the baby step journey that has brought me this far. Looking the cold hard truth straight in the eyes and realizing I’d created the world I hated. Now, don’t be alarmed, hate isn’t a word I use now to describe that time but it was fitting for my frame of mind then. I’ve learned that to put that much energy into hating something just brings me more of the same-no thank you! I’d rather sit with the bad attitudes long enough to work through them and then move on to a happier place. Hiding, or pretending doesn’t get it. You almost have to hug your ugly parts and say “it’s alright, I understand, it’s rough where we’re standing now but we can go someplace different!”. It may sound weird, but it’s very effective in moving forward instead of being paralyzed by your own perceptions, which causes a hard defensive heart that shuts everyone out (but that is another blog entirely!).

So what do we do? We balance the scales as much as possible while we climb the ladder from the pit of doom up into the sunshine!  We bring in our positive supporters a little closer, we look at our world with clearer, more forgiving eyes and we try to be the fifth person that breaks the cycle for those around us! If someone with a really strong badittude knocks us down a few rungs, well game on baby, we know who we are now right?  So bring it! =)

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