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One day last spring, I chucked a sickie. And instead of going to work, I went into Milton and had lunch with Tracey, a friend of Veronique’s that I’d known online for three years, but never had the chance to meet in person.
Over lunch, Tracey told me all about her on/off friendship with Veronique, and how it’d been like that for most of the previous four or five years. It wasn’t a negative atmosphere though, and overall, I quite enjoyed my trip out. On the way home though, I decided to take in a movie. It didn’t start for a while, so I sat on a sunny afternoon in the shade of some trees in the park at Southbank. And I began to think, sitting there with my chocolate thickshake, waiting for the movie, which was about an hour from starting.
I looked at the way things were with Tracey & Veronique, and how whenever one of them would do something, the other would interpret the action as a negative. Veronique got a job as a teacher, and sent Tracey an email showing pics of her classroom, so Tracey took that as Veronique boasting, because Tracey hadn’t gotten a teaching job straight out of uni. Or Tracey asked her sister-in-law to be her bridesmaid, so Veronique took it as an insult that she wasn’t part of the bridal party, and so boycotted the wedding.
The actions themselves weren’t negative or hostile, but they were being perceived as acts of war. And it occurred to me that the real problem was that Tracey and Veronique were depressed and unhappy with aspects of their own lives, and that was the cause of how their friend’s action was being perceived.
So there in the park in the shade, I realised something. All negative emotions – anger, frustration, jealousy, hatred, hostility – they all come from lack of self-esteem. I have to dislike myself in order to feel those emotions.
Although it sounds simple, that was a startling revelation. Any time someone is feeling negative, it’s their internal problem. And doesn’t reflect on me.
That first epiphany was the kind that made me aware I’d seen the world wrongly up to that point. What came next was a real surprise: those negative emotions, that are built on self-loathing. I didn’t feel them. I didn’t feel hatred or anger or jealous of anyone.
For someone who has been treated for depression for much of the past ten years, discovering I was happy came as something of a shock. I didn’t become happy that day, but I noticed I was no longer depressed. I’m not quite sure when the depression stopped. But it had. And I knew it had because a drama that’d happened earlier in the year didn’t have the negative effect on me that it might have a year or five years earlier.

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3 Comments

  1. All negatives are a result of your decision to take it negatively. You choose to perceive it as a negative.

    It’s taking me a long time to see it all that way, but I do realise that’s the way it is!

  2. Hi Enny
    We’ve often been trained to see things the other way, and take everything personally. But it is possible to re-programme. Glad you on a similar path.
    Aurelius

  3. Listening to that teacher talk reminds me of a friend of mine.. there was a lot of inner resentment when I got offered a teaching placement straight after uni and she didn’t. I’m hoping the negativity doesn’t reflect on me, though, and we’re still mates even now.

    It’s nice to get hit with the happy/content stick every now and then!


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By A Seed is Born « Aurelius’ New Direction on 22 Jun 2007 at 7:41 pm

    […] Seed is Born Following the revelation I had in this post, I began to look at where I was with my life, and why. And I especially began to look at the […]

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