Sunday, February 8, 2009

Broadcast me a joyful noise.

" We're sick of being jerked around
We all fall down."

I have a friend I will call "Sam." Sam is one of those people that look at life as something that is constantly out to get him. Mind you, he's had some rough going in recent years; multiple moves within a 2-3 year period, a job that he thought was going to be far better than it is, and dealing with a whole host of other ills. He's a friend that I have needed to step back from a bit, especially after a nasty incident last year that tested my patience. I can be a very loyal friend, but when I feel that friendship is being abused, I do not take it well.

All this aside, he is simply not an optimistic individual. It is not in his make-up, and therein lies the problem. Negativity. It seems as though over the past several years, I have been encountered too many people in my life that are of the "glass half empty" variety. It is especially difficult when I am trying hard to keep focus on carving out a new career, or rather an old passion that is turning into a new career.

The yin and yang that is life requires us to accept that which is inevitable; people in our lives come and go. They can energize us or depress us, but it is how we react to it that molds our outlook. I think that what partially fueled my depression in past years was the fact that all too often I paid too much heed to those that swung too far in the direction of that which is dark. It was easy, as misery does indeed love company. There was a certain solace in the fact that others were in an even more screwed up state than I was, which is pretty amazing looking back on it from a distance.

"Its been a bad day.
Please dont take a picture
Its been a bad day.

After going through my illness and transplant experience, you might think that it should be easy to look at life more positively, and on the whole, I do. Coming close to death (twice now, actually) made me understand that truth that I always knew, but never fully realized; life is fleeting. Enjoy your life now. One of my heroes, Joseph Campbell was asked by Bill Moyers, "You mean you are describing the search for the meaning of life?" "No." was Campbell's reply.
"I think that what we're searching for is an experience of being alive."

I think that this is what has allowed me to shift my view of who I am keeping company with these days. I don't deny the existence of the negative elements of my life, as this would be too Pollyana-ish of me. It would also go against the realistic, cynical part of my nature, which helps keep my common sense in tune. I do think though that it is far more important for me to maintain and nurture those friendships that help me keep focused on the energy that is positive, that will drive me towards making what I want to do a reality.

"Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings."


Zed said...

Your post has touched me close to the heart - but I think you know why.

People/friends/partners/lovers/spouses who use and abuse you can easily lose your friendship.

Sometimes though, it is not all that easy :(

WV: syfists ... mmmm...
the fists are tempting - but no. Not me.

Peter said...

Your post reminded me of the eloquent lines Veronica McCabe, a friend and former expat now living back in the US posted today:

Negative emotions can suck you dry, misery does indeed love company.

Finding a healthy balance can be a daily challenge, but much like yourself, I'm concentrating on those friendships that help me keep focused on the energy that is positive.

VioletSky said...

I have a few friends that I have learned to avoid when I am feeling a little 'down', or even too happy, for fear they will bring me 'down' with their negativity. They are for my neutral or devil-may-care days.

And Joseph Campbell, eh?!
Good choice of heroe.

oooh WV is pisses!!

Jay said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes our friends do cause us more harm than good, and sometimes that works both ways too. I know I've had to distance myself from people in the past, and no doubt will have to again.

It's sad when it happens, but there's no point continuing a relationship which has gone sour.