A is for… Alternative.

Last year, I discovered the Pagan Blog Project about half way through the year last year.  I attempted to complete it through catch-up and I failed.  Fairly miserably. This year I get the opportunity to try again.

al·ter·na·tive
noun
  1. one of two or more available possibilities.

There is always a choice in life.  Sometimes it may not seem like there is, but maybe that’s because the choice we have in life isn’t always the easy choice.  Maybe it feels like we really only have once choice and that choice really stinks, but there’s always another option, and the chances are… the second choice stinks more.

This time of year creates two types of people: The I-Loved-2013 People and The Screw-2013 People.  This tells me a lot about the person speaking.

Every single person on the planet has good days and bad days.  Some will have about an even number.  Some will have more “good” days than “bad,” and some will have more “bad” days than “good.”

But there’s my question:  What classifies something as a “good day” or a “bad day”?

good
adjective
  1. to be desired or approved of.
  2. having the qualities required for a particular role.
noun
  1. that which is morally right; righteousness
  2. benefit or advantage to someone or something.
bad
adjective
  1. of poor quality; inferior or defective.
  2. not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome.

Both of those look fairly subjective, don’t they?  How you define good or bad, to me, seems highly personal.  Something that seems like it would be a good thing to me might seem like a bad thing to someone else or vise versa.  Why is this important?

Know Thyself.

Spirituality, to me, is anything that gives meaning to your life and something that makes you want to become a better person than you were the day before.  It is something that is extremely personal and it requires extreme honesty with yourself.  If you plan on growing spiritually as a person, you first have to know where you need to grow spiritually.  If you want a “better” year, you have to know what made your last year so “bad.”  And then you have to be willing to do something about it.

There’s been a picture floating around Facebook with a quote that’s been attributed to Joel Osteen, but I haven’t been able to find a source for that.  “You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.”  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  If I just find a bunch of positive
positivenegative
people, then my life will become more positive.  If I make sure that my everyone around me is a positive person, then my life will be positive as well.

Wrong.

A positive life doesn’t come from being around positive people.  A positive life comes from being positive yourself.  You can surround yourself with all the positive people you want, but if you aren’t taking steps to be a more positive person on your own, then it will never work.

What makes a person negative?  Is it the way they talk or act?  What’s behind those words and actions?  A bad day?  A bad week?  A bad month?  Is it a bad situation that they are in currently or a bad situation from the past that they haven’t been able to let go of?  Is it really that bad of a situation or is it bad to them?  There are so many possibilities to what makes a person negative that it’s really difficult to figure out if that person is actually a negative person.  Work with me on this for a second.  If you can’t pin-point what makes a person negative, how can you call that person a negative person?  And if it’s just a moment in time that makes this person negative, then are they really a negative person or just having a bad day?

My point is, there are so many alternatives out there in life.  There are more paths that people can walk down than there are people.  A positive path for me may not be a positive path for someone else.  That doesn’t make that person (or me for that matter) a negative person.  It makes me, me.

When you say negative vs. positive, you say the same thing as bad vs. good.  You categorize people into one of two boxes: one you define as positive and one you define as negative.

I want to try someone new for a change.  I want to eliminate the “negative” all together and see people for just what they are: people.  I want to start seeing people not as negative people but people going through negative situations.  I want to become a more positive person by weighing the alternatives of the paths set before me, determining which of those alternatives is the one I deem as positive and then taking that path, making that choice.  Being a positive person comes from determine what positive means to you, what good means to you, and then making choices that fulfill what you already believe.

Maybe the problem isn’t that we’ve surrounded ourselves with negative people or that 2013 really really sucked.  Maybe the problem is that we’re not looking for the positive, and until we look for the positive in our lives in all situations, we won’t truly see the changes in our lives that we so desperately want to see.  If 2013 was a horrible year for you, determine why it was and then make some changes that will prevent that from ever happening again, but don’t look at the situations and think there’s nothing you can do.

Yes, maybe there are some things that happened that you couldn’t prevent.  There could very well be some situations that were bad that happened to you or your family that made times difficult, but if it was enough to destroy 365 days, then I’m going to start wondering if something else is going on.  Bad situations are good situations for learning and growth and humility and memories of times past.  They’re a time for mourning, healing, change and continuance.

It’s time to stop focusing on the negative and take the alternative path.  It’s time to look at the negative situations, really look at them, and find what positive we can.  The Gods or Higher Powers at Be sometimes put situations and people into our lives simply so we can learn something from them.  They don’t mean for these situations to make us negative or create a negative outlook for us, but sometimes we get caught up in them and that’s what happens.  

Maybe that’s the lesson that we need to learn from that situation: how to remain positive when all else seems to fall around us.  Maybe what we need is to learn from the negative we see and feel, to understand what our world is trying to tell us, to see the alternatives in all situations, and to learn that we do not need to surround ourselves with positive people but to make the choice to be more positive ourselves.

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Posted on January 2, 2014, in Life, Pagan Blog Project, Paganism, PBP, Positive, Religion, Spirituality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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