The Importance of Positivity in the Face of Adversity and Hate: A Personal Tale

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve not had the easiest of times over the last few years in terms of friendship groups, some pretty intense bullying, family issues, assault and mental health problems – to name a few. Although I’m not quite ready to delve any deeper into these with the whole world, I just wanted to share some of my thoughts in my safe space. I will only be speaking very generally because what I’m sharing is something that I think is important to consider throughout many of life’s difficult situations. It makes those bitter pills just a little easier to swallow – with less chance of choking.

  1. In life, you’ll probably meet more people that have a negative impact on you than a positive one – but that makes the fantastic people that you do meet even more amazing!
  2. People will shame you for being you. For looking the way you do, dressing the way you do and believing in the things that you believe in. Hey, even just existing is enough for some people to spout endless lies about what a terrible person you are, or to deliberately make you miserable to help themselves feel better. Whether these are snarky passing comments, occur relentlessly day-in day-out or a combination of the two, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with (especially when you know in your heart that none of it is true). Even though it seems like the last thing you want to do, sometimes it makes more sense to try and see these things through the eyes of the shit-deliverer: people tend to have their own horror stories and so for the most part, they aren’t just simply being cruel for the sake of it – it stems from something bigger than you, in their personal lives and in their own stories. Although this doesn’t make it just or right or any fucking easier to sleep at night, it doesn’t hurt to at least consider the fact that we can all be irrational and make mistakes or act a certain way if we feel threatened by people’s differences, personalities and interests.
  3. Everyone has their own truth, which is not always the same as fact. Sometimes people choose to believe something different because it is easier, or it excuses them or their behaviour. Sometimes people read situations differently and we read each other wrong. I think that in any one situation, it is almost impossible for everyone directly involved not to feel hurt in some way or by something/someone. We are all human, we all make mistakes and misjudgments and that’s okay. At the end of it all, we learn something more about ourselves and about other people.
  4. Rethink your values, morals and how you want to live your life. If you find yourself in a situation or perhaps friendship that has a reoccurring toxicity or clashes with your own beliefs and morals, sometimes it’s time to let those things or those friends go. Obviously having your differences is great, it gives you and others the gift of perspectives that differ from your own – which in itself is a chance to learn and grow. I believe people come into your life for a reason and that there is something to be learned from every interaction (positive, negative, neutral) and sometimes these situations or friendships run their course and expire naturally – and that’s totally okay!
  5. Be unapologetically you, so long as you’re not going out of your way to hurt anyone! People who appreciate your qualities will stick around and people who don’t generally won’t – there’s like 8 billion of us, it’s virtually impossible to get along with everyone and be friends with everyone because we are all so different in countless ways.
  6. One of the biggest (and best) changes I have made to my life is basically to cleanse myself and cleanse anything that unnecessarily exacerbates my anxiety without good cause or reason. Since then, I’ve learned more about myself in just a few months than I have in my entire life. I’m the most me I’ve ever been and I’m so thankful I get to explore who I am with people that want to see me flourish and not fail. My confidence is ten times more than it used to be, I’m able to embrace my flaws and my assets because I’m actively trying to surround myself with positivity and love and staying well away from hatred-breeding grounds and toxic situations and groups. Life is short, and if I can’t love myself because of what other people will think and say, then what can I do? Not an awful lot!
  7. Live your life for you. Be kind to people around you, and if you find that you’re struggling to be kind or people aren’t being kind to you, walk away.  As human beings, we spend way too much time bitching and hating and picking each other apart. Even if you’re the nicest person in the world, we are all guilty of it at some stage in our lives… and that’s alright so long as we learn from it. I’m not going to endlessly persecute anyone for making a few mistakes, nothing good comes from it.
  8. If you don’t feel able to love yourself as a whole just yet, try and find one thing a day, or a week or just as often as possible that you do like about you and embrace it. It’s not fucking easy and it’s very rarely ever complete but I truly believe that if you can give yourself a break and say something nice to yourself, and show yourself some compassion, life can be so much more enjoyable and free.
  9. The easiest things don’t tend to be particularly easy. To be honest, they can turn out to be the hardest things. The most painful things. No part of life’s journey and your journey is inherently easy, otherwise we would all be super duper fucking happy all the time and I wouldn’t be here sharing my thoughts with you. Sometimes you just have to stick with it and keep going, eventually it’ll be okay or it will get easier. Sometimes you’ll take a few steps forwards and be catapulted back to the start and sometimes you’ll make giant leaps forward that you might not have previously thought to be possible.
  10. One of my best mates once said to me Laura,  you’ve experienced greater hardships than I have but I think that because of that, you’ve also experienced greater happiness. It might seem silly or insignificant to some people, but that was one of those lightbulb moments for me and I hope that I get to remember what he said to me until the day that I die. From that day onwards, I’ve always been a little grateful for the fact I’ve been through so much shit in my life, because sometimes I’ve had the privilege to feel such intense and indescribable happiness, which I really don’t think would be possible without experiencing many of the less pleasant things in life.
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