Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Negative is the Absence of Positive

I started today off in a good mood. In fact, I was downright giddy. Something about this time of the year... The air is crisp, the sun is shining brightly, and oh, my kids go back to school. Nothing like a quiet house to make a woman feel like a giggly third grader.

My stellar mood was darkened, however, by the news that two of my long-time friends had gotten a divorce. Not only are they divorced, but the ex-husband is now remarried. And I just found out. Indirectly. On Facebook.

I'm devastated to say the least. I mean, I have known this couple most of my life. I remember when they met (we were teenagers). I remember when they fell in love. I remember insisting on being my friend's matron of honor, only to be informed that, as an unmarried woman, I was actually the maid of honor. I remember the births of their children, one of whom happens to be my godchild.

When I went to their respective FB pages, I got the impression that things are not as smooth as one would hope. Apparently, the children have animosity for their father and have decided to stop speaking to him. It's all so very, very sad. My heart is breaking for them and I will pray that they all find peace.

No, I didn't set out to make you cry today, or myself for that matter. I intended to write about how negativity is simply the absence of something positive. I'll do that now.

I don't know any of the details of what happened with my friends. You'll recall that I learned about it on FB, which means that I haven't actually spoken to either of them in quite some time. But from the minuscule amount of info I gathered, it seems that some, if not all, of them are holding onto grudges, pain, and hostility. I want to say to my friends, both the ones I know personally and the ones who follow this blog, that that is never a good idea. It's the easy choice, I'll grant you, even the popular one, but not the best one.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of the father/child relationship. I won't rehash that whole discussion, but I do want to say that regardless of what your husband/ex-husband/lover/baby's daddy has done to you, it's unfair to project your feelings about him onto your children. He is still their daddy. He might be a lying, cheating, sorry sonofabitch, but I'm willing to bet he still loves his kids. I know you want him to feel as much hurt as you do, but if you must get revenge, find another way. Don't ruin your child's sense of love and decency because someone hurt YOU.

To that end, I want to say please find some way to heal. Try not to hold on to hostility because not only does it cloud your judgement, make you bitter, and hold you back from love, but it gives the other person control of your life. No one deserves to control your life but you. Don't ever give someone else control over you. If you do, they win. Do you get that? They win. So you lose by default.

It's easy to say, I know, but hard to do. But (here is my original train of thought) if you understand that anything negative is merely the absence of something positive, I think it will get that much easier. It's so simple, really. Darkness is the absence of light. Hatred is the absence of love. Evil is the absence of divine goodness. This is much easier than we think!

To banish darkness, turn on a light! To destroy hatred, give love! To annihilate evil, spread the goodness of God! Don't let life's disappointments or complete changes of heart extinguish your natural positivity, love, and beauty.

I know it can be challenging. My husband and I separated for a period of time thirteen years ago. It was eye-opening. I resented him so much and had so much anger that I almost let it destroy our family. But now, thirteen years later, after weathering many a storm, I just want to say that a lot of marriages that have ended might have been saved if  the people involved only knew that all the fighting, unhappiness, and changes are all growing pains; the growing pains of a marriage. It's the reason our grandparents and some of our parents were married for 30, 40, or 50 years. Because they got it. If an individual must grow and change with the times, so must a marriage.

I can't save my friends' marriage now. I wouldn't want to if I could because that's not my job; it's theirs if they so choose. But for all of you whom are still married, happily or otherwise, please know that it can always get better if both people decide to make it so. Simply grab on to something positive and crush the hell out of that negative.

Until next time...

Feed on love; subsist on peace.

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