My friend Pat Jones is a cartoonist who writes a comic she calls "Rock Garden," whose main character - a middle aged woman named Rose - offers sage advice and insights in her running commentary on life. Recently she had one which was especially good. The thirty-something daughter asks Rose "how can I have a happier life?" Rose replies "that's easy - only remember the good stuff."
Our life is like a garden. We plant the things we want to see, but we know that if we don't tend that garden, it will become overrun with weeds, varmints and insects which will destroy the beauty we have painstakingly created.
Negative thoughts are weeds in our garden our life. They will surely find their way into our garden, and they are persistent. Good thoughts require nurturing, like the things we plant in our garden, the ones we want to see come to fruition. We can plant all the good thoughts we want, but those weed-like negative thoughts take root easily and won't go away unless you pull them up by the roots or otherwise kill them.
This battle between the good things we seek to build in our life and the negative things which constantly encroach upon it is never ending. It is a daily engagement, and like those pesky weeds, negative thoughts don't need much nourishment. They don't need tilling and planting. They barely need sunshine and water. They grow where we can't get positive thoughts to grow.
I began writing this column in 2006, and one of the reasons I did it was to redirect my own life. I had become too immersed in negative thoughts and commentaries. I watched the twenty four news channels all the time. I constantly inundated myself with the endless interviews and panel discussion bemoaning every aspect of life. It became like hanging out with a sour bunch of people.
It has been said that we become like the five people we spend the most time with. That's probably an oversimplification, but at its core that thought is correct. If you want to be positive, surround yourself with positive people. If you surround yourself with negative, toxic, caustic people, their attitudes will leach into your own, and you will find yourself bogged down in negativity.
Every life has good things and bad things to remember. I am blessed with a good memory, but sometimes it works too well. Sometimes it won't let go of a memory and the hurt that memory has attached to it. The thought becomes like a visitor who stops by one day, and you look up a month later, and they're still living with you, a constant companion in your life.
You have to roust that freeloading negativity out of your life. You have to decide to "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative," as the lyric from the 1944 popular tune "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" taught us. Choose to remember the good. Choose to eschew the negative. Tell it what the bartenders tell their lingering patrons at closing time: "you don't have to go home, but you have to get on up out of here."
© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.
See the cartoon referred to in this column at http://www.webcomicsnation.com/patjones/rockgardencomics/series.php?view=archive&chapt er=52930&name=rockgardencomics