Some of us – perhaps many of us – go along in life, rolling along, taking what comes and moving right along. Conversely, there are those of us who roll along in our lives, in a prison of our own creation, marinating in the past for no other reason than it is comfortably there.
It is a sad state of mind; I was in that horrid position once upon a time. I would go over and over with the perceived wrongs people might have done to me, reliving the past to no purpose than to be a victim of circumstances.
How silly. And what a waste of priceless time and energy. So very unconstructive, in fact.
I once knew someone who unfailingly brought up to his two brothers the lousy childhood family life they had. It never failed; his stories were always brought up in great detail. Yet, what made his habit interesting was how it affected his brothers. One brother went along and marinated in the negativity with him, the two joyfully vocally knocking down their father and grandfather in so many ways. Now, when this person brought up their lousy childhood to his other brother, that brother would invariably answer, “I don’t remember any of that.”
And that is a short response that says so very much. I cannot imagine that brother not remembering the trauma of their childhood, yet his answer was brilliant. By him making that succinct statement, he perfectly said, “That’s in the past; it isn’t happening now; there is no point in basking in the garbage; isn’t there something better to take about?”
His response is my point that we sometimes thankfully release ourselves from our prisons and further refuse to go down that path again and again.
I see too many people ruminate and marinate in the negative aspects (or imagined negative aspects) of their past and present lives. On and on they go, rolling in the cart of negativity, bringing up things that happened decades ago, things that are not a factor today, things that are feeding perceived victimization, so popular in today’s culture and society.
And for what purpose and to what end? Only they can explain that; it could be attention-grabbing (what I call the Look at Me! Syndrome), it could be to boost themselves up in the eyes of their peers or customers, or to feel sorry for themselves to explain their station in life. Who knows?
What I do know is that it is not fun to be around such people. They are exhausting. They are unconstructive. They are sadly stuck in their own world where they would rather have company in the mire and muck than to free themselves to live an unencumbered life. Of course, there are people who are happy in their own misery, and that is a topic for another time.
As for me, I personally try to live an unfettered life – free from others’ woes and free from my own. There is nothing to be gained by grinding on and on about negativity that is long gone, or even currently happening. Air it out, and be done, I say!
“Be thankful for what you have” is a time-worn cliché, but there is a lot of truth in those words. I add this, too: Please don’t presume others want to hear your pessimistic stories. It is exhausting and unconstructive.
So . . . will you allow negativity to cage you and keep you in the negative cart to roll through life chained to the blackness of pessimism, or will you free yourself and others in the process to bask in the sunshine of unburdened happiness?
I wish you happiness and freedom.
Lady Susan Marie Molloy
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1 thought on “Our Own Prisons.”
Life is too short.