Negativity is seductive and it’s easy to slide into many criticisms and complaints. And it seems true that misery loves company as well. We don’t have to look far to find others being just as condemning as we are. In fact, it often takes great courage to look for and name the good that is present.
Generally speaking, the news is not known for its inspiring and uplifting stories. More often than not, in the name of keeping us informed, it focuses on the social ills and all the things going wrong in our communities.
We feed into this as well as many of our conversations focus on the same. We’re regularly complaining about our work, taxes, relationships and the like. Even in marriage, we tend to focus on all the things not going well.
To be sure, there’s no wisdom in turning a blind eye to and ignoring issues. There are many hard and unfavorable realities we need to face.
At the same time, the problem comes when we only see the bad and no longer have the eyes to see the good.
We must learn to approach life with a sober joy – not denying the bad, while also staying open to the good.
And for most, this will require us to practice looking for the good.
-What was the best part of your day?
-What do you admire about your wife?
-In what ways is life going well?
-Where has beauty been present?
Without this intentional practice it’s easy to slip back into seeing life exclusively from a negative point of view.
And while we might feel justified in the moment, such negativity just leaves us feeling more angry and depressed in the long run.
In the end, it’s okay to name the bad things that happen. But remember to practice also looking for and naming the good. Don’t let negativity blind you to the profound goodness still available.