This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am Not a Gloom Cloud... Anymore.

There are some people in this world that just naturally gravitate towards being positive and shining a good light on every situation.  They disregard negative memories and focus on the good times.  There’s a silver lining to every cloud and they act like the sunlight visible just past the edge of the storm is already shining over them.  These people remind you that the rain is good for the flowers and that one day you will all laugh about the painful situation you may currently be passing through.  This is not my nature.

I try to be this person, I really do, though admittedly, sometimes it is with only half of my heart. 
Photo by Meepoofoto

The Tug-O-War

Since, becoming a Christian, I do make an effort, probably not my best effort, but an effort to approach situations from a Biblical perspective.  Often, I ask myself, “What does the Word say about this? About me?  About them?”  What I have realized that the old Devil/Angel sitting on our shoulder is kind of true.  Humans definitely have inner struggles, from a Christian perspective, it is the age old struggle between our spirit man and flesh man, with our soulish man becoming the object of a lifelong tug-o-war. 

Without going into detail of yesterday’s post, because the topic is entirely different (or is it?!), here is the scripture I quoted, shortened and in the New Century Version:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.  Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.

The Challenge

As I was sitting at my computer this afternoon, trying to come up with something to write about, I realized I wanted to write about something funny or uplifting.  Perhaps I could recall something from my past that was fun that I could share.  I wanted to make at least one person smile… well, hopefully a handful, but smiling was on the agenda.  As I sat considering what funny story I could share, the only stories I could think of revolved around my kids and the funny things they say and/or do.  I decided I didn’t want it to become another mommy post, so I went back further.  I realized that primarily the only memories that quickly surfaced were negative.  I decided that sucked.

I realized that the choices I make today to focus on the negative make it so that my memories are negative.  I know, sounds obvious, but have you considered that the choices that you make today to remain negative will be carried with you into your future and possibly for the rest of your life?  I think that is crazy!  Not only do my decision to respond to today in the negative affect my day, today, but ten years from now when I try to remember something fun from my daughters first year of life, I will have nothing but negative.  I decided that sucked too.

I’m not saying that I am negative every day or that I’m a giant, gloom cloud floating through life, but my flesh man (picture a little devil that looks just like me on my shoulder) tries to put a negative filter on my life.  At any given time in my life, if I dig through the reel of memories, I often find I can only remember the bad things that occurred.  That being said, I have decided that I am going to make an effort to dig through my memory bank and find the positive and see life as it actually was, good and bad.

Now, I know that not everyone is negative, but I think, to some degree, we all tend to be lopsided.  Some people have the opposite problem, they only remember their past as a wonderful experience, even though others may not recall it as such.  I think the key is to make an attempt at being honest with ourselves. 

The Truth

I had a conversation with my mom while she was down last weekend and she said something that, though, specific, can be adapted to be a more broad truth, “We allow ourselves to believe a lie [from our past] so that we can keep being angry.”  Again, I think that’s totally true, sometimes, even when people tell us that our memory is not correct, we don’t believe them so that we can maintain the anger, the hurt, the ignorance, our pride, or whatever broken part of our personality that we try to keep intact.  So we don’t let truth in and remain in the bondage of that lie and we pay for it day after day and we make our friends and family pay for it day after day.  There is freedom in truth.

The truth that I need to get acquainted with is that I have happy memories!  That there were good times in between the drama and the negative experiences I had.  I did have a happy childhood; I was happy in junior high and high school.  I must choose to no longer focus on all that happened that was negative.  No, this is not out of living in denial, but finally admitting that I was created to live in hope, in trust and in love.  The few things in my life that occurred that would counter hope, trust and love can no longer be enlarged in my life and affect my outlook today.

The Start 

So I have to start somewhere right?  Here’s my first neglected, happy memory:

The year:             1993
The setting:        My living room in Clements
The scene:         

Picture a medium size living room, with blue gray carpet.  It was rectangular and much longer than it was wide.  It had a window that faced west, framing a perfect sunset every evening.  It had a wide open space in the middle and a large, oak entertainment cabinet on the North wall.  It was an afternoon like any other, except that I was in a particularly good mood.  I was hanging out with my younger brother and sister, who were probably 7 and 5 at the time.  We were just dancing around the living room to “She Don’t Use Jelly” by Flaming Lips; it was on repeat.  The room was filled with laughter and crazy dancing.  It was a great moment in time, filled with a goofy song and even goofier kids. 

It’s a small, silly memory, but it’s mine.  It reconnects me to a moment where I didn’t take myself so seriously.  It makes my heart smile and I hope in the very least it made you grin, if for no other reason than I used to like that song.

Do you find yourself gravitating toward a certain memory filter?  Please feel free to share!

Word Count This Blog: 1,167
Word Count Total:        2,633


  1. Oh, I LOVE your good memory dancing with your siblings! It reminded me of doing that with my cousins to some song about fish. Good times!

    Most of my childhood memories are all very good. My friends laugh at me because I apparently just lived in a magical place. It wasn't until I got older that I realized the world was not so magical. It was mainly very hurtful family issues that changed me from that point on, and I've spent most of my life getting over it as the problems continued for many years. I obviously was not a thin-skinned person, or things would have bothered me much sooner. I just never realized how really cruel and hateful some people could be, especially your own family. But, that's behind me. hopefully I can get my "magical place" filters again and see more beauty. Time heals, especially if the wounds are not going to be opened up again and again. It's funny how people do have certain filters, for whatever reason: natural tendencies, hurts, etc. I understand where you're coming from, Brina. I've spent many years struggling with the same thing, and you're right. Our choices today will determine our memories tomorrow, so I try to do what you're doing and keep my focus on the good and the positive. I read a book last year that I loved! It was called, "The Joy of Appreciative Living". It's a short and easy read, but it's great for directing our focus on being appreciative and finding our joy. I've been meaning to read it again. It's one of those that wouldn't hurt for me to read every year. This was longer than I meant it to be. Can this can toward my writing challenge goal today? lol

  2. Topaz - I wish comments, facebook posts and tweets counted! Fortunately, my past is not necessarily filled with really bad things. It's just that memory filter that only remembers the few bad things I did go through. So, I'm happy to turn it off! I will have to pick up that book. It can't hurt to get some tips. :)