Life can be so chaotic and messy and difficult that we tend to focus on only seeing the negative, even in each other. It can be hard to remember to appreciate people when you see they are doing well. Often the “perfect child” is the one who gets forgotten. The kid who are having a harder time tend to get all the attention. It can be easy to snap or yell without thinking about it when a child does something wrong. But these same children may go totally unnoticed when they are doing things well or excelling at a task. This certainly happens with children who have totally neglectful and absent parents, but it happens with children who have hurried parents as well- parents who may simply be too overwhelmed and distracted to notice enough of the positive things their children are doing. Although they may come from very different family contexts, the commonality here is that all of these children find that they only get acknowledged when they did something wrong or they had a problem with something. An aspect of their life not going well becomes subconsciously synonymous with receiving validation, care, and attention. The lesson they learn is that they can create problems and then receive love, affection, and recognition. This frequently continues uninterrupted into adulthood, and the same pattern continues to repeat itself endlessly- unless of course the time and intention is taken to shift and change this habit. So ask yourself: how do I connect with other people when things are going well? How do you get attended to when my life is going smoothly? How do I get my feelings acknowledged when there is no catastrophe? Can I ask for things I need, even when things aren’t going badly? If you feel like your friendships or partnerships have become a subtle contest of how many problems we can have- how negative we can feel about our lives- these might be questions you start asking yourself. Can you relate to the people in your life when things are going well? When you start forming friendships around mutual negativity, when you only connect over what is going wrong in your life, it can send you into a self perpetuating spiral. It is okay to connect with people over struggles. In fact it can be incredibly important and validating. But it is equally important to think about how else you can connect with the people you care about when things start to go well.
When I found out what was wrong,
When it was given a name,
I felt my body screaming YES.
Over and over it shouted. YES.
LISTEN- it screamed. HEAR ME.
My body had tugged on my lungs- splintered my bones- to make sure I heard it my body had stomped my own liver.
Over and over- this is how it cried. HEAR ME. LISTEN.
How hard my heart had squeezed on itself before I would notice. How much my skin burned itself- how tight my stomach twisted.
Still I would look away. Like it speaking words I could not understand. A language incomprehensible.
But now I know what is wrong. And every cell is screaming YES. YES. THIS IS IT.
There is rot in my blood- the are worms crawling in my gut- there is sickness swimming through each swollen organ.
My body has been shouting at me.
And when I finally heard it: it screamed YES.
It screamed YES.
It screamed YES.