Folks, here it is, plain and simple: I respectfully decline to attend any and all invitations pity parties, rants, raves, or "pieces of your mind" in 2014. One thing that I realized with my bout with the flu was that my exhaustion preceded it by MONTHS, and I naturally wondered why. Imagine my shock when I took a look around and realized how much negative energy I was surrounded by. No wonder! That will sap the life out of anybody, and I don't want to live under a cloud of anger, frustration, and gloom anymore. Add to that the fact that I've had a few people go off on me because SOMEBODY ELSE said or did something that pissed them off - mind you, something I had nothing to do with and wasn't even remotely around when it happened in some cases - and no thanks. Sure, I expect and deserve to be called when I'm the offender. But if I didn't cause the derailment, well, crash that train somewhere else. I'm not Amtrack. I have enough to attend to without taking on what's not my business. I don't know if I have 99 problems, but yours will not be one. I'm getting my own life back on track after a difficult (and in some places, painful) year, and restoring my balance from that is a job in and of itself. Things are working out and I'm trying very hard to make sure they stay on the right track without any more causalities than have already been taken.
I realize we all need to vent every now and then, but if you do it all the time, people don't want to be around you. Even doing it too frequently will have that affect. I saw a post on Facebook a few days ago where a friend of mind advised others to "keep their dirty laundry offline," but I'd say you need to confine it even more than that. Choose your confidents carefully. Use wisdom and discernment in thoughts, words, and actions. You don't have to be under arrest for Miranda rights to apply. Anything you say can and very likely will be used against you not only in the court of public opinion, but in reality as well.
I know, people shouldn't judge - and that doesn't stop them from doing it anyway. I know, people need to mind their own business - but gossip spreads faster than weeds, and what you say can come back to you long after you've resolved the problem and forgotten it. I know, you need help and support every now and then - but there are some people that aren't afraid to use your problems against you, especially if it helps them (or worse yet, somebody else that they like better than you) to get ahead. I know, you need for people to understand and grant you some attention and compassion - but you need to follow up your words with action to bring about resolution. If you complain all the time and do nothing to even try to better your situation, people pass you off as so much hot air and let you go like a rubber balloon at a kids birthday party.
My point is this: ranting, raving, complaining, whining, screaming, and crying are meant to be temporary "overload" outlets. Use them with discretion. Implementing them too frequently not only drives others away, but drags you down too. Follow up words with thought. Follow up anger or tears with action. Take a proactive approach to either change your situation, or figure out how to better work with it. I know not all things can be changed, and plenty is out of your control - but one thing you can change is how you think about your situation. It really is true that changing how you think about something can change your life. It may take some time, but it can happen. I'm living proof of that, several times over. Don't let too much negative energy surround you for too long, or it will take you over. All things pass. Take one day at a time and try to do something each day that's positive and uplifting. Plan as best as you can for the future, and then let it go and come back to the present. You are where you are for a reason, so do your best to work with it, figure out what God wants you to do with it, and mine it for all the opportunity you can find. And, of course, here's my standard cure-all advice: pray and read The Bible. I started doing daily Bible readings again on January 1, and it's made a drastic difference in my mood and outlook. It's something I'd like to make a part of my daily lifestyle from now on.
In closing, I'll say that yes, we all have those "blow up" moments. God knows, I've had my fair share of train wrecks, a few in the past year. It's understandable, but unfortunately it can lead to consequences that you didn't intend or realize. "I'm sorry" is just the beginning of a long process of forgiveness, rebuilding, and moving on, and that's a process that's often longer than most of us are comfortable with. That's why we learn and try not to make those mistakes again. So now that I've put it out there for God and everybody to see on the Internet, let's file this one away for future reference. Personal experience + public posting acknowledgement = now we know better. Let's try to be more positive and avoid derailments in the future.
That's all today. Take care and have a great week.