Do we want to move away from negativity? You bet! Negativity is where dis-ease, fear, and pain live. Nobody wants that. However, in the animist world, everything has a rightful place. Darkness and light are compliments. They need each other to thrive.
If this is the case, how do you know what’s negative? How do you know where to stand? I hope that this article will make that a little clearer.
Let me start by sharing the story that sparked this article. Someone asked me a question. I answered it. She didn’t like the answer because she wasn’t searching for perspective. She was searching for validation, and I didn’t agree with her conclusions. So she responded with something like, “I don’t need this negativity.”
What is Negativity?
If we’re going to move away from negativity, we have to understand what it is. Negativity is a habitual use of guilt, shame, pessimism, skepticism, doubt, and similar attitudes that are usually rooted in fear. Negativity is a real thing with real undesirable consequences. It depresses your mood and immune system. Life is generally less happy and productive when we engage in or are around, negative people. So, do we want to move away from negativity? Absolutely!
The problem is, some people see things they don’t like as negative. Rain, rats, and changes to our plans aren’t negative. They are just usually not desirable. Different political opinions, conflict, and disagreement aren’t negative. They are just different. What makes them negative is when we push against them and judge them. So these things aren’t creating negativity, we are when we push against them.
How to Neutralize Negativity
Animism is all about living in relationship with everything and everyone. That means we accept everything – prostitutes, mudslides, peanut butter, and traffic. It’s all sacred. We don’t have to have it in our backyard or our lives, but it all has a purpose and proper place.
If something exists, it’s because someone created it. If we want to create something different, we have to change our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. When I stop pushing against a person, place, or thing and see the beauty in it, we move into a place of relationship. Once we are connected, things can change. It’s really that simple.
To show you what I mean, let’s go back to my story. A asked me a question. I answered. She didn’t like the answer. This is where things disconnected. Had she remained nonjudgmental, she could have thought, “Hm, thanks. I don’t agree and will discard that as being irrelevant to my life.” Had she done that, we would have stayed connected with neither party being injured by the interaction. We both would have retained our sovereignty as well, so that’s a perfect response.
Option B was that she could have leaned into it. She could have said something like, “I am not understanding that. Tell me more.” Again, we both would have retained our sovereignty and connection. Ultimately she may still have chosen to disregard the response, but we’d both still be in a space of mutual respect.
Option C is that she could have disagreed and been angry, thought about it later, and looked at herself to see if there is space for a change of perspective. So this is a “little of this and little of that” choice. She may or may not have changed her mind, but she was open to it. That openness is what dissolves the negativity.
Option D is that she could have felt I wasn’t understanding her and offered to explain in more detail or from a different angle. There are other ways this could play out that maintain sovereignty and connection, but I think you get the idea. The bottom line is, nothing is negative unless you say it is. So regardless of whether someone else is displaying it, we create it within ourselves. If you want to move away from it, don’t pick it up and don’t generate it.
And remember that it’s okay to disagree. Being around people who agree with us all the time may feel safe, but it’s also stagnating and boring. Challenge yourself to grow. Embrace diversity. Nature offers us so much variety so that we can grow.
We are all powerful creators. What we see around us is the result of what lives in our minds. If you want to change the world, change yourself. It’s enough.