Yesterday morning, I was walking with a friend, when we got into a little tiff over whether or not she was a loveable person. I know this sounds almost crazy, but it happened. You see, my friend was telling me that she can’t find a good guy because every guy she dates has big issues.
She told me that she went out with this guy on several dates, and then one day, just when she thought there was a possibility of a relationship, he was gone–just like that. No phone calls, no emails, no nothing. At first, she thought that maybe he was sick and was in the hospital–but he wasn’t. Then she thought that maybe he had gotten hit by a car and was dead–but he wasn’t. She just couldn’t figure out what happened to him, until she got desperate and tracked his ass down.
She went to his house and rang his bell; and when he opened the door, he was face to face with a furious monster. She demanded to know why he stopped calling her. She demanded closure.
Well, he invited her to come in and then told her to sit down–he was going to be honest with her; after all, she asked for it.
He went on to say that she constantly complained, and that she had a bad attitude. He said that being with her drained the life out of him.
So she said to him, “Why? What did I do or say that gave the impression that I am miserable?”
And he said, “You have something negative to say about everything–from your hair to the weather, to the food you eat in every restaurant.”
She was stunned. She didn’t realize how negative she was. Then she said to him, “But I am such a loveable person.”
And he said to her, “If you think it’s loveable to criticize every detail of life then you’re delusional.”
So here we were, taking our morning walk, when she told me this entire story.
“So, what do you think? Isn’t he a dirtbag?” she asked.
I hesitated. She glanced at me sideways and stared into my head. I knew that I had to be honest with her.
“So, why aren’t you answering me?” she asked.
“Okay. Look. I’m going to be honest with you only because you’re asking me to.”
“I can take it,” she said like a tough-guy.
“Okay. Listen. I know you for many years, and I know you’re a good person.”
She was giving me the evil eye. “Yeah, go on.”
“But you complain about everything.”
“I do not. I just report the facts the way they are,” she said.
“The facts may be negative, but constantly talking about them is draining.”
“I don’t get how war and crime and bad weather can be positive. If I have a conversation with you about world events, it’s not going to be a positive conversation. There’s nothing good about our country and what’s happening with the economy.”
I shook my head and rolled my eyes. “The reason our world is so wrong is because most people dwell on all the bad things instead of giving thanks when they wake up in the morning. If people would wake up and start their day with gratitude instead of attitude, then a positive chain of reaction would take place.”
“That’s bullshit!” she practically yelled. “It’s unrealistic to walk around with a smile when everything is wrong.”
“Everything is wrong because most people love to talk about what’s wrong instead of what’s right. You freakin’ people are willing this shit into your lives by talking and thinking about it all day long. There are some of us who like to talk about good things, you know.”
Suddenly we were quiet. I knew that I came on strong, but I didn’t care. Don’t ask me for the truth if you’re not prepared to get it.
We kept on walking, not looking at each other nor speaking; the air was literally thick with tension. Finally she said something. “How do I stop thinking so negatively?”
I turned to look at her. “It takes practice and hard work.”
I stared ahead when I answered her. “Yes, it does. To think negatively is a horrible habit that most people aren’t even aware of. You have to deliberately think positively. When a negative thought comes to mind, you have to look for the bright side of that particular thing, and you have to keep doing it, and doing it, and doing it–and never stop.”
She stared into my face, and I could feel her sadness. She’s a good person; she just didn’t know how negative she was.
“Can you help me?” she said like a lost soul.
“Yeah, I can help you.”
We just kept walking.
“It’s really cold today,” she said breaking the silence.
“Yes, it is, but at least it’s not snowing or raining. It’s sunny and bright.”
She smiled back. “Yeah, thank God it’s sunny and bright. It could be worse.”
“That’s right. We live in a great neighborhood and have food and a warm bed to sleep in,” I added.
“Yeah,” she said. “And we have money to pay our bills and we have cars.”
“And we have our health, and we have each other, and we can walk, and we’re not living in the streets without a roof over our heads. We have people who love us.”
“Oooh, I have another,” she eagerly chimed in. “And we have eyes to see with, and legs that can move. We really are blessed.”
“Yep. We really are. So who cares about one guy who doesn’t like you. There are over 7 billion people around the world. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.”
She laughed and then put her arm through mine. “Yeah. There’s plenty to go around.”