As we were getting started, he began to say something, and they remarked that no, he wasn’t going to say what was on his mind because he wanted us to have a nice day.... Well.. for me, that is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey.
“What were you going to say?” I asked. “It won’t necessarily have to start a disagreement unless we let it.”
He just stopped and looked at me. “Why is it you save all of your negativity for my family?”
My eyes shot open. “What? Where do you get that idea?”
“Well.... Elijah said that now he wasn't sure he wanted to be in marching band because you had tried to talk him out of it.”
“I what?” I answered. I was puzzled. “All I ever said to him about band was to ask him if he sure he wanted to do it because it would tie up his summer.”
“Well, he viewed that as being negative.”
“I didn’t intend it that way. I was thinking of all of the time it takes for that, and he will have time enough after he is out of eighth grade and headed into high school. It is none of my concern since I am not the one who will be carting him back and forth.”
“Fair enough,” my son replied, and we discussed the pros and cons. I told him that if it had been me, I would have said, “No, not this year,” and that would have been the end of it. Is that negative? Maybe, maybe not. I think it only depends upon your perspective of both summer marching band and negativity.
“Then,” he added, “there is the anniversary party and your comments about renewing vows after ten years.”
I gave another blank look. “All I said was that when I mentioned to anyone that you had only been married ten years, they were as confused as I was about what you would do that. Again, it is your business.”
“Are you saying there was no negativity there?”
I have to confess, yes, I guess there was a bit, but I let him know why. “I have no problem if you want to have a party, or a vow renewal, or whatever. I guess the only problem I have is that I am expected to attend it.”
Negative? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t enjoy going someplace I am unfamiliar with. I don’t enjoy sitting where I cannot eat the food there while others are eating. I do not enjoy having a chance to dance and no one to dance with. There are many things about the whole deal I do not anticipate.
“Do you not want to come?”
“No, I don’t. But, for some reason, you want me there, so I will.” “Thanks.” he said as he got into the car after we had worked to get the deck prepared and after we had worked through the uncomfortable discussions that we both felt were necessary to get us to where we needed to be.
My son has been so used to my negativity over the years that everything I say is perceived as negative. Those who did not know me during that time simply see that I honestly reveal my thoughts on any subject then let them go to the winds. I do what is necessary. I had recently told a good friend about this whole party and how I was dreading it. “But,” as I told him, “For me NOT to go would make a statement about me that I do not want to make.” There are times we do what we do not because of us but because the NOT DOING is too revealing. It is too subject to hurting someone else. If we are looking to become our best self, we do those things we need to do that will feed our soul and yet allow us to be true to ourself and our desires.
Life amounts to a varying number of perspectives. When we think about our attitudes, we can only compare them to our attitudes in the past. In this respect, my son expected my comment to be negative rather than a neutral statement. The statement was neutral, but the feelings behind it were negative. It was in this conversation that I realized this. I will go to the party, and I will have a pleasant time. If I tell myself that, it will be so. Negativity can be a creeping virus-like germ.... Waiting until conditions are right to pop up and take over. Don’t let it be YOURS. Acknowledge it, accept it, then Let. It. Go. You will be better for it, and you will get those vibrations up and running when you do.
Something To Ponder