Decades of my personal life history are now landfill fodder. I’ve been keeping journals most of my life, and by “keeping” I mean both writing and saving them. I thought they could be useful for gleaning topics of interest to write about, or I thought maybe my daughter might like to have them someday. But, as I’ve been going through them, I quickly came to the conclusion, there is nothing to be gleaned. Seriously! Trust me on this one.
Do any of you remember the '70's show Hee Haw? There was a silly song they used to sing-- “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAAKPJEq1Ew )
Yeah, that about sums it up. My journals could easily be titled, Lamentations, Volume I, Volume II, Volume III... Oh my, oh my, what a load of crap to wade through. And to think I had illusions of keeping that self-inflicted diatribe for posterity. No! Just, no!
After seeing the disheartening trend of negative, self-focused, self-pitying whining, I’ve decided from this point on, I’m changing my tune. No more gloom, despair, and agony on me! I’m turning away from all that negativity. Not that I intend to gloss over the realities of life with puffy clouds, pretty flowers, and fluffy kittens. It’s not about being dishonest or disingenuous about my feelings. I’m talking about a choice of being all woe-is-me or speaking encouragement and hope into myself, my life, and the people and circumstances surrounding me.
As I read page after page of self-absorbed whining, one thing became pretty clear. If I focus on my flaws and faults, the more flaws and faults I’ll see, and I’ll never rise above those flaws and faults by examining and dissecting them under a microscope. The truth is we become what we focus on. We can rise above the negativity by changing perspectives, changing our focus, changing our words.
Whether spoken or written, words have a tremendous influence. My walk through my journals keenly displayed the result of negative words. Now having purged my gloom, despair, and agony journals, I’ve started a new one. It will be interesting to look back through my 2016 journal someday and see what a difference it made.
Death and life are in the power of words.