All life is a game of balance. By that statement, it would make sense that the negative needs to exist in order to complement the positive. While most of us live our lives within the confines of this balance, most would agree that it’s more pleasing and typically one’s goal to live within the positive, as negativity tends to bring suffering. And suffering is not good. At all.
So what can one do to simply and effectively eliminate negativity from one’s life? Following the Eightfold Path is certainly a good way to start. Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration and right mindfulness are good practices to have in order to eliminate the negative aspects of one’s life. But not everyone prescribes to these aspects, and society has a funny way of associating happiness with material belongings and tangible pleasures.
Unfortunately, some people experience the most negativity in their lives from other people. Have you ever had a toxic individual in your life? Someone that always seems to go against the grain and make things difficult? But you continue to keep them in your life because they may be a long-time friend, associate or even a family member. Occasionally, you won’t even have the choice. It can be someone brought into your life by virtue of someone ELSE’s choice, like a sibling or friend marrying someone toxic.
Sometimes it isn’t even so much that the person is TOXIC, per se. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of the person unfortunately living within their own negativity. And when someone is always negative, it just kind of seems to suck the air and energy out of the room. It’s important to note as well, that a person may not inherently be negative but their perspectives and life views may simply not be in line with yours. This can be even worse, since it means that even if they’re not negative themselves, it’s causing negativity within your own life by virtue of those differences.
So, should one cut such people out of their lives? This can be a difficult decision, especially if there’s a personal connection spanning years and possibly decades. I’ve faced that very situation, myself. Having someone who’s always difficult, negative and argumentative can be draining on a person’s soul, and common sense would dictate that knowing such a person for an extended period of time doesn’t make it worth it to have them linger in one’s life if all they do is spread negative energy into your existence.
There’s no easy answer. In fact, there’s no answer I can provide here. Each and every situation is different and subjective but it’s important to remember that one’s overall happiness will come as a result of their own actions; even if those actions mean cutting ties with someone you’ve associated with for years. Careful contemplation and consideration needs to be included but at the end of the day, like all things in life, one must do what’s in the best interest of one’s overall health and wellbeing. Food for thought…☯️