My Sensitivity To Negativity And The Path To Positivity

I’m really sensitive to negativity these days and I truly struggle being around any person who’s overly negative in their life. I’m also quite sensitive to the abundance of negative energy going on in our country right now as well.

I know all of this sensitivity is related to the pain I go through on a daily basis, as I’ve come to accept that what I’m dealing with inside me is out of my control, yet when I see others expound a bunch of negativity who have much better health and life circumstances than I, it makes me seriously cringe for two reasons. The first is related to gratitude and the second is related to my health itself.

With the first, most people who regularly expel tons of negative energy don’t practice daily gratitude in their lives. Instead of seeing all the good they have to be thankful for, they choose to constantly comment on every single little thing they find wrong in the world. What makes me become so sensitive to this directly relates to the greater limitations my life brings as compared to theirs. Like when someone complains about how long the lines were at an amusement park they attended recently. What they don’t see is the gift of being able to walk around that park and ride those rides, when others like me are unable to do so. That’s why I work really hard to practice gratitude now because there are even those out there who would love to live a day in my shoes and perceive that which I have is far greater than them.

As for the second reason, the one that relates to my health, my physical pain always seems to increase exponentially every time I get around someone who’s spewing negativity out of their mouth. Like when my partner is driving down the road and starts complaining about one “bad” driver to the next, I find myself shifting uncomfortably in my seat as my physical pain drives upwards. And trust me, I’ve tried everything from taking control to letting go and praying, hoping each might prevent this unwanted and unneeded pain increase, all to no avail.

So yes, I’ve become very sensitive to negativity these days, which is precisely why I spend so much time alone now, as there at least I don’t have to be around it. And in turn, I choose to be positive as best as I can when I get around others, even in light of my current circumstances, looking for gratitude in the things I still have like my eyesight and hearing, or the food, water, and shelter I’ve been given, or my sobriety from addictions, because there are plenty of others in this world who are lacking in any one of them.

While I wasn’t always this way and was once the very type of person I would currently be so sensitive around, I’ve learned the only thing that stands in the way of remaining more positive than negative, no matter what my circumstances, is my ego. As it’s the ego that says the world must become more positive for me to become more positive, but the real truth is that I must become more positive the more I want to see the world become that way…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Breaking Free From The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds, but for some reason, they did not. He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

I often wonder how many of us are like this in the world? How many of us tend to go through life hanging onto to a belief that we can’t do something, simply because of the conditions we were brought up with?

In my case, my parents were alcoholics who never found healing from their addiction. When I became an alcoholic at the age of 17, I thought I’d never find healing from the addiction either. But through the grace of God and 12 Step recovery, I was able to break the rope tied around my leg that always said I’d never achieve sobriety and thankfully, 22 years later, I’m still free from that rope.

That’s only one of many ropes that have been tied around my leg in this life which kept me a prisoner of sorts. Through God’s grace though, I continue to break free from them one by one, trudging forward on my spiritual journey, becoming ever lighter from the bondage I was born into and raised with.

Currently, the biggest rope I seem to be dealing with is the one that surrounds a belief that all this physical and mental pain I’m going through will never going away and that the only solutions I have in life are either to take drugs to numb it or hope for an imminent death. I’m choosing to believe otherwise and have been working with God to break this rope that has felt stronger than all the others I’ve ever faced. Truly, it’s one that was placed upon me long ago that said the only answer in life when sick is to have someone or something else fix me. I know that’s an illusion and that the Spirit within me will eventually guide me into a much better state of health. And when it does, I’ll be free from a rope that has dug into my leg for far too long.

Nevertheless, I don’t believe there’s any rope that’s tied around my leg that can’t be broken, as it just takes some work, a little faith and courage, and a bit of God’s grace to make it happen. I think I’m living proof of that and you can be too…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Path To Freeing Myself From Two Demons – Hypochondria and Obsessive Compulsiveness

Hypochondria and obsessive compulsiveness are definitely the two biggest demons in my life right now that I’m fighting to overcome and I’m not using this word “demons” lightly either, because these two conditions torment me badly every, single, day.

Both are ailments that have afflicted many of my family, yet I am choosing to work through them and find healing, rather than suppress them with drugs and medications like most of them did. But it’s not easy.

For the hypochondria in me, every single sensation, every single bump, every single blemish, every single pain, every single everything that I see or feel with my mind and body is multiplied by a thousand times in seriousness in my brain. In other words, I struggle with having any real sense of rationality over anything dealing with my health.

As for the obsessive compulsiveness in me, once any hypochondria fear kicks in with something dealing with my health, I become immediately preoccupied with it and can’t turn my mind off from thinking about it. Eventually, I always seem to cave in to some type of compulsive action that arises out of my brain’s attempt to deal with it in the hopes it will eliminate the fear and the perceived problem.

It’s probably best for me at this point to provide a real-life example of what both of these demons do to me when they become overly active.

Take two weeks ago when I woke up one morning and noticed an oddly-shaped, red welt on my left side just above my hip that had a black mark directly in the center of it. To the hypochondria part of my brain, it all appeared to be the size of Mount Vesuvius and was most likely the result of some type of spider, maybe a brown recluse, that had bitten me during my sleep. Or quite possibly it was actually a bug that had burrowed its way into my skin and was now living there at that very moment, feeding off of me. Thoughts of necrosis and chunks of skin having to be taken out of my body slowly began to consume me. And that’s when the fear and the obsessive-compulsive part of me really took over. I started looking in the mirror, staring at it for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, and more, until I totally lost track of time. I then proceeded to dig at it with my nails, and then a needle, until I bled, as my brain screamed at me that I had to remove whatever it was that was in there. Sadly, I created an even bigger problem for myself that ended with me using tea tree oil to cleanse the entire area, which had now become three times the size of what it originally was. I spent the rest of the day after that worrying about it, looking at it in the mirror countless times, hoping it would just disappear. When my partner finally came home later that day and took a look at it for me, what he saw was so much simpler to him and far more rational. As what he saw resembled either a mosquito bite or a horsefly bite that I had mucked around with way too much. I’m happy to report that I listened to his advice from that point forward, which was to leave it alone, and thankfully, at this point, it’s mostly gone.

That’s why I feel so powerless over these demons a lot lately and have had to rely more on people like my partner to be the rational part of my brain for now. Because in my brain, I perceive everything with my health as a serious crisis that warrants either a trip to the doctors or a drastic attempt to fix it myself and neither of those situations ever fare well in the long run.

It wasn’t all that long ago before beginning my work on healing from these two demons that I actually spent a good year running from doctor to doctor, holistic practitioner to holistic practitioner, having test after test run, procedure after procedure conducted, spending countless hours, multiple days a week, and tons of money, until I landed in the psych ward, heavily medicated on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs that only made me feel like a zombie and didn’t help one bit, leaving me an even bigger mess than before.

So why I’m writing about this subject today is not only to help all those out there who are facing something similar in their brains to know they’re not alone, but also to help educate those who might have someone in their life who’s dealing with these two conditions at the same time. The answer isn’t to tell them to get over it, to ridicule them, to tell them they’re crazy, to provide a healing path, or to diminish what they feel. Instead, I find it’s best to support them by letting them know they are loved, by attempting to ease some of their irrational fears if possible, and by supporting whatever path they’re on to find healing.

In my case, I’ve chosen an extremely difficult path to heal from both of these demons, and that’s to face them head on, and walk through each perceived health crisis without drugs and medications, or anything else that might be my brain’s attempt to curb or numb the irrational fears and drives that continue to arise from within. Because for me, I want to be completely free from these conditions once and for all. And I know with God’s grace, with my dedication to this process, and continuing to trust and believe that everything happening to me is part of the healing process to get me there, that I will eventually be freed from two demons that have plagued my family for generations.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson