Many of the reasons that compelled me to start writing this blog reside in the personality traits of someone with whom I have regular contact. These traits occur and recur in many people and were the impetus to shift my own perspective. I don’t want to be contrary or negative, pessimistic or dismal. It can be equally fascinating and frustrating to interact with people so fundamentally contrary and critical. Their opinion of themselves and of the world at large creates an atmosphere of condescension and intolerance. If you have the misfortune of incurring their criticism or if something in which you have devoted personal energy and enthusiasm runs counter the their opinion, expect and prepare for their unmitigated and uncensored rebuke. These people are righteous and superior and EVERYONE else is not. They have no perception that their attitude is not shared and attempts to point out variable and alternative perspectives are met with (if you’re lucky) dismissal or (or if you’re unlucky) scathing PUBLIC deconstruction.

These are malignant people. They’re not fun to be around. They are beyond being “downers”. They are devastators. They can appreciate beauty but if your idea of beauty is something they do not share, they lack the capacity to include or expand their own awareness to consider YOU and YOUR joys. Likewise, if you are suffering or sad or anxious, they can instantaneous dismiss and disregard your feelings as minute and insignificant – making you feel equally insignificant.

How do you deal with such a person? It is so easy to just excise them, turn away and cut them off. But that doesn’t protect you from their words. These people want to be heard and they speak loudly and without trying or wanting, you still hear them and you still feel the sting of their barbs. Partly, when other unsuspecting folks get caught in the crossfire, you want to intervene simply out of compassion for the unwitting.

The way you deal with these malignant forces is to shroud yourself, your spirit and your heart in love and appreciation. You give thanks for the birds singing, the sun rising, the mud puddles and the smell of fresh brewed coffee. And the more you give thanks and seek the joy and beauty in the created world, you run contrary to the other’s continuous diatribe of criticism. And you realize that NOTHING will ever please these people. They’re never satisfied. They’re black holes, vampires. And your triumph over them is to be satisfied and content. It makes them crazy, incensed and they rail even louder.

And so I started writing about what made me smile, what made me pause, the awesome and the wondrous. I wrote about the things I found breathtaking and that inspired me. And ultimately, I gave thanks to Droopy Dog, Nancy Negative, the Old Curmudgeon and Mean-as-a-Snake Susie…..because without their friction and oppositional voices, I wouldn’t feel compelled to speak up about all that I love and adore. They galvanized my faith in the good and the beautiful and value of even the most adverse and treacherous emotional journeys. Life, in all its vagaries, is worth living well.

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