Default Mode

buzzRemember in Toy Story 3 when Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear and his gang found that switch on the back of Buzz Lightyear that would change his settings? While that switch provided some laughs later on in the movie when it turned the space ranger into a Latin love machine, it also enabled Lotso to revert Buzz’s personality back to his original factory settings … and the change in personality was not a good one.

I believe everyone has a sort of default mode we revert back to if certain switches are activated. For some people, that default setting is one of confidence. For some, it’s one of determination. For many, flipping the switch can be a good thing, resetting the system and getting everything back in line. For others, though, what they revert back to or fall back on is a state of negativity, uncertainty, and doubt.

I’ve heard a lot of recurring themes coming from people around me lately. “Stop saying you’re sorry. You’re not allowed to apologize anymore.” “People wouldn’t notice your negative faults so much if you wouldn’t point them out.” “I know you can do this. Why do you think you can’t?” “You should learn to accept compliments.” “Stop beating yourself up so much.”

I could write all this off as a series of coincidences or just the results of a particular phase of life I godspeakinghave entered. I’m not that naive, though. I can see when God is trying to tell me something, even if I’m still trying to fight it tooth and nail. I’m being pushed to change, but I want to switch back into default mode. I’m really not good enough, I’m inadequate, I won’t get it right, I’ll be discovered as a fraud eventually. It’s where I’ve naturally gone for so long, it’s difficult to think another way.

Just like the Buzz switch, though, maybe I’ve got another setting I didn’t know about. Maybe I can actually think positively about myself and the things I can do. Maybe I can realize everyone has their own set of issues and problems they deal with, and I’m not the only one to ever struggle. Maybe the things I don’t feel I do as well as someone else are good enough for me and better than I realize. Maybe I can change after all.

Of course, the next step in the process is to remove the “maybes” from all those statements. I basically have to replace my default setting, altering the state of mind I slip into when pressure arises. I may not become a Latin dancing machine, but I do believe I can become a better person. That should take me to infinity … and beyond (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…).


Kings And Queens

I have the utmost sympathy for people who cannot drag themselves up from the depths of depression. The kinds of people who need counseling and prayer and medicine and whatever else it takes to get back on their feet again. The kinds of people who have difficulty even looking another person in the eye. The kinds of people who are beat up, broken, and bruised.

But I also think some people need to just get the hell over it.

Maybe that’s too harsh. No one has ever told me, but I’m sure I’ve cleared some rooms in my time with my Bob Bummer routine. I’m sure I’vebobbummer sent one too many impassioned emails attempting to clarify my positions. I’m sure at least one person has ignored my call because they didn’t want to deal with the negativity emanating from the other end of the line. I realize I have a pessimistic streak a mile wide, and I’m working hard to try to narrow it every day.

Some people, however, just seem to thrive on the drama. I always think it’s ironic that the people on Facebook or Twitter who comment the most about not needing “the drama” are almost always the ones generating the most of it. They cling to it. It’s what makes them feel right or alive or justified or whatever. Sometimes they’re looking for people to be on their side, and sometimes they’re just looking for someone to fight with.

They are the kings and queens of drama.

I want desperately to empathize with them, mainly because I know I can exhibit so many of their tendencies. Sometimes I feel as if I’m going borderline nuts because I get so wrapped up in day-to-day situations that wouldn’t mean beans to anyone but me. What I’m beginning to realize, though, is sometimes you don’t need to hit send. You don’t need to post that status. You don’t have to make that call. And you sure don’t have to stay in the state of mind that would make you do any of those things.

I hope I’m not being insensitive here. It’s just that when you’re trying to shake feelings of negativity and depression, these people have a way of sucking the life out of you. I should know; I’ve sucked the life out of enough people myself. This stuff is a killer, folks, and we have got to abdicate our thrones. And I’m hitting “send” … now.