Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Diane's Diary by Diane Mueller
This past weekend was a very enlightening weekend for me, both mentally and spiritually. I’m going to share a glimpse into my personal life for a moment, so I can better illustrate the wave of confusing emotions I have been dealing with. I am a dispatcher for a Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin, so my loyalties lie with law enforcement. This past week, a local community was shaken by call for service that resulted in a line of duty death for one officer and numerous others being injured. Incidents like this always bring a grim reality to our every day lives and casts a dark cloud over an already dark career. It makes you wonder how a person stays positive in a career path like this where every day is filled with more negativity than the average person could ever imagine. How do they allow their lives to not become consumed by pessimism, when they deal with problems and negativity all day long? Those are good questions, indeed, and quite valid. Most people in the law enforcement field do a remarkable job of staying positive and realizing that their life does not have to become what they deal with every day. Unfortunately, some people are unable to separate their personal lives from their jobs and spiral downward, eventually becoming the darkness that they once fought to repel.
It is very easy to allow negativity to creep into our lives. Just like a bad cold, you can
“catch” negativity simply by hanging around people who see the worst in every situation. We all know the type. We all have them in our inner circles in our personal lives. These are the people who turn a small problem into an all-consuming crisis that has no solution. Have you ever heard someone say that they have a dark cloud over their head that just won’t leave them alone? These are the people who have given in to the darkness and believe their lives are destined for suffering. Negativity is contagious, but you know what, so is positivity!! Have you ever noticed when you hang around with your doom-and-gloom friends, that after a while, no matter how positive you may have been when you first began the conversation, by the end of the conversation, you feel beat down and depressed as well? It’s bound to happen. Your friend’s negative attitude will eat away at your positive attitude until you eventually join in on the pity party.
I’m here to tell you that this does not have to become your destiny. You are destined for happiness, just like everyone around you seems to be. You need to make a conscious effort to become the positive, happy person you know you can be. The very first step in becoming more optimistic is identifying the negative people in your life and separating yourself from them. You can’t continue to surround yourself with depressing, angry people and hope to become better than that. The same way that negativity is contagious, so is positivity. The more often you frequent the company of upbeat people, the more upbeat you will become. The difference between people who allow darkness to consume their lives and the people who rise above their current situation, is finding a creative outlet for their frustrations. Those who are able to release their pent up emotions in a positive, constructive manner are the same people who find more satisfaction and happiness in life. The key word to this phrase being, “release.” You need to find an activity that gives you a sense of complete release from the baggage you began the session with. Whether this activity is a physical activity that gives you a complete endorphin rush, a nice long talk with a positive, motivating friend, or any other activity that allows you to fully cleanse yourself of your negative feelings, the concept is to eradicate yourself of the darkness so you are able to move on.
So, how does this tie in to the enlightenment I spoke of at the beginning of the article? Every dark side also has a bright side. The dark side to this situation would obviously be burying one of our own, a fallen police officer. Certainly it’s difficult to find a ray of light when you discuss a brave, innocent, young man losing his life, unless you consider the overwhelming sense of pride and outpouring of support that took place after this tragic event. A line of duty police funeral is one of the most awesome spectacles I have ever witnessed. Over 1,000 police officers, from agencies all around the state, gathered wearing their dress uniforms to pay their respects to this fallen brother. The officers filed into two sections, on either side of the walkway leading to the front of the church, each one saluting and holding back tears, as the American flag covered casket was carried up the walkway, underneath the flags of the police honor guard, while the bagpipe-and-drum band played their solemn hymn. It was a breathtaking spectacle. While the afflicted police department was attempting to heal itself, without having to ask for assistance, local departments volunteered their services, working shifts and handling the calls for service in that city, allowing the police officers to take the time they needed to mourn.
Although this is a time of great sadness for our community, it is also a time for local law enforcement to unite and show solidarity as we try to move forward. And this is illustrates the point I’ve been trying to make about finding the positive in life. You could look at this horrific incident completely one-sided saying it is a tragedy beyond measure and allowing it to consume your thoughts and your life, or you could choose to look at it as an experience in personal growth. This is one of the most difficult experiences many of these police officers will ever have to face, yet somehow they will find the strength and fortitude to rise above this unpleasant incident and become stronger for having had the experience. Sometimes the challenges that seem to be the most overwhelming are the same things that mold us into the strong, independent people that we are today. Just as the city of Fond du Lac will rise above this incident, so will you in the trials and tribulations in your life. In honor of Officer Birkholz, as he concluded all of his emails: Stay strong, stay safe and stay positive!
I would also like to thankNational law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 911 Strong.com, Jennifer Abrams, Big Red Supplements, and Big Bully Nutrition
Train heavy and hard… Train NATURAL,