Thursday, March 15, 2007

Negativity

So, let's all hold our collective gasps, but I am negative.

Ya, it's true and you can stop smirking behind your hand. I see you.

It's OK, I know. But I also know that I need to work on it. The toughest part is knowing HOW to work on it.

Raye told me that I wasn't allowed to write one negative thing about my house without saying lots of positive things.

Maybe that's the way I should approach this issue in general. Maybe one becomes positive just by saying positive things when one has a negative thought.

Now, here's the problem (and yes, I'm navel-gazing, so shut up): negative thoughts can also be beneficial. They help you figure out when something needs fixing. They prevent you from settling for sub-par. They motivate you to do make things better. They can make you see the downfalls or holes in a strategy. They keep you REAL, humble and always striving.

But of course there are limits.

My negativity makes me realize the following about myself (ie: I'm about to be negative about my negativity):

  • I complain. A LOT.
  • I am never satisfied.
  • Good is good. But bad overshadows it.
  • I always expect the worst.
  • I want the best and expect others to strive for it. When they don't, I'm disappointed in them.
  • I literally believe it take years to build up a reputation. And a second to destroy it. Seriously.
  • I actually unconsciously ENJOY the bad.


How can anyone enjoy bad things, even unconsciously? It's complicated, but it happens far too often. And since it's unconscious, it's even harder to fix.

So my main focus lately has been: how do I prevent myself from unconsciously trying to cause myself this pain that I unconsciously love so much?


  • When I think bad thoughts, remind myself: you love pain. You're doing this BECAUSE you enjoy it. You weirdo!;)
  • When I think bad thoughts, think good thoughts. Out loud. In my head. Whatever. Mad about the dishes? OK. But we are both happily, gainfully employed as well as active in something we're passionate about. And that's why we're too busy to do the dishes right now.
  • When I get negative, just observe my negativity. Note it. And move on. Hopefully in a more positive direction.


Any other suggestions?

3 comments:

sarah said...

making an effort to be positive is important but... does it work? when i am negative, i try to think of all the good things i have. things like: i am healthy, not starving, or being bombed into oblivion, or held hostage against my will, or forced to work 16 hour days for a pitance, or even forced to wear bad shoes... and yet it rarely works to push out my negative thoughts. i still think its an injustice that i have to scrimp and save just to take a vacation, get a hair cut, or go to the movies. maybe i am not doing the "think positively" thing right?

ps i like having complaining sessions with cathy. dont become all sweetness and light. ;)

Sera said...

Without the bad we'd never appriciate the good... however if you're not stopping to savour and enjoy the sweetness then what's the point of making it through all the crap?
Sure a good dose of negativity is required sometimes, but only if it's end goal is to make everything else that much more enjoyable!

It's good to be just plain happy; it's a little better to know that you're happy; but to understand that you're happy...and still be happy, be happy in the being and knowing, well, that is beyond happiness, that is bliss.

- Henry Miller

Stuffinghead said...

This sounds crazy, but read this book: Falling to Pieces Without Falling Apart. Can't remember who it's by but you can get it on Amazon or Chapters. Honestly, the book saved my life. My doctor recommended it to me after Charlotte was born and it absolutely 100% changed the way I think.

I think a big part of focusing on the positive is to follow the buddhist practice of living in the now. In our society we have such a focus on "getting somewhere". It's the old "I'll be happy when..." syndrome. I'll be happy when I have my more money. When my house is clean. When my hair looks awesome. I call that the "I'll be happy never" syndrome because as soon as your house is clean, you just want a bigger house. Living in the now forces you to think only about what you are doing RIGHT NOW. When you focus on the now, you think less about the "what if's" and the negative. Hard to explain, but I highly recommend doing more reading on the subject.