Positivism can reverse negativity
Change is all around us. One instant in time, the blink of an eye and you can end up in a negative or positive situation. No two people see it the same. Some are glass half full and some half empty.
If something bad happens and you’re sad, angry, grief-stricken, annoyed, frustrated, hurt or a multitude of emotions. It’s a negative experience but what if you turned it positive?
There’s the saying you can’t get any further down so you must go up.
It’s not always easy to find a positive thing but it’s best for your emotional wellbeing if you at least try. My mum always says, “There’s always someone worse off.” It’s an apt saying. You have nothing to complain about when you compare yourself to the heartache others face.
Look at inspirational people like Turia Pitt. She looks to the positive to get through something most of us could barely imagine. She has her wonderful bubbles of happiness and humour, and she’s thriving. Yes, she has more guts and determination than most of us would be able to summon, but if she wasn’t positive she’d never get through it (oh and congrats to her and Michael on expecting their first child).
How do you find a positive in a negative?
Let’s give a simple example. You’re a guy and you lost your wallet (no I’m not talking about you Blake). It’s annoying and it makes you angry. You must cancel all your cards and then wait for new ones. You worry about identity theft and you freak out a little about people sifting through your treasured family photos.
Where’s the positive? You can start laughing because if anyone tries to use the credit card they’ll be denied as you just maxed it out (karma). What if you hated the wallet and your coins always fell out of it? You now have an excuse to go buy a new one. Let’s go one step further. That cute girl you’ve been passing on the street, finds your wallet, hands it back and your hands brush at the touch. Electricity and sparks fly. You lock eyes and a happy ever after love affair begins (okay I admit the romance writer in me got carried away with that scenario, but you get the point).
Think up your own positives to negatives
Negative: Stub your toe (ouch!)
Positive: Swear (that always makes you feel better) look what you kicked your toe on. That old diamond ring you had lost.
Negative: Get sick with the flu.
Positive: You’re not the only one and now’s your chance to recover in bed and be pampered by the family.
Negative: Prang your car.
Positive: No one is hurt and it’s just a car.
Negative: It’s raining and you wanted sunshine.
Positive: It’s been dry and the plants need it (and may prevent bush fires this season). They are doing a happy rain dance. I’d probably curl up with a good book.
Negative: The dog ate your homework.
Positive: Well haven’t we all wanted to use that excuse?
Negative: Your flight was cancelled.
Positive: They found a fault in the plane and you’re are very lucky it never took off (because it could have crashed).
It’s not always easy. Somethings are just too sad (like death and grief). Just try these strategies to get through it and find the more positive aspects of your life.
My own negative thought today is I haven’t had time to blog and keep up with my 365 Days of Gratitude. The positive thought out of that is; the amount of writing work I am embarking on now, is the reason I’ve had no time to blog. Yay me!
365 Days of Gratitude
I’ve missed from Day 191 to today, which is Day 248. I have plenty of gratitude during those 57 days. I have bucket loads of gratitude. Some crappy things have happened (two broken-down cars, an almost fried laptop (yep this very one), but there’s been so many more wonderful moments they outweigh the negative).
- Visits with the grandkids
- A free holiday in Noosa
- Enjoying a writing festival and networking with other creatives (Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival)
- Meeting writing goals
- A friend recovering from a scary illness
- A visit from my son (he lives the furthest away from us)
- Coming second in a footy tipping comp (thanks Roosters)
- Reading some wonderful books
- My big dog’s lapdog moments
- Warmer weather
- More The Zanzibar Moon sales
- Getting three-quarters of the way through my next manuscript
What are your positives or moments of gratitude?
I love doing things that make people smile and who would I want to smile more than my mother! The thing is though – mum smiling usually means me crying. I guess I should explain. Mum just turned 70 and honestly she looks to be in her low sixties. She’s one adorable woman who keeps fit, looks after herself (and everyone she loves) and has an optimistic outlook on life. She’s little and blonde and still beautiful. The fact that she’s been through more grief than most and still stays happy is a testament to her strength of character.
I’m extremely proud that she’s my Mum and my brother and sister agree. That’s why, with the help of her partner Dieter, we planned a surprise 70th Birthday party.
When she walked into the function area of the surf club she may have noticed the birthday balloons but once she saw all her grandchildren’s beaming faces and her great-granddaughter toddling towards her, she knew something was definitely up (in a good way). But turning to her right and seeing a friend of over 50 years I think it finally dawned on her that the party was for her.
Funny thing was she promptly playfully slapped Dieter’s arm which brought peals of laughter. Then she went straight to this special friend for a big hug. The grins on both faces were wide enough to span a river. The tears on my face had begun.
We enjoyed a wonderful night of nostalgia, particularly with the photo album of Mum’s life that my sister had created. The food was plentiful as were the drinks and Mum couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. I think she barely had time to eat but she had more important things to do like catching up with old friends.
I’d written a letter to Mum from my brother, sister and myself to read out. I get all mushy at the best of times so I didn’t think I was up to reading it out. So I figured my brother or sister would. I was wrong. So, I was up the front calling them up and holding open the letter. They stayed where they were and told me to try to read it.
So with Mum’s arm around me I began. I got to the second paragraph and my voice wobbled and the page became a blur. I looked up hopefully and found my brother’s face in the crowd. I was willing him with my eyes to come up and take over. Instead he nodded at me to continue, so I choked back the tears and kept going with Mum squeezing me tighter. There were tears in her eyes but she was still smiling.
Then I got to the part about Mum writing me a special letter not long after Dad had died. Tears were dripping down my face in earnest but I continued despite sounding like a cat whose tail had been run over and looking like a rat under a tap. Somehow I got to the end – wobbly.
Everyone clapped and though I felt like I was looking through bubble wrap I could see most people were wiping away tears.
My brother said, “It’s about time you read out something you wrote.” Later it got me thinking that he was right. I rarely read out anything I wrote and definitely never anything as personal as that letter to Mum.
Reading your stories and sharing them is something all writers should try. I never realised how rewarding telling my own stories could be because I’d got into the habit of keeping many of them to myself.
Why not write a testimonial to someone you love and read it out in front of your family? It may bring you all closer. It may bring a smile to the face of the person you love. Give it a go and let me know the results.