You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
As a person who skews heavily sarcastic and cynical, I tend not to notice a little negativity in a person as a flaw. I go through life mocking the Pollyannas of this world with righteous ire and irony. I may even have used a co-worker’s penchant for hyper-positivity against him in a peer review.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about positive and negative energy (and how much I hate those terms, ahem) and how both impact my life.
I spent some time recently with someone who is completely consumed by how bad everything about her life is, and how it is never going to change until she moves away and changes everything about her life. Although there are some really seriously fucked up things about her life that she has little impact on, there are many more things that are entirely within her own control. She’s so focused on the bad that she’s not able to make any real steps toward the things she says she wants in the future, but she is sure that once she achieves this glorious imaginary future her life will be wonderful. She has nothing positive to say about anything or anyone in the present. It’s exhausting her family, alienating her friends and making her miserable. Negative thinking is keeping her from taking any action, and having no results she just thinks even more negatively about everything. Vicious circle.
Tolle would probably call it identifying with the pain being or something like that, but that makes me roll my eyes.
For the record, I’ve got to say that I like to complain. A lot. Usually not about important things, but still. Really. Everyone who knows me is nodding in agreement right now.
I enjoy a good rant more than just about anyone, and I’m starting to see how bad that can be for me. Wait, what?!?
The thing is, as much as the cynic in me hates to admit it, I’ve found that if I don’t dwell on the negative, especially the negative that’s in the past or in the (imaginary) future, then things in the NOW really DO look better. I’ve also noticed recently that even small actions result in big changes in attitude, and when my attitude is better, I’m more likely to take further action on things I’m interested in/thinking about/wondering about. Positive thinking having lead to action that leads to an improved attitude which leads to more action. I don’t have a fucking clue what they call the opposite of a vicious circle.
To complete the irritating Zen babble trifecta, if I can keep myself from thinking too much about either the past or the future, and just focus on what is going on right this second, it’s even better.
If I ever use the phrase “Be the Dog” in any way that isn’t ironic, feel free to mock me.
Does that mean I’m not going to be elected Queen of the Cynics Ball again this year?
I already bought the tiara.
PS It has just occurred to me that I have more to say on the subject of my inherent loathing of inspirational and motivational quotes. They are really pissing me off lately because I am finding some of them both motivational and inspirational. I’m sure there’s someone to blame for that.
Oh. Right. I’m not “blaming” anymore.