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26 August, 2011

LET'S BE REALISTIC ABOUT BALANCING OUR POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE WAYS OF THINKING

I have written rather extensively about positive thinking because of its importance to the well-being of each and every one of us.  The opposite of positive thinking is, of course, negative thinking -- possibly the primary self-inflicted disease of our time.  Negative thinking tends to drag us down mentally, emotionally and physically.  It literally makes us sick.

Our positive thoughts (joy, happiness, fulfillment, achievement, worthiness) create positive results (enthusiasm, calm, well-being, ease, energy, love).  Negative thoughts on the other hand (judgment, unworthiness, mistrust, resentment, fear) produce negative results (tension, anxiety, alienation, anger, fatigue).

It goes without saying that without our thoughts, things simply would not happen in our lives.  Where we are in our lives at this very minute, is the result of a lifetime of thinking, both positive and negative.   While I have had bouts of negative thinking in my lifetime, I consider myself to be generally positive by nature.

Unlike pregnancy where you either are or you are not, I have cause to wonder however if it is possible to be a little bit negative.  Are realists and rationalists just a little bit negative in their thinking?  And in this regard, can negativity be a matter of personal perception; in other words, in the mind and eyes of the beholder?  Allow me to explain those rather convoluted questions as perhaps only I can pose them.

My wife Rosanne is impulsive by mature and has been known to embrace ideas with great enthusiasm, which more often than not I encourage and support.  There are times, however, when it seems to me that her enthusiasm has blinded her from reality, prompting me to suggest: "Rosanne, think about your health.  You are not physically able to do that...", or "Remember, that will cost money which we do not have..." or, "Come on now, what would we do with that if we had it?"

Rosanne's response is always the same:  "Why are you so negative?  You always want to knock me down when I am happy about something!"  At that point any attempt to explain myself falls on deaf ears and I am left feeling badly about having hurt her feelings.  Maybe in not patronizing her with false hope, I could be accused of negativity.  In her mind, she is convinced that I can be positive one minute and negative the next  -- but she loves me nonetheless.

If I really wanted to push the issue, I am sure that I could also convince Rosanne that I only react in her best interests, but down deep I think she really does understand.  Most assuredly, I do not want to make "negativity" an issue in our lives and I am committed to being a little more sensitive when it comes to playing the role of devil's advocate with my wife.

So what is my point?

To me, both positive and negative are equally important as they comprise the whole. Just like every coin has two sides, there is day and night, there is life and death, there is joy and pain, there is beauty and ugliness – all of these things are complimentary to each other. This is what we call "reality". Reality cannot be changed. A lie changes, but truth always remains the same.

Have you ever realized the joy of seeing things as they are in their whole or totality, instead of looking at only one side? No question about the existence of a positive-negative balancing act, but there is so much joy in adopting a realistic approach in life – just accepting the way things are with grace and love. 

Of that, I am positive.

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