How Positive Thoughts Keep You Out of Trouble

Every day as human beings we face challenges. We pretend to be better than we are, hiding our grief, doubt, fear and sometimes anger so that people don’t see what a mess we are inside. You can hide a lot behind a mile, and sometimes, you can even hide the pain and sadness from your eyes. I’m so tired of hearing how all the ups and downs of life make us stronger. Although true, it does become cliche. Sometimes, NOT being OK is all that we can register, and our hearts and brains actually ache with the heaviness of these emotions.

This is normal. It means we are human and once we accept that it is alright to not be happy-go-lucky all of the time, and that if someone sees a little emotion in our eyes, that’s OK. We’re OK. It gives us the right to lift that heavy feeling of dread because everything tends to have a ways of working things out. Whatever your tough times are, whatever they consist of, sometimes, it makes things not OK in the present. And that, is totally fine.

It’s been pretty tough around here the past year. Lots of changes, some good, some bad and some just have not yet decided which way they are headed. The emotional roller coaster runs much more frequently, but that is alright for now. There has been loss, my grandmother is gone just over a year now. The business built for 15 years with my husband is lost. We started with $100 and a dream, and in one broad motion, the rug was ripped out from beneath our feet. Luckily, we could walk away, proud, honest and with a little bit to help us through the next few rainy days. My eldest left home for University. I am so proud of him I could cry. I know, strange lady, but you’re still here reading. We sold our home, we have joined the millions of renters.

We downsized not only our belongings, but the miscellaneous stuff that collected in the corners of our minds throughout the years. We seemed OK. But truthfully, it’s pretty tough around here. The scariness of no promising income opportunities to fill the gap left form the shop is tangible. It sits with us everywhere. For my husband, it is the fear of being obsolete, of not providing for the family, feelings of betrayal by friends and colleagues, and an emotional lag so deep, it is sometimes difficult to get up and moving. For me, it is an unspeakable grief, the loss of our comfortable family unit. We are missing unity now, and that’s not OK. But all of this is a growth opportunity. If I accept, and you accept that it is alright to not be OK all the time, than we can move beyond and find success in the long run. There is no shame in falling apart for a little while, it’s cleansing and brings wisdom and clear objectives.

My goal, right now, is not the long term one of being a successful blogger and freelance writer, but of focusing only on today. I cannot change yesterday, or predict the future, but I can cope with today. Life is overwhelming, complex and complicated enough without stressing myself out too much over what might happen.  What makes me and you dear reader mad, is not today’s experiences, but the regrets and resentments of yesterday, and the fear of what MIGHT happen tomorrow. It is necessary my friends, to take it one day at a time, live it, breathe it, move beyond it to the next page.
I am taking this to heart, or attempting to, not only with my life as it is, but with my personal goals as well. Some days I feel blocked. Like there are no words left in the universe and I am rendered permanently speechless. I have learned to break everything down into pieces that I can manage. I have learned where to go and what to do to make the words flow. Sometimes they are stilted, but I write them, put them aside, and they eventually reveal the coherent thoughts to me. Most important of all, I am excited about my writing. This compels me to move forward towards my goals. I write about things that are meaningful to me and my life, and hopefully to you and your life as well.

I find that I spend most of my time now searching internally for those things that matter to my life. After much soul searching, and I am not nearly done my friends, I think I figured out something truly important. So simple – there is no benefit to hanging on to resentment and anger, especially from our past. We all make mistakes and have regrets, but these events are what shaped us, made us who we are. Very few things in life are as personal as they seem, and this is what I’m working on now. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am learning to take criticism for what it is. As I am realizing this truth, and letting myself run with it, I am more aware that what others do does not have to be a personal attack. When people are hurt, scared and angry, sometimes they are just being unkind to themselves. We just get caught in the crossfire. But we survive. Making mistakes and letting people down isn’t a crime, and not necessarily wrong. It’s all part of being human. I am trying not to let thoughtless comments into my heart. People’s actions come form their experiences. They give others what they have received themselves. So I am making an effort to try and act in a more conscious and caring way, reminding myself that not everyone will be giving and kind in return. And that’s alright. You can liberate yourself and be stronger by not taking everything personally.

So let’s talk about toxic people. It usually is someone very close to you, and they can’t see the harm their negative words, feelings or actions have on you. You have choices here. You can choose to completely delete them from your life, or choose to carve out time away from them to reclaim your positive vibes and your sanity. I walk a lot. the dog loves it, but it clears my head. Sometimes it takes a longer walk, but I usually return feeling refreshed and calm. There is a difference between accepting someone’s negative words and actions as due to their own fears and insecurities, and excusing it – enabling them to continue bringing anger and negativity to your life. We can be compassionate, and possibly supportive, but we need to remember that we have to stay accountable for our own well being. Sometimes people have strong opinions and are intent on giving out harsh criticism to “help you.” I am learning to tell myself that I am stronger, and I’m alright doing things my way, even if they don’t agree with me.

A peaceful, strong, well adjusted person is not always in a good situation, but they have a good and positive attitude toward every situation. I have one friend who makes for a good example. I admire her tenacity and her resiliency; how with all the adversity in her life, she comes out smiling every day. Married to alcoholic, angry, lazy man, one who refuses to provide, with a young child and a serious heart condition, she is one of the most positive people I know. Not that she doesn’t worry about income, her career, children or future, but she chooses to see the brighter side. She knows that she must live and make it to tomorrow, and it is easier if she is positive. I am proud to say that i learn a lot from her about many different things. She is a kind and caring and good person, and an inspiration to me. She knows that secret, that people don’t suddenly change and start living their ideal life overnight. She has simple daily rituals, such as a tea by candlelight in the evening, that makes it possible for her to create or dream of creating the life she truly wants to live. We can all learn from her example.

I am choosing to make my own changes. I am a beginning meditation student. I am learning to center myself and to use positive thoughts and energy to keep me anchored to my goals. I am learning to let it go. A small commitment but one to help me stay sane and focused when my path is twisted and dark. Changing your situation is not always possible. New jobs don’t appear magically overnight, new careers take time to gain momentum and you cannot change any person or past event. What you can change is your attitude. Choose a positive one that moves you forward, not one that causes regression or stagnation. You can change yourself from the inside out. Calmer, more focused, more positive – you will ultimately move beyond that which you now feel you cannot control. Stay happy! Keep walking on, and stay positive!