~ notes from an uncommon journey ~

Why I "Hate" Positive Thinking

I "hate" positive thinking. No, I don't mean that I hate it when a positive, seemingly reasonable thought occurs to me. What I hate is the whole "just think positive thoughts and all your heartache will go away" message.

Why? Well, I want to be very clear about this. Thinking positive thoughts is, of course, not bad...practically by definition. After all, it's positive. (Yep, I've got that whole grip-on-the-obvious thing goin' for me.) My problem is: I cannot so easily "switch" from a negative thought I'm having to some positive thing I'm supposed to be telling myself. And why is that? Because 99% of the time, the positive thing I'm supposed to be telling myself is not something I can believe. If I'm going to think a (new) positive thought, it has to be something I can believe.

And--why do I have a hard time believing the positive? I think there are a couple reasons: One, so much of my life has been heartbreak, pain, shattered dreams. (To my own ears, this sounds like: one could easily think I'm being melodramatic. But if you know my story, you know I'm not.) Two, I have a hard time having a lot of hope. Again, why is that? Well--revisit reason one. Now, as a result of my Christian faith, I have hope for eternal life. I know that I will go to heaven when I die and that I'll see again my loved ones who are already there. It's the whole between-now-and-then part that I struggle to have hope for.

Yes, I'm aware that I've asked "why" four times in the last 2 paragraphs, but given my life, I think that too is apropos. (P.S. I love saying the word "apropos.")

Having said all that, I do recognize the value of thinking positive things. Thoughts determine attitudes, actions, ultimately destiny. So...what I've come to is: I'll have to do positive thinking me-style. And I'll expound on what I mean by that in a future post.

Thanks for listening!

1 comment

  1. Often people say, "Cheer up" because they want you to feel better because they feel bad that you feel bad and if you feel better they will feel better. Whew!

    Connie, my former life, up until the age of 27, was "sad." I felt like I had been "dysthymic" since age 9 and I was terribly angry at my parents. I met someone who I dated briefly who said one thing that turned it all around. I believe that was the main reason for meeting him.

    I "rewrote" my childhood and early adulthood as a result of that one thing he said. I did have lots of trials and tribulations in my life, but now I see that I have really had a great life with some major bumps in the road.

    I should blog about that. Thanks for sparking that thought, Connie. Michelle


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