Sit Back Down, Pollyana: I’m Focusing on the Negative

What?!? We can’t play the Glad Game yet?

Yeah, yeah…I know…focus on the positive. Like attracts like. Dwelling on the negative brings more negative. Anyone who’s read The Secret knows this. Come on buckaroo, turn that frown upside down. It’s quite simple, really.  

Really? Or does this make us feel more like crap because it becomes one more thing on our “Can’t Do” list. 

I actually did muster through The Secret.  I felt more content, more patient. I channeled my white light on everything; those I love, those who frustrate me, my arthritic dog, and on every single Green Bay Packer every single minute of the Superbowl. You’re welcome fellow fans, it was a serious channeling effort. My head really started to hurt in the 4th.   

But old habits die hard. Within a week, my impatience and usual frustrations crept back, those jerks. My personal resume touts extensive experience with negative focus. If you are like me, you will require longer onsite training for the Pollyana position.

I believe in the power of positive thought. It’s very real and it really works. Some people just have “it”. You know the ones. Their eyes actually twinkle. I’m not one of them. I envy them. And get annoyed by them.    

Think if it as weight loss. Research indicates that the more quickly you drop the pounds, the more likely they’ll return. Unlike subcutaneous fat, thoughts and behavior patterns go even deeper. They are engrained in your personality, your very core. They have a longer history than anything else in your body.

It is possible to set too high of expectations with positivity. Instant gratification in mental health is almost nonexistent, even with really good drugs. Rarely does one achieve total contentment overnight. 

So I’m going to suggest you start where most plans don’t. Allow yourself to focus on the negative. Start gently. Without judgment, pick just one negative thought or behavior to assess. It takes focus…even a little bit of fear to pick through the mental clutter that has accumulated in your brain since your birth.    

Write it down. Don’t discard it yet. It’s unrealistic to think you can shake it that fast. Examine it. How did it get there? Did you benefit from it once? Do you now?   

It’s work. It’s both painful and exciting work. No doubt, simply acknowledging the negative will promote positivity. But patience my friend, it will take time.

It’s the most important work you must do if you want any other changes to stick. Start with the brain. Start with the heart. The body will follow.

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