Breaking out of a negative thought pattern is so damn hard because the negativity traps you, tricks you, becomes you. How can you release it when you cannot break out of the situation that appears to be the source of the negative thought patterns?
You have to change your thoughts before the situation will change. You have to sniff out cleaner air while you’re still standing in the shit.
It’s like breaking free of chains. It takes focus, effort, will. Especially when you’re sick or tired, which many of us are.
The goal is not to be happy because we’re free of our suffering, but to be happy in spite of it. To suffer and be happy at the same time, by finding meaning in whatever we are experiencing. And it IS meaningful, no matter how crappy it is.
Find the meaning by recognizing the lessons and actually learning from them, feeling the emotions and turning them into art, experiencing the joy when it comes, because it does.
It comes in a hot cup of coffee with cream, a glass of velvety wine, a scoop of ice cream, a sparkle of sunshine, the breath of trees, the glint of water, a kiss and the fleeting promise of it, a smile that brings intimacy to strangers.
These are things you can be grateful for. They don’t require a partner or a vacation or a house or a booming career or your own business or a great boss or whatever it is that you want. If you’re reading this, be grateful for the screen you have the resources to use. The food you’ve eaten today. The water you’ve drank today. The people you’ve connected with today.
It’s hard to catch yourself when you start thinking about all the things that are wrong, or all the ways you are angry, or all the shit you’ve endured. Acknowledge it, and then shift upward, into gratitude. Grab onto the first sweet thing you see. See it and love it. Know your blessings. Feel the amplitude of them.
Look at what’s not working for you, and see what it’s trying to teach you.
Look at what’s bad, and see how it’s tangled up with what’s good. It’s impossible to separate the two.
Bless the mess.
This is how you make the ugly into the beautiful like a Fairy Godmother. With perspective. With positive thinking.
You don’t have to try it today. But you can think about.
I’m thinking about it.
I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.