May 13, 2011

The Power of Negative Thinking

I'll be honest, I kinda felt like this poor
guy after scrolling through my FB
news feed. I'm sure it's hormones.
I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed the other day noting all the exciting things happening in my Facebook friend's lives. From counting down the days to a transcontinental vacation to Facebooking from another country altogether, as I read all the fun and success stories and looked at the matching pictures detailing happiness, beauty and great fun..............I started feeling like somewhat of a loser (as I knelt down  to scrape up the flattened, fossilized raisin squashed on my kitchen floor....and then Facebook about it). 

I held onto this feeling for a while, while I changed the bed sheets, mopped floors, and cleaned toilets whilst imagining everyone's shiny life at home with their families, sitting on their brand new stylish furniture and planning their trip to Tuscany (while eating brie and crackers but not gaining any weight cause they are just too damn perfect - okay....I'm laying it on a little thick). At any rate, I had pictures of successful new businesses, furniture, homes, babies, cars, and puppies dancing in my head wondering how much of what is posted is real. I mean, how many people are putting on the smile while feeling less than happy on the inside? Of course, you will never read posts like, "I am struggling with the decision to leave my husband" or "completely hate my life and wish I could run off and live on the beach" or "I've racked up my credit cards and it looks like we will loose everything by Christmas".  I may sound like an impressionable 6 year old, but why are we so gaurded with the ugly bits? After asking this, however, I am reminded of the many reality shows that highlight people who are more than happy to show you their ugly bits (both physically, mentally, and spiritually speaking).

But what if more people did "get real" on FB? Would we feel better about ourselves and our lives? Possibly. Would we be more apt to share our own fears and challenges in life? Maybe. I am not suggesting there is no room for "when fate shuts a door, she opens a window" kinda thinking...I'm just saying that we should also celebrate the "MISTAKES; sometimes your purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others" kinda thinking. 

....and sometimes this is true too.

Real life includes hope, positive thinking, happiness, and even "believing in the power of friendship". It also includes sadness, loss, grumpiness for no apparent reason, fear, challenge and even the odd day of ugliness. My administrative assistant "Candy" (sorry admin assistant you do not suit the name of Candy..and that's why it's so cute) gave me a "Power of Negative Thinking" booklet for my birthday.  We place it in our office for other to enjoy. Some of my favorite sayings include; "OPTIMISM is the belief that you will succeed even though everyone else knows you won't" or "Never underestimate the POWER of a fancy title and some shiny shoes" or "Determination and PERSEVERANCE move the world. But good looks and connections make the job a whole lot easier" that's reality (coupled with a fabulous sense of sarcasm).
This is my personal favorite. I use this picture in my addictions
awareness course. It has a lot of truth to it...even though the
image is a bit disturbing.  Sorry if I offend.

In closing, while it is wonderfully healthy to think positively, it is also very healthy to allow yourself to feel crappy about life sometimes...that's what chocolate and red wine are for.  Besides, the bad times in life help us appreciate the good times so much more ( that's something you'd find on a sympathy card).

So if you take nothing else away from this post, remember this; every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who are trying to find it.

Have a great weekend!

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