Monday, September 16, 2013

Be Positive.

Or not. It’s your choice, of course.

Lately I’ve noticed a trend in conversations, one that I think is happening in some circles but perhaps not others.

Multiple people around me are voicing how negativity sucks them down, and that hanging out with negative people makes them feel... deflated.

Several people I know have actively chosen to disconnect with particular friends because of continued negativity dragging them down.

I’m sure just about everybody knows what I’m talking about. That acquaintance you bump into in the grocery store (or wherever) and after a few moments of chitchat—which on their part tends to be a giant list of complaints delivered with a defeated sigh—you leave the conversation with lower energy than before you’d seen them.

They’ve figuratively sucked your energy with their negativity. It happens.

And everyone can have their moment when they are that negative energy-sucking person, but the trick is to not always be that person. Bounce.

[Note: I’m not knocking anyone with depression or mental illness, here—being positive isn’t some magical bandaid solution to mental illness. Go. Get help. Please be the hero of your story, not the victim.]

I like to think I’m a pretty positive person.

Sure, I have good days, and sure, I have shitty days—we all do—but what you have to remember is that without a spectrum you have no basis for comparison.

They all can’t be good days—if there weren’t bad days there would be no good days.

Labeling myself a terminal realist means I’m definitely not an optimist—though it’s mistaken for that often, to be sure. Terminal realism isn’t about being so bloody positive that you burp sparkles and piss rainbows (though that would be cool for a short while, it would quickly get old... or so I imagine).

No, it’s about being realistic about life. It's about laughing off the ugly stuff and moving on.

I rant. I rant a lot, everyday, enough to warrant having my own blog (heh). But I hesitate to call it negative.

Rather, I like to think my hair-pulling frustration with the epidemic of stupidity is entertaining to some. Perhaps even amusing. Droll, shall we say?

So it’s not about walking around with a smile plastered on your face and ignoring life’s bumps—by all means, get that frustration out.

It’s the way you do it, though.

Life’s thrown me plenty of shit sandwiches, and I've choked them down. Not always with a smile in the moment, but afterwards. It's the afterwards that matters. It’s not a scar to pity—it’s a story to tell. And if I can’t get someone to snort a laugh while I do the telling, well, I haven’t done my job.

Mind you, being a self-proclaimed storyteller will do that.

Point being: positivity isn’t about never exalting in those bad things. It’s about perspective, perseverance, and recognizing the humour that can be found within any situation.

(Seriously, I wrote a post about my cat dying. To this day I think it’s one of my funniest posts ever. Yes, I’m twisted.)

Anyhow. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Lesson from Pinterest, so I figured I’d reflect on positivity.

Positive minds live positive lives.

When you’re actively trying to be positive, it changes your brain. Positive begets positive. The same goes for negativity, too, which is the danger of being in a slump for too long—it’s difficult to dig out of it.

Like anything, exercising positivity takes practice. Finding the—admittedly nuanced— humour in the shitstorm life throws at you is a twisted sort of talent, but I like to think it’s attainable by everyone.

A lot of it is just realizing that the universe has a sick sense of irony, and graciously letting it go.

Yes, let it go...

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