Remember when they said everything will be okay, just be positive? For some of us that worked but for others it told us what we feel is not real. I’m going to outline what just be positive means to someone who simply cannot because they are feeling emotions that positivity simply cannot change. It’s about gratitude and I’m going to use fall to illustrate what I mean!
My mom makes me really frustrated, she says all these things to belittle me….
Just be positive it’s okay.
I’m really upset that I spent all this time trying to better myself to get this position and I didn’t get it, even though everyone told me I would.
It’s okay just be positive.
I hate everything!
It’s okay just be positive.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to see how just being positive wouldn’t change the feelings, it may even garner a snicker. Positivity is a beautiful thing in fact it isn’t a problematic mindset to have either. Unfortunately, like the holiday tree, it has masked over the importance of accepting things as they are sometimes and enabling the acceptance of the moment. When someone feels a certain way, happy or sad, discouraged or encouraged, its alright to let them be in that feeling and support them in releasing it so they can move forward. But we have to accept that their feelings are true in the moment and is teaching them something in the time that they feel it. So when Mom says things to belittle me and I feel frustrated, It’s not the time to tell me to be positive because I actually need to understand how I can stop this from happening or what her words are stirring up for me. Instead of putting up the Stop sign on my feelings by telling me to Just be positive, I’ll need to sit here for a moment.
I understand more than anyone how frustrating it is to be around someone in a “bad mood”. I understand how much you may want to change this for them and get them out of the state their in. There is something you can do! But its not just about positivity, Its about stopping the ripple effect of negativity after the emotions felt have served its time. Picture it like this, You didn’t get the position so you feel really upset, maybe defeated and just frustrated at the process. Feel that and learn from it.
The Ripple effect is what you choose to empower, after the feelings, are you going to believe you’re not good enough for any position? Will you stop believing there’s a job out there for you that you would be better suited for? Or will you bounce back and see what the experience did to support you? This is the power of gratitude, it reduces the ripple effect of negativity so that you can shift into a more positive space. Not blindly or in ignorance, but with acceptance of what you feel, maybe defeat or hurt, and a knowing that you gained even in the perceived loss. With gratitude you get to open the floodgate of blessings that were around you, that were held up in the moment you were gripped by stagnant energy. This is not to say negativity doesn’t have a place, but when it starts to settle in in a way that isn’t serving your highest good then, this is where we can really pull on gratitude to escort it out.
Recently I was laying on the couch with my partner and we both fell asleep, I was really uncomfortable and cold so when I woke up I was just in a bad mood, I couldn’t shake off my annoyance or irritation with not being able to get a good sleep. We ended up leaving the house to pick up my mentor’s son and drop him home after a concert and I pulled myself together to be happy, but getting back home I was still annoyed and Snappy! But Sheldon stopped me and put both hands on my shoulders and said, hey what are you thankful for? At that moment I wanted to be so mad and just turn away, but he said again what are you grateful for.
It took me a second..
But I said umm I don’t know…
and as I started to say I guess I noticed something inside me started changing. I said I was thankful for being in my awareness…
and I smiled a little.
I said actually I’m also thankful for having this place to live in and I’m thankful for… the list went on. Just like that the shift happened and I realized what I was upset about wasn’t anything to be upset about at all! In fact that moment taught me I need proper sleeping conditions otherwise I’ll be cranky. But it wasn’t about just being positive, it was about stopping the downward spiral.
I shared this story with an elderly couple I picked up while driving as an Uber Partner, and they were grateful for the story because it reinforced what the wife constantly said to her husband (I can’t remember their names). It didn’t’ seem like he truly got the point of gratitude from someone so close, but I guess a complete stranger helped which reminded me why I’m thankful to be open to others. So it’s not just about being positive, gratitude is a core part of any equation to resolve the growth of draining emotions. Remind yourself of all the things you can be thankful for so that you can feel hurt, or pain or whatever, but also so you don’t have to live in it.
Thank you Sheldon for helping me to solidify and ground my understanding of gratitude.