News Flash: Bad things happen.
November 27, 2011, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Mind, Spirit, Uncategorized, Writing

I found out something startling yesterday. I learned that bad things happen in life. (I really hope readers can infer my sarcasm here.) I heard some great feedback on my blog from one of Nick’s birding buddies of five years. It was one of the few well-rounded and thoughtful critiques I’ve received so far on my site. I was perceived as an optimist, as joyful and happy and uplifting in my writing and my topic choices. I told him, Joy is my middle name, after all. But something he said to me struck a deep cord, hitting on one of the primary reasons that I write. He said (not quoted verbatim,) “All that thinking is good and sounds good, but the reality is that life is not always like that.”

And that sentiment – that being optimistic is nice and appealing, but not logical –  is a pervading concept in our times. Being positive is unrealistic. The very idea that positive thought is immediately dismissed because of the existence of “bad things” and traumatic events is like saying you’re not going to get dressed today because you’ll only have to get undressed later.

Of course we get dressed. And you’ve got to put on your best, whatever that is for you. Understand that clothing is only a covering for what’s going on inside of you.

I was tossing this concept of positivism as unrealistic around in my head last night after a second Thanksgiving meal inspired by supermarket sales after Thursday. This is not the first time I have heard that I’m positive, that I smile often, that I overlook negative details or drawbacks in certain situations. There is a difference between acknowledging the bad and focusing on it, however. We should acknowledge the problems, the hardships and the obstacles in our path. This allows us to brainstorm solutions for overcoming them. Being positive is about choosing light in spite of the bad. It is about working for Good in the face of the bad. Being positive is not about being in denial, it is about choosing a better life.

So as I’m getting all these thoughts out this morning, the lovely Dr. Dyer pops up on an infomercial for his program “Excuses Begone” on a local Maine community channel. Dyer is linked in the column on the left.

Here are some of the coincidental notes from his broadcast.

In “Excuses Begone” he speaks about the seven most important principles in governing a more positive life.

“You want to get out of your excuses by not explaining and especially by not complaining,” Dyer says. When you try to explain your calling to people, the deep urge you feel in your soul or heart is often lost in translation. Most people will look at your dreams as crazy or nonsense.

The reality is that we all have dreams and desires. You may not be aware of them all at the moment. There is a calling in your soul saying you need to do that. The more you explain this to someone, the more excuses you create just trying to prove your case. Not a good move.

As you move through your goals you begin to see that those who truly matter and support you will not need explanations. They will not require reasons and you will not have to rationalize or justify your behavior to them. They will support you. You will meet people who support you and who relate to you. If you find yourself explaining yourself too much – take a step back.

I think the no complaining rule is fairly self-explanatory. Who enjoys being around a complainer? I want to tell a complainer to join the club of humanity or life or reality as my critiquer B would call it. Bad things do happen. To everyone. Not just you, complainer. Life is full of setbacks, of failures and of mistakes. And? What else is new?

I think one of the most important aspects of being positive is acceptance. You have to let go of the idea that there will never be hardships or problems. Go on, brush your shoulder off!

Dyer adds in his broadcast, “Our most important problems cannot be solved. They must be outgrown.”


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You’re awesome. Am I allowed to “like” this even though I’m not a Facebook member?

Of course life sucks sometimes! The good Lord told us we would have many troubles on this Earth – that’s a guarantee. That doesn’t mean we should wallow in them, even though even the best of us do.

But here’s to a cheerful existence! Continue to lift up the Debbie Downers and the Bummed-Out Barrys of this world, my dear.

Ain’t no sistah like my sistah cause my sistah don’t stop Woot Woot

Comment by Strawberry

🙂 You can definitely “like” this! You are funny! Thanks for the encouragement as always! All you can do is hold up a light. Thanks for holding yours up for me!! xoxo

Comment by simplyenjoy

That’s so good. I think a great misconception about optimistic people is that they are blind to reality. The truth is that optimistic people have vision. They can see past the circumstance into the future and see hope on the horizon. They just believe that the “now” is not the end, but only a step. Life is not changed in how we view it, but we are. That is what makes optimism powerful.

Comment by 1 Story A Week

I like how you put that.

Comment by simplyenjoy

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