If you have never seen the Stuart Smalley movie, I highly recommend it. I laughed myself to tears. I have to admit, it was so long ago, there is a good chance I was high when I saw it.
Nevertheless, I adore Al Frankin, and I love the fact that he's both educated AND smart, and that he did smart people comedy before he went into politics. Not a combo that I would normally favor, but he is an original and it works for him. But I digress. As much as I love Al AND Stuart, they are just my intro to a post about positive thinking, and what I, well, think of it.
For me it is not so black and white making a decision about how I will choose to discern my thoughts and prospectives. I had to chew on it for a while. Read a lot, think a lot, read some more, experiment some and observe different personalities and how their attitudes helped or hurt their ability to navigate their lives in what appeared to be a fulfilling and joyful manner. Needless to say, this took a while. There were many conflicts which had to be cleared up for me involving positive thinking, and what it actually meant before I could hop on board. Does it mean to just grin and bear it? Does it mean to ignore reality and live in a happy illusion bubble? (I find this particularly disturbing and a little too close to denial for me) Does it mean to just focus on upbeat people and situations? Does it mean faking it? (I don't know if anyone remembers, but about 10 years ago some study was supposedly proving that people who smiled even though they were miserable were contracting all sorts of diseases because on a cellular level their bodies were as confused as their minds!) To me, that meant that if you have negative or toxic feelings, that you need to expel them in some way... (Talk it out, exercise, hit a pillow, scream, whatever) Keeping those emotions tucked away or unrecognized, is to make yourself physically ill from stress build up... This isn't positive... all the same, I felt there was something to all this positive thinking stuff... and I was right..
I'll share what PT means to me, just keep in mind I've pulled from many sources, situations and experiences so there may be a lot of ideas that are not original. What I'm hoping is to package and present these ideas, theories and experiences in an original way, for myself as much as anyone else. So here goes.
Natural events that happen on this planet, or indeed anywhere are neutral in meaning, but do possess a charge of some kind, positive, negative or neutral. What gives any event or experience meaning is our interpretation of it. If everything and everyone possess both a positive charge, (aka light), as well as a negative charge, aka(shadow), then the amount of positive vs the amount of negative charge will determine the overall charge that thing/person emits....(positive, negative or neutral). This is why sometimes a person can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up just being near them, and alternatively why people can attract each other from across a room.
So we all have a choice to make. The choice is 'where would we like to direct our focus with regard to outside stimuli?", and "what do we want emit/attract?". In most every situation we can generally discern the negative parts and the positive parts, then choose which part(s) we'd like to focus on. This is not always as easy as it sounds because most of us are programmed to have certain ideas and agendas, and if the outside stimuli doesn't fit into the confines of those ideas or agendas then there is the default setting of feeling negatively about it automatically. For instance, you are meeting someone for a business lunch and you get rained on. You can make the best of it and find the humor in it, or you can get upset because you feel silly being all wet. You're choice.
Of course I'm simplifying, but in most situations there is this inherent choice. I don't think that any of us are equipped to see that choice in all or even most situations because we have emotions and agendas, and that's ok...BUT... we CAN learn to see the choice in more situations than we are used to, if we loosen up and stay conscious. I am in the process of reprogramming my thinking (the process by which I interpret outside stimuli) in hopes that the more I practice, the more positive changes will happen in my brain chemistry, which will help me emit more positive energy, which in turn will allow me to feel better, do better and live better.
And remember: You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it people like you!