I’ve had people tell me in the past that positivity is a farce. That being positive all the time is setting yourself up for failure. That by seeing the positive in everything blindsides you to a world that lurks beneath the shadow. The underworld as I call it. Full of toxic relationships and all things that breed nasty encounters. Those people were exactly right and at the same time completely wrong.
Well, their idea of a positive mindset was completely unhinged. A person can only see with crystal clarity what is in front of them if they’ve walked that journey before themselves. You see, having a positive mindset and this whole wave of ‘Positive Thinking’, or at least my idea of positive thinking, is trying to see the good in every situation that arises. Granted, when we’re in the heat of the moment, some situations that occur aren’t positive. But at some point in our lives we’ll have a chance to reflect on those moments; it could be a day later, or ten years down our life span. And it’s then that we can use those memories to put a positive spin on them.
Listen, I mean we could always view them as bad, right? We could constantly look on those clouded and horrible memories that haunt us to our very core, driving them back to the pit of our bellies every time they dare to surface. Or we could look at the valuable life lessons that we learned from the situations we’ve been in. I can hand on heart say that my life has never been plain sailing from start to finish. I’d be telling you massive porkies if I started to pretend that. But I’ve accepted that those parts of me, the parts that I’d love to forget are part of me anyway. And I look at them not as horrible experiences but valuable life lessons that have shaped me into the person that I am today.
And to me, that’s letting go of the past. A lot of people told me that I had to let go of the past, and I’d sit there thinking,
“I’ve let go of it already, it’s not there anymore”
But letting go of the past is simply what it is, forgiving yourself. And it seems strange, me telling you to forgive yourself when you’re probably thinking that most of the experiences you’ve had up until now have been people doing nasty shit to you, sound about right? I think it does. I mean, it’s the other people that need to be on their hands and knees begging for your forgiviness, begging you for mercy, and not the other way around. But actually, you won’t believe how much of a situation that you cling on to. Perhaps it’s your ex that was a nasty abusive arsehole, or a friend that stole money from you and left you penniless. Regardless of what they’ve done, YOU hold onto a lot of that too.
It’s really time to let that go, friend.
What do I mean? Well let me give you an example:
I had an ex girlfriend that was sleeping with another man behind my back for our entire relationship. When I found out about it I DESPISED her, blamed her for everything. I even blamed her for my two year long unhappiness. Which led to a further two years of unhappiness. Yet, when I stepped back from the whole situation I started to realise that it takes two people to have a relationship, and I couldn’t blame her entirely for the situation I was in, after all, it takes two people to have an intimate relationship.
Owning my responsibility in the situation helped a great deal. I was at fault too, because even although I knew fully what she was like I was still blindsided when she did the exact same thing to me. You see, she was Married when I dated her, and that, is my fault too. Probably the most empowering thing for me was owning that I played a part in the situation too, and once I owned the responsibility it was far easier to forgive myself. That way it was easier to forget about it. And now I look at it is a great lesson I learned on why I would never ever date an attached woman ever again. I couldn’t now if I wanted to anyway. I’m happily married! And that’s where the positivity thing comes in. Seeing your life from a different perspective. I could cry about it all of my life, which I used to. But that would get me nowhere. So I look at it positively. I focus on the lessons I’ve learned from my bad experiences.
I’ve heard some people say that there are just some situations that you possibly can’t take a positive situation from, but usually these are people with everything, yet see the world as a barren wasteland of negativity. I’ve seen people with all that they could possibly wish for but are desperately unhappy. And then I’ve talked to drifters without a penny to their name but the lifestyle they live life keeps them in a happy place. I would ask,
“How do you do it? Why are you so happy?”
And they’d tell me, they’d say,
“Well our situation isn’t the best but we have to work with what we have. We could cry about it, but then that’d get us nowhere. We’d be in the fetal position constanly, and that isn’t productive”
And you know what? I totally get that! It’s all about focusing on what you have to get ahead. If you focus on what you used to have then that’s not going to help, because you don’t have it anymore. It’s like an ended intimate relationship. You can blame the other side, but blaming them won’t get you any further in life. Recovery from anything starts with YOU. But I can hear the doubts in your head now. I know, because this was me. If it were me sitting reading this ten years ago I’d be thinking,
“Pffft, you knowing nothing of what I’ve been through, it’s bad”
And you know, you’d be right. I have absolutely NO clue what you’re going through, but there’s always a positive that can be drawn from a situation. Any. It’s how we move on and get on with our lives the best way that we can.
And since I’ve started doing that, it’s improved every area of my life 100 fold. I no longer start something and get upset when it doesn’t take off, then give up and put it in the bin. I look to expand on my failures and reflect on what went wrong and look at ways to fix it for the better next time. I tend to look at things for the long term now rather than short term. I’m more open and flexible with friendships, and I understand that people make mistakes so I’m never secretly holding them to account for something insignificant that went wrong ten years ago. I think I’ve heard it called rapid forgiveness before, yet I’m not sure. Don’t quote me on that.