Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Choosing to be positive

It has been a bit of a tough time the last couple of weeks with getting readjusted to the boys being out of school for the summer. I have also been fighting with feelings of general sadness and some hopelessness. Getting the house cleaned up and cleared out is a daunting task to handle on my own and it also depresses me. I'm doing the best I can - getting up and going to work when I'm scheduled to; feeding the boys; taking care of the little day-to-day duties.

I started clearing out the study yesterday and spent the day going through and recycling old paperwork. Toward the end of the day, I came across a crinkled piece of paper that I'd torn out of a woman's magazine. I was about to recycle it when some words caught my eye from an article about cultivating inner joy. One of the suggestions was to focus on the positive in all situations - not because life is always rosy posy. But by embracing life positively and cheerfully, we can make our lives better.

I reflected on this because I'd recently read some articles about choosing to be happy and that being positive and optimistic is a choice we can all make to improve our lives. I have to take some of this advice with a grain of salt. When someone is deeply grieving, such simplistic suggestions are not suitable. The prevalent upbeat spirit in the self-help books I have been recently reading is beginning to annoy me. There is a time and place for appropriate grieving, such as when a marriage has ended and you're in foreclosure. I think that I am entitled to feel sad at my losses right now. Yet according to these self-help gurus, by focusing on my grief (which puts forth low-level energy vibrations), I am actually attracting back negative things into my life!

Yet at the same time I understand the logic about choosing to see the good in a situation and putting your best foot forward and all that. I guess as in all things it is a balance. A balance between setting time aside for deeply grieving and then choosing to move forward with a more optimistic mindset.

Today I am grateful:

1. For having the strength to face what needs to be done with the house although it is dreary and hard work.
2. For the small surprises I find along the way in cleaning, such as a self-portrait my son drew of himself that made me laugh out loud it was so realistic!
3. That the weather has continued to be cool enough to not have to wear shorts because I haven't had time yet to organize my summer clothing!
4. For the great cheap dinner we had last night - fried bologna, coleslaw, potato salad and corn bread.
5. For the good advice I got from that torn out article which was when you're feeling envious, say to yourself, "Right now I have enough." Aren't those great words?


  1. You have such a hard road to follow right now, I never cease to be amazed at your strength and fortitude.
    As you say, you have every right to feel sad with all that is going on in your life, but that needn't stop you approaching the future with a positive mind. The self-help gurus are only people, and their advice is as fallible as they are. Take from them what works for you and discard the rest without a further thought.
    J xx

  2. J -
    Lovely, heartfelt words - thank you so much for sending them my way!