Just Think Happy Thoughts!
You what?! Have you heard about my life recently?! I hear you all shout. I am shouting with you, believe me, these phrases are real bugbears of mine! How is this even possible that I am being told 'smile, be grateful' given my circumstances?! There is no validation of the more negative sides of life in statements like this, and it layers on the GUILT. What is wrong with me? Why can I NOT feel happy? Or just flip my thoughts to more positive ones? Sometimes it is really important to unpick certain things people may say to you, or that you may read a lot of. "Put your best foot forward", "Get over it", "Think happy thoughts", "Live your best life", "think positive!". Like just one turn of phrase in your head will make all the difference.
I wanted to break certain phrases down because blindly agreeing to 'be positive' or 'live your best life', suggest you need to bury and ignore the 'bad' stuff. But I feel it is extraordinarily important to bring all the presumed 'bad' stuff out into the light, integrate it into your being, it is a part of you! And no amount of burying it under happy thoughts will make it better or go away. Whatever it is that is there beneath the surface, feeling negative - needs addressing.
Swimming in the river earlier today, the water was still. I float and take in the cold surroundings. Few leaves remain huddled to trees, maze of twigs left bare and visible. A different kind of beauty presents as the seasons change. Yet nature yields, acceptingly and accordingly. It relinquishes beauty, flowers, fruit, life, colour to the turning of a season. It doesn't force itself to be back in bloom again, nor does it force itself to hide when it has lost its bloom - it stands bold and strong in it's vulnerability and nakedness. I love watching nature and taking lessons from it, and no truer lesson can we take than its unique ability of accepting the seasons.
Learning to live with our lives, accepting all the parts that make us, is vital to our growth. Trees don't wallow in self-pity, crying 'you took my leaves away again, Autumn, you b@*st$rd!', they just know that it is part of the process. Don't force positivity if it is not there, there are other things you can do to 'lift' yourself: notice what you have, arms that work, a mouth that tastes food, a bed with covers, feet to walk you down the road - just noticing brings you into a state of appreciation. It doesn't have be a dramatic 'yesterday I was depressed, but behold! Today I am cured! - I am POSITIVE Tamsyn today, hooray for one meme I read on instagram 'be positive', it changed my life and made EVERYTHING better!' It is not an obtainable objective when you are suffering for whatever reason you may be suffering.
Don't put your best foot forward, just put a foot forward, in a vague forwards motion, and trust! It is ok take baby steps with whatever bit of you can manage the forwards bit!
Forcing, pushing, lead to resistance and resentment and guilt. Floating is the new positive, it takes trust to lie back and float in water, but it always holds you - so see troubled times as times you must float, lessen the resistance, the lightness will follow.
Peace and floating in really freezing waters for fun,
Yes, there probably is something wrong with me,