Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Glue it Tuesday and Thoughts on negative thinking
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.
It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower
an entire army of negative thoughts.
-Robert H. Schuller
I struggled with this week’s Glue it Tuesday page. I mistakenly viewed other artist’s entries and thought mine to be too simple. Last week I tried something different and it simply wasn’t me. I want to thank iHanna for this blog entry about gluebooks. She states, “A Glue Book to me is a notebook, bought or handmade, where you glue down any image that spark something within you (any feeling goes).” I needed this reminder. My gluebook is there for what inspires me; I am not working in it to inspire others. While this week’s page is not as inspiring as I had hoped, it is a better reflection of what sparks my creativity; bright colors, flowers, layers, and tissue paper. It a reflection on the power of positive thoughts which I write about below.
Thus far my experience in blogland has been fun but this was not my original intent when I embarked on this endeavor. I shared my morning reading routine but that was as deep as I dared to delve into some of my internal dialog and personal challenges that I am working on overcoming. I admit to holding back mostly out of fear. Fear of what readers might think of me after sharing the unpleasant parts of myself. To stay true to myself I must confront what I fear and be forthcoming with my personal challenges.
Negative thinking had firmly entrenched itself and I have been working on changing this. I allowed the negativity of my work place to permeate my being and I found myself in a place where I my negative thoughts outweighed the positive ones. I noticed that my mom is quite the naysayer. Being the biology teacher that I am I know that growing up in that environment plays a role in my perception of things. But that can’t be the only contributor. I wonder if part of my negativity is innate, if this is one of the lessons I am here to learn and overcome.
Progress is slow, much slower than I would like. I prefer instantaneous change but life doesn’t work that way, I don’t work that way. I’ve recognized the problem and acknowledged it which experts say is the first step in healing. While I am no Pollyanna, I do catch myself sharing more positive insights with others. I have become more encouraging when others share their woes and I hold back on sharing my own.
It took me awhile to realize that I had allowed all that negativity in. Once I figured it out I took action by seeking advice from my intuitive friends and I sought out a holistic chiropractic healer. While I haven’t been the best at following all of her recommendations I have used a majority of them regularly and they have made a monumental difference for me mentally and spiritually.
I have become aware of two problem areas which cause me to digress: when I am in the company of other teachers and work becomes the topic, and my own internal dialog.
*A disclaimer: The school district for which I worked is the poster child for dysfunction, narcissism, and back stabbing. I’ve had friends and family come to my classroom to help out and even they noticed the air of hostility, anger and resentment that permeates the building. One person likened it to the state penitentiary!
My defense system falters when I get in a gathering of teachers and the topic turns inevitably to work. I have noticed two things; I don’t join in on the conversation (I either get up to get something to eat or I leave) and I find myself wanting to avoid these types of gatherings in the first place. I push myself to show up because avoidance is not a means to change and I do want to stay in touch. I’ve tried steering the conversation away from teaching but gravity always seems to work against me and it isn’t long before a statement is made and it gains momentum as others chime in with their own experiences. This is when I want to bolt.
I notice my internal dialog seems to have an invisible igniter which launches at warp speed towards what-ifs and imagined scenarios. I don’t know why I do this or what that igniter is. I recognize it as a habit but I haven’t found a surefire way to stop it. Catching a negative thought before it gains momentum and launches off into a future of gloom and doom gets easier with awareness. It happens mainly while driving so to keep myself in the positive I practice affirmations or talk to my angels. When I talk out loud it is easier to catch my negative thoughts because I stop talking when they take over.
As I write this I also realize that my negative thinking takes over when I become depressed, angry, or tired. It is at those time when I am most vulnerable to worst case scenario thinking. As these negative thoughts pick up momentum, my anger or depression worsens, and the downward spiral begins cycling out of control. It becomes more and more difficult to stop the longer I allow it go on. This is part of the trigger for the Dark Night of the Soul.
The shower seems to be where more of my positive thoughts take root and bloom. Like many people, inspiring ideas flood my brain lifting my energy level only to be lost by the time I get out and dry off enough to get them written down of paper. Keeping my mind busy with the task at hand also seems to promote positive thinking. This is especially true when cleaning the house and weeding the garden which I realize is metaphoric for cleaning out the negative.
I believe I can overcome my habit of negative thinking but it will take continuous focus and work. I do believe there are people who are naturally positive and optimistic; I am not one of them. This does not give me permission to allow my negative thinking to re-entrench itself and run wild. I will acknowledge when I digress and if all else fails, I can always take a shower or start cleaning the house!
Are your thoughts more positive or negative? What seems to trigger your negative thinking? Please consider sharing what you do in order to change your thoughts towards the positive.