Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Taking My Norman Vincent Peale Pill

As I slip deeper into the Summer of my Discontent, I've noticed an increasing negativity in my thoughts. Last night, Mike and I were on the phone until about 1AM (I couldn't sleep). He was talking about his belief that we create our own realities shaped by our thoughts. When we think negative things, negative things happen. Conversely, positive thoughts create positive realities.

It's all very Norman Vincent Peale.

Although I do believe that our attitudes shape our being, I think this philosophy doesn't give randomness and chaos much sway. I realize that I only received a brief introduction into this way of thinking; however, I find it difficult to believe that John was cheating on me because a few times I thought that he could be cheating on me. Did my thoughts precede the action or vice versa? I don't believe that those thousands of people whose lives were destroyed by the tsunami two (?) years ago or by Hurricane Katrina last year were thinking negative thoughts and brought it on themselves. I buy lottery tickets every time the jackpot is over $100 million and I think I'm going to win. It still hasn't happened.

Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. Shit happens. Maybe our attitudes have some affect ... but giving our thoughts total control seems, well, naive ... or at least simplistic.

However, that's not to completely discount what he said. I know I've been viewing things through a Mr. Negativity Lens (Free! from Kellogg's I've Been Cheated On Cheerios!), and it's coloring my perspective on everything ... my job, my life, my friendships, my future relationships. I need to change that. I need to reverse the polarity of my thinking.

I need to, and I will.

Right now, I need to finish my coffee, because -gah!- staying up until 1AM is exhausting.


  1. You do seem to be in a strange mood recently. But you should try and ignore it for the time being. I'm pretty sure it's temporary and some sleep and normality will sort it out.

    I notice that whenever people are in a strange mood (myself included) the words "Hmm, Shit happens...", or similar, seem to appear in their blog. It's probably the phase of the moon or something, we all feel shit sometimes for no reason.

    But then think about the times we feel good for no reason too. That'll be $50 for the shrink session please. You know where to send the cheque...!

    Honestly, you'll be fine. I just hope this comment has a similar effect for you as one you left on my site one day when I was feeling shit.

    I just woke up next morning, read it, couldn't help but laugh that a complete stranger on the other side of the world actually read about my problems and offered happy thoughts.

    Get happy or I'll come over there and deliberately knock some stiches of your knitting needle while you're feeding the cat and writing a list of "Things to Done" about it ;-) Sorry other folks, private joke....

    Only Me

  2. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you're depressed right now. You're living in a physiology that is existing in a certain chemical balance. You've had your heart broken. It's how it works.

    Trying to elucidate the "our thoughts create our experiences" view:

    Our thoughts don't necessarily create the concrete aspects of our lives, "bad" thoughts didn't cause the tsunami. Our thoughts only color how we perceive what happens to us.

    One could, for example, get cheated on and decide s/he's a victim and be a timid, frightened, unable-to-love wreck forever after.

    Or one could think, "What, if anything, did I learn or glean from this fucked up experience?"

    I'm not suggesting you're being a victim here. I'm trying to illustrate the saying, 'The world is as you are.' Basically, the shit's gonna hit the fan one way or another, that's the nature of living in the world. The only thing we entities have any control over is how we view the things that happen to us.

    /end attempt

    I think you're in a place where you gave of yourself innocently, and were hurt, and somewhere inside you're pissed the hell off because it isn't fair. That's totally reasonable.

    Basically, J used you. He was a user, and you were innocent. You may be thinking you were gullible, because lately we all seem to value 'qualities' like worldliness and jadedness over loving honesty and innocence, but you weren't. You believed what he said to you.

    It isn't fair that he lied. You have every right to be pissed off, hurt, disappointed, let down, and a little heart-sick.


  3. Mike's not a Scientologist, is he?

    Look, you didn't do anything to bring this upon yourself, okay? John was a cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully, and you *knew* something was up (heck, even I was getting red flags just reading your entries over the last couple of months). That's not negativity. That's perceptiveness.

    If anything, I think you need to start trusting your gut more, and acting on it. It's not a matter of avoiding negativity, because life is full of shit and you're going to feel bad about it. You have to wade straight into it and ask yourself, "okay, what, if anything, can I do about this?". Not a matter of feeling positive or negative, just a problem-solving mindset.

  4. Anonymous12:22 AM

    Just FYI, I read "I know I've been viewing things through a Mr. Negativity Lens (Free! from Kellogg's I've Been Cheated On Cheerios!)", and Michael, Shawn and my Mom all laughed loudly. Even when you're bummed, you manage to make people smile. ;)