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1 Month

It's been a full month since I started my positive-thinking shift. I wish I could tell you that I have turned my life around and that things have greatly changed for the better, but that was never really how this was going to work.

I have learned how much my anxiety has been ruling my thoughts. I am still taking the class on anxiety and am relearning some tools to help me deal with it. Some meditation has been helping. But wow is it crazy to realize how my brain goes a million miles an hour when I wake up in the middle of the night. How I run through every possible scenario for every possible situation in my life and worry about how I'll have to handle them. Turning that automatic thinking off feels almost impossible right now. I've come to realize through therapy that it's most likely about control for me. I still haven't gotten to the bottom of why I desperately feel the need to control everything, but that's something that might never come. At least I know that it's there so I can begin to address it. I recently read someone say that we'd rather obsess over all the bad possibilities in our heads than accept the unknown. That kinda shook me.

I think a big thing that I have realized is that it's not about training yourself to think that everything will be positive all the time--that things will always go your way. It's about shifting your mindset when things get hard as they inevitably do sometimes. It's about finding the silver lining or at least learning from the bad stuff that comes up. Of course it's helpful to think good things will come as much as possible, but sometimes being realistic means preparing yourself for something hard. And that's okay. I think when the hard things come up a way to be more positive is to not let them consume you. To understand that in most cases it won't be the end of the world, right? Just because something sucks (possibly HARD) doesn't mean we have to let it ruin our day, our month or our year. Accept things, move on. That to me is a huge win on the positivity front.

I've also come to realize that gratitude is in direct opposition to negativity. When we recognize what we do have and feel thankful for it we are in fact being positive. I watched a documentary last night that was a shining example of this. David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived is about the stunt man for Harry Potter. He was in a horrible accident on the set of the final film that left him paralyzed. His life as he knew it was over in his 20s. He was just starting out, and it was completely shut down in an instant. His story gets more and more difficult and tragic, yet through it all he remains positive. He doesn't wallow in self-pity and spend his time angry with the world. He has every right to, but he doesn't. He's grateful for the little things we take for granted every day. What an inspiration.

I have found that I'm quick to be angry with the unfairness of the world. If I lost the use of most of my body I know that I would be drowning in anger and feel nothing but sadness for that loss. It would be so difficult for me to get to a place of gratitude for what I still had, like the use of my left arm or my ability to speak. Where my thinking has been for so many years has me trained to focus on what's been taken from me, not what's left. THAT is the shift I'm trying to make. The old cliche glass-half-full scenario. It's truly what can change your life.

This next month for me will be about addressing these things I've learned about myself: the anger, the anxiety. I have most certainly recognized the patterns and some of my triggers and have got to face them head on now. It's time to shift my thinking. Stop the negativity in its tracks. I have more classes to take. I have meditation as my homework. I'll continue therapy as always and attempt to figure out the "whys". I have a session with a medium/intuitive healer that I'm excited about. I'm giving myself every chance to crawl out of my hole.

Here's to May and what the promise of summer around the corner can bring.


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