Friday, March 8, 2013

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

The Big Girl Chronicles 

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”

This bit of fortune cookie wisdom has been tremendously insightful in my life.  So many times I’ve given way to the pessimist to the point where I’ve had obsessive thoughts about things that were serving no meaningful purpose other than to drive me to my wit’s end.  It wasn’t until that day that I opened that fortune cookie and read this quote on that snippet of paper that I realized what I had been doing with my thoughts.  Each time I allowed my thoughts to be directed by whatever negative influence, I was giving more power to it. I was praying about it.  I was sleeping with it.  I was spending money on it.  I was eating with it.  I was showering with it.  Every step I took throughout the day and night, I was accompanied by this negative influence that I allowed to hold me captive.  Did you get that?  I allowed myself to be held captive – voluntary submission.   Because at any point I should’ve been able to realize what my obsession with whatever negative influence was doing to me.  Instead, I was protecting my pessimism and negative thoughts. 

I don’t know what negative influence you have given your power to.  I couldn’t even begin to guess. We are bombarded with so much throughout the day that sometimes before we realize it we’ve allowed something to creep in and attach itself to our thoughts and shape our perspective.  Whatever it is, I challenge you to begin to untangle yourself from negativity.  Chances are you didn’t find yourself swamped with it overnight.  Understandably so, you’re going to have to allow yourself some time to correct your thinking and make the changes necessary to put you on track to a more productive train of thought.  The task can seem overwhelming.  You’ve likely picked up several habits as a result of your pessimism or negative focus that you’ll also have to discard.  But it can be done.  

Try a meditation or point of reference.

If you find yourself always drawn toward negative or pessimistic thoughts, a first step that you can make to begin to change your thinking is to meditate on something positive.  You don’t have to make it a ritualistic “ringing of the bell and chanting” ceremonious type thing.  You can simply rehearse the phrase in your mind once you awaken before you even open your eyes to get out of bed.  Then again as you’re brushing your teeth.  A couple more times as you shower.  I know it can seem redundant, but realize that you didn’t begin to dwell on whatever has your mind boggled overnight.  Replacing those negative thoughts will take just as much obsessing as what got you to this point in the first place.   

Put your words in action.

Whatever meditation or focus you have chosen, begin to follow through with action.  Once you find yourself engaged in negative thought process, remember your meditation and try to redirect yourself.  Instead of remaining pessimistic about it, use a positive thought to center yourself.  Channel positive energy to counter the impact of the negative that will likely want to remain embedded in your thought process.  What could also prove helpful is to keep a journal to follow your progress.

Notice what’s different.

The more you practice this the more you’ll begin to realize how much pessimism and negativity had become a part of you.  Continue to take notice of those things that will change as you apply more positives in those places where you were obsessing over some negative thought.  Are you feeling better?  Smiling more?  Less bothered by things that have no real purpose in your life?  You could possibly find that friendships and associations you made were based upon your negative thoughts and now must be tweaked to accommodate the positive changes made.  The difference in your view of the world when surrounded by negative influence and the way you view things now that you are applying a more positive outlook could be surprising.

Help someone else.

If there’s someone else that you know of who could be experiencing something similar, try to help.  I’m not suggesting you become attached at the hip.  But an occasional positive affirmation when you know that person could be on the road to becoming a victim of their own pessimism could be helpful not only to that person but you also. 

There are many obstacles that life holds for each of us.  Some can easily be managed.  Some are more challenging.  One can easily be engulfed in negativity and pessimism if you don’t learn to balance your thoughts.  Take some time to focus on things that add to your value as a human being.  Invest in you, and surround yourself with people who compliment your goals.  By doing this, you will take the power you had conceded to negative influence.  

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