Positive Thinking or Denial?

IMG_9482“What’s wrong?,” I ask. “Nothing,” he replies. But, I know him too well to not know that something is eating on him. It may be something I said that didn’t sit well with him. Or, heaven forbid, it may not be about me at all. 

In the past few years, I’ve noticed a change in his response to the question, “What’s wrong.”  It’s clear that he has learned it is healthier for himself and for our relationship and others in his life to admit that there is indeed something bothering him.  Even though his first response may still occasionally be that nothing is wrong, after he thinks about it awhile, he usually tells me what is causing his droopy spirits. 

When the situation is about something or someone other than me, he may not tell me exactly what it is; however, he does admit it to himself.  He may simply reassure me that his low spirits are not about me and that he is working on the situation. That’s enough to put my mind at rest.

In past years I too had the tendency to put a smiley face on unpleasant situations.  If I felt sad or disappointed or angry, I quickly tried to find the silver lining in whatever situation was bothering me.  I took the concept of “positive thinking” too far.  It is good to think positively; however, as a good friend once advised me, “You can’t put frosting on a cow patty.”  No matter how sweet that frosting is, it can’t disguise what it’s trying to cover. I’ve found through experience that if I look at my circumstances and my accompanying feelings head-on, I can move through them more quickly.  Once my feelings are out of hiding, they lose their power over me.  Then I’m in a much better position to deal with them in a healthy manner.  

Today I will accept and face my circumstances and my feelings and take appropriate action to deal with them.

 

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