Good Vibes Only
I'm frequently reminded by my boyfriend to spend more of my energy on the good things and the good people in my life and to just let go of the bad. It's ironic, considering I've become such a happy and positive person in recent years. It's like he said whenever he watched Inside Out, "You remind me of Joy."
But positive or not, happy or not, there are quite a few major stresses and transitions in my life, along with some wonderful changes this year. Though he is one of the good things, the best thing really, he is also a sympathetic ear. Finally having a safe and caring place to vent on a regular basis, I find myself venting...a LOT.
When we started dating, I made a conscious effort to never talk about negative things, or to put a positive spin on everything; partly due to my optimistic personality and partly no doubt from some article I probably read by someone like Matthew Hussey, which mentioned how men find happy women more attractive.
Fast forward to a few months later when intimacy depends on full disclosure and sharing feelings and thoughts every day, and like I said, I wound up with a lot of venting. We go back and forth, from being open and honest about our own insecurities and negative feelings and the negative outside forces in our lives as well, to trying to keep date night about the positive things only, to not bring the mood down.
He recently wrote something about not focusing on the negative influences in our lives and focusing on the good. I've written about this before too, as have many others, and it seems simple enough. But he said something that made me think just a little more. He spoke about watering the good things that we want to grow in the future. So it isn't just about being happy today or not killing the good vibes, but about making a conscious effort to be moving forward in the good things. It isn't fighting the bad things. It's about turning attention away from those things, until they become irrelevant.
Granted we all have weeds that pop up in our gardens, and those things need our attention. But you can learn to not let those things discourage you. The more you overcome, the more you can think, "I've got this. I don't need to get upset about it. I just need to weed it out and move on." Sometimes we need a little comfort and encouragement along the way. That's okay too...that's a good thing. But once you've overcome a challenge, let it go. Don't waste time fretting over the bad things that have come and gone, or you'll miss out on the beautiful things that are revealed after a bit of weeding and pruning. It's easier said than done sometimes, I know very well. Sometimes it is a constant struggle. Some bad memories linger, though I've found that the best way to keep them at bay is to replace them with good ones. And while some outside forces linger as well, we can shift our focus to people who bring us joy and comfort. We can be grateful for the loving people in our lives.
If you're constantly struggling to push back the negative, you're just gong to wear yourself out, and in the process neglect the good things that need watering. So don't just think about your mood. We all have moody days, and we all have negative thoughts that sometimes need an outlet. At the end of a long day, it's nice to have someone to talk to about the bad things. But in the words of my former therapist (and friend) "don't linger there." To focus on the positive has a higher purpose than just being happy; it's about growing the good things in your life. It's about creating a better future. And it's making a habit of taking on every new challenge with a more positive attitude, not letting them get you down or keep you from the good things in your life.
Image via Belle Hanah Paperie. / See more from Krisztina's blog.