The Power of Positivity

Two and a half years ago, I met the most positive-thinking person I had ever met. She wouldn’t even allow negativity in our conversations (problematic in some ways, but that’s another discussion). On the rare occasion that I said something negative with regard to myself, which was so habitual that I didn’t even notice it, she would immediately stop me and say, “Hey. You know I don’t like negativity.” Our conversations were like sacred ground: safe from all the negativity that remained inside of me and elsewhere. Shortly after we met, I found that my other relationships became imbued with the sense of positivity and intimacy that I picked up from her.

But not, unfortunately, the most important relationship of all: the relationship with myself. The time I had with this positive mind was too brief, for what it was, to involve such a change. It wasn’t until well over a year later that I began to profoundly and lastingly change my relationship with myself. It is for this reason that I longed so deeply for the continuation of this person in my life – I longed for that sacred place that I couldn’t find within myself alone, that freedom from negativity.

As you know if you’re familiar with the Self-Confidence Experiment, there was a moment last year when I finally was able to cast off – to an extent – the shackles of negativity and adopt a positive mindset. During that one-month experiment, I had a sudden return of that longing for this positive soul. I had always wanted to be very much like her. I wanted to be as positive as she, as spontaneous and playful, as intimate. I had also, for the longest time, considered myself to be in love with her. And always thought that if I expressed such sentiment to her, she would never believe me. She would reject the notion, considering the way that things ended between us. Now, I thought, perhaps that is because I had indeed never been in love with her. Rather, I had been in love with her mind.

I want her mind. That is what I told myself at that moment. Then it occurred to me, for the first time, I can have her mind. If it was only her mind I wanted, rather than her, then I could have it. I was at a point in my life where I had already effectively devoted myself to a positive mind, so it was the right time for this realization. I can have her mind; I can have (essentially) this positivity, this intimacy, this spontaneity and playfulness. It was the first time since meeting her that I actually believed I could have those things for myself, independent of her, without her. And so I could finally let go of her.

Whether or not I was actually in love with her is for another discussion. But I know this: that yearning we have for another is really a yearning for ourselves. The yearning that is the pursuit of life itself – the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is something we must find, to a large extent, within ourselves. We desire others because we desire the happy feelings they give us – and yet, they are independent of us, and we usually find the reality to be that those we desire will at some point leave us. So the reality sets in that we must find a happiness that is, at least to some extent, independent of others.

And we must believe that we can have it, that we are capable of that happiness. Of the essential components to that happiness: positive thoughts, self-directed.

Positivity = Happiness.

What I found is that I am capable of creating my own happiness, my own positive thoughts, though it is a skill that must be cultivated in my own way and time. This capability of mine, though not always involving the mad rush of excitement that is falling in love, is something far more reliable than anything a separate person could actually give me.

So I began to believe in myself and my own power to positivity, and, having done that, I had taken the first step on the path to happiness.

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2 Responses to The Power of Positivity

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Great post, and so interesting that loving ourselves and accepting ourselves as we are can often be the most difficult challenge in life. A few weeks ago, I was in a particularly critical of myself mood, and a close friend said to me, “Jackie. If you talked to me the way you talk to youself, we wouldn’t be friends.”

    It woke me up and that night I sniffed through a half a roll of toilet paper, realizing that I was only loving myself when I achieved something. Even then, it was a brief moment of recognition and then on to the next goal. Then, something happened. It finally clicked. I don’t need to do anything to deserve love from myself or anyone. I exist. I am life, and all life deserves love. All!

    Shortly after, I went to a TEDx FiDi women event. It was incredible! So many beautiful, natural, and authentic women who genuinely loved themselves. SARK, one of the speakers, talked about succulence. Succulent plants nourish themselves from the inside, so she said that every day she did that. I’ve started doing my own version of it too–literally filling myself up with love every day in a meditation before I get out of bed. It’s made a HUGE difference, and I’m so much kinder to myself as a result.

    Thanks so much for sharing and for being so vulnerable in something we all go through!

    • Hi, Jacqueline. Thanks for the beautiful comment and reminder to love thyself. “I was only loving myself when I achieved something” – Yes, I spent most of my life up this point existing in this manner. It is a very conditional love!

      I love this idea of succulence! Very fitting metaphor. 🙂

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