Friday, February 16, 2007

Positively Negative!

I tell my former students at Santa Fe South Jr. High in Oklahoma City that I'm going to write a book about our year together and that I'm going to call the book "Positively Negative" because the experiences I had there were great at both ends of the spectrum.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is the power or the willpower it takes to be more positive. You just don't need to be so negative all the time - really, you don't. If you kept a penny jar with you, and everytime you said something negative you would take a penny out and give it to someone - ask yourself how long it would take you to run out of pennies. If someone is being negative to you - and they had to give you a penny for everytime they were hurtful, would you have a jar full before too long? Probably so - and the problem of negative thinking seems to be growing, not decreasing as time rolls by.

Because it's a medical fact that thinking negatively, acting in a negative manner, and expecting negative results from others can actually cripple a person both physically and mentally, I'm compelled to ask why the hell someone would put up with it if they know they're hurting themselves on a daily, maybe even an hourly basis. There has to be another way to get the point across to your spouse, your kid, your friend, your boss, your employee, your doctor, your patient...other than being negative, nasty or rude. Let me give you some personal experiences so you can see that I'm just as guilty as everyone, and therefore I have an actual say in this.

I used to cuss my head off every single time something didn't go my way - I found that both annoying and disgusting, but there I was doing it. My kids picked up the habit, and before long we were all swearing, being ugly, twisting up our faces and making blue streaks across the air just in front of our faces. I can also tell you honestly, that during this time in my life (their lives too) that I was in debt, looking for work, hadn't been able to catch up, catch a break, and I was digging myself deeper and deeper because the depression of it made it so much harder to get off my butt and find a way out - ENTER Ms. Positive. Now, don't get me wrong - things didn't turn around the first day, the second day, or even after a week but after time had elapsed I noticed that things were still dire, but when I stopped the fretting, worrying, stomping my feet and hitting my head against the wall - I was able to think more clearly about the necessary solutions. I remember literally turning off the radio if a positive song came on because I was too upset to even listen to happiness for 3:14 minutes. That's stupid.

I read handwriting. I know that big, fat, loopy lettering can mean that someone is feeling well, happy, overjoyed infact about something, and if they curly-que their endings...well, something may just be going on that makes the world (their world) seem a little brighter than the one I was slumping through. What did I do? What do I do? It's simple - I write out everything I'm feeling, wanting, desiring, hoping for, and observing in cursive and I FORCE myself to overtly open up and loop my letters. Believe me, this works. Instead of feeding myself a piece of cake I grab an apple, and instead of cussing I put my hand up in the air and shut my mouth. That one took a lot of self control, and there were times when someone on the road looked at me with the anticipation of seeing a one-fingered salute at the extended end of my arm and hand...but they didn't. Just me putting my hand up. It was a flag, a real honest-to-goodness warning that I had to change something that was holding me back and pushing me down...my mouth! My mouth was the worst enemy I could ever have imagined.

It's been a very very long time since I went an entire day without being negative, probably when I was 2 years old, but I can assure you this - I am much much more likely to smile than to frown 99% of the time, and I'm just as apt to put my hand up in the air to stop me from telling you off. I know I'm healing from anything and all things negative because I don't have to allow the dirty spots of poor attitude(s) to even enter into my head...I can pray them out, wish them away, state they don't exist - and grab the pen when things get really nasty. I can write, and write, and write, and when the loops are looking good - finally again - I can get myself a fat, juicy apple and just lift that hand straight into the air. Maybe in my heart I'm hoping God will reach down from Heaven and take hold of it - maybe He does.

My days of teaching are over I think. I write for a living now, and I speak at national organizations where most of my topics involve women with needs who are concerned about the future of their children and for themselves in a world that seems to be closing in on them all the time. There has to be a way out - there must be a better way - a better day - it is not an easy path to walk, not by any stretch of the imagination; no one said it would be. Thank God for the will to choose good over evil, great over bad, and positive over negative. We won't do it every time, but we can do it often, more often...can't we?

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