The other day, a friend of mine and I were talking about the power of positive thinking. What seemed to come up the most was the need to eliminate the negative thoughts surrounding whatever area in your life you are working on improving in order to get out of your own way and actually move forward. It led me to think about how often I have run at something, or faced a challenge, with the complete belief that things would be ok only to end up with things blowing up in my face. It makes it hard to eliminate those negative thoughts in other areas.
For instance, about 6 months or so before we lost pretty much everything when the economy crashed, I started seeing the pattern of lack, or at least less, showing up. I tightened up the out-going money, but never once believed things would get horrible for us. Sure, tight, maybe, but we would catch it before certain catastrophe hit. I didn’t worry. I’m not sure how worrying would have helped us at that point with the upcoming crash, but it makes me wonder how things would have turned out if I had worried, paid attention to any negative thought about the situation, gone into panic/survival mode. Honestly, I doubt it would have changed much at all, possibly only postponing the inevitable. Or maybe it would have given me more time to plan how losing everything was going to go and where we would land.
This not worrying when the signs are there that it’s time to possibly start putting a bit of angst into the thought processing is something I have come to realize I do, a lot, and despite the horrific outcomes, can’t seem to change. Ok. Wait. That implies I’ve tried to change it and I’m not sure that I have actually tried to change it. I’m not even sure that I recognized the pattern that much until recently, as part of my processing my life to this point.
I’ve mentioned The Committee a number of times, those voices in my head that tell me not to do something, to do things this way, the nay sayers, the unrealistically optimistic, the overwhelmingly abusive voice(s) telling me I’m not good enough, reminding me of mistakes I’ve made in the past to support its negative opinion. I’ve named a number of these voices, if for no other reason than to have a name to attach to the STFU statement of defense I make in an attempt to quiet The Committee to a low drone so I might actually be able to think something through.
There is, of course, The Doubter, that voice that believes everything is a bad idea and doomed to fail, no matter what. The Doubter is best friends with The Jerk/Asshole, who is the one that makes sure I never forget every last mistake ever made by me, and spews some of the worst words of ridicule and meanness ever heard. If there is even the remotest sign of there being a possible error in my thinking or planning, these two are sure to jump on it with the manic vigor of a toddler on a sugar high and the meanness of an abuser determined to destroy someone completely with words alone.
Then there is Psycho. Psycho runs with scissors, destroying at random, picking fights, shoving instigating words out of my mouth before anyone has a chance to proofread and edit as necessary. Psycho lives in a cage these days since he has proven to be untrustworthy, but, sometimes, the little bastard somehow finds the keys to let himself out and wreak havoc.
The Editor has listened to every last person that has ever said “You can’t say that” or “Don’t say that” or “You shouldn’t say that” in my presence and edits what I want to say accordingly. She believes in hiding, blending, not being noticed, never revealing the truth about anything less than positive in any way. (Right now, The Editor is losing its mind with this post alone). So many things have gone unsaid by me due to The Editor, things that I probably should have said and, many times, have regretted not saying later. Errors in her judgment do not deter her from admonishing my open mouth. Too many silences have been a result of The Editor withholding the words I’ve wanted to say, even in something as private as a journal, for fear that someone could read it, regardless of the unlikeliness of that happening. I could be ‘found out,” and that would be disastrous.
Then there is Hopeful, a shy, meek, quiet little thing. She holds her hope close to her chest because there have been too many times she has just glowed with the level of hope she was holding onto only to be disappointed. Now, if she doesn’t protect the hope she has, the others will admonish her for being so foolish. This doesn’t stop her from hoping, though, which, I have to be honest, surprises me. It also gives me a deep admiration for her. As many times as she has been trampled to the ground, pummeled with defeat, it’s amazing she still hopes as deeply and completely as she does. I am certain it is because of Hopeful that I have not become a bitter person, that I have not lost faith in people being genuinely good at their core.
Despite all of Hopeful’s good qualities, there are a few things that leave me wishing I could drown her sometimes. How many times does one hold out hope for the same thing, the same person, the same situation? Hopeful is up to the task every time, it seems, bubbling over with hope with things, people, etc. that have shown that having hope is basically setting myself up for disappointment or more damages, sometimes both. Yet, Hopeful perseveres.
I’ve been working on trying to develop new Committee members, ones that are a bit more positive than the ones I’ve got on the board now. Yes, Hopeful is positive. Psycho can even be positive, sometimes, through his ability to be loony when things get too serious. The Editor means well, but its time for her to take a back seat, at the very least. Doubter needs to learn to be a bit more discerning so she is more useful when I’m making decisions. As for the Jerk/Asshole? Well, I think he just needs to go, completely, but I am assessing if he holds any value at all first.