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What about the truth?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I am reading Barbara Ehrenreich "Bright-sided. How the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America"
(in UK "Smile or die" how positive thinking fooled America and the world" I have read her before - "nickel and Dimed" made a great impact on me because she took on the myth that your success in the world is your own responsibility entirely - she showed that however hard you work, circumstances may work against you. That said I also love "the pursuit of happiness" with Will Smith which is based on a true story but still...if EVERYBODY acted like Will Smiths character in that movie, it would not work - he makes an individual solution to a society problem - that our resources a)are not equally spread and b) if it were, everybody could not have a swimmingpool (very simplified)

But back to positive thinking - it is a tricky concept. be3cause if you take it on to literally it can make you unhappy. Because however positive you are in your attitude, cancer might kill you... and if you get cancer ( as I did) and you start to meditate and visualize happiness and become very positive and mindful - and the cancer STILL comes back - whose fault is it? Were you not positive enough? And on the other side - I know people who whine and groan and are not very generous or loving or contributing in the world - and they are healthy and live on and even gets a birthday cake from their suffering children... how come? Why don´t they get leprosy from being so negative?

In my opinion positiveness is not a "fix" - to be positive does not cure any problem in itself.

On the other hand - if I am sitting here, poor and sick and waiting to die - how should I spend my last days? Complaining and bitter and cursing faith who was so unfair to me? Or living each day to it fullest and trying to enjoy the things that can be enjoyed?

To me the serenity prayer says it all - accept the things I can´t change, change the things I can and understand the difference.

And one truth that is getting clearer is that I don´t need the "truth" to kick my butt. The truth has haunted me all my grown-up life; I weigh too much and it is unhealthy and uncomfortable and unattractive - I have never been in denial about this. But has it made me change - no, it has made me filled with self-contempt and fear of de3ath because I have not been able to change despite all the desperate actions I have taken to succeed.

I need to let go of the "truth" about things and focus on my day - what can I do for myself and the world today? What choices will work for me? Let go of the result, focus on the process.

"The truth" somehow comes with a lot of judgement (in my head) I need to play it down and not think about it. Today looks like this, what can I do with it?

I am happy that I woke up early this morning - have had some nights with interrupted sleep which made me wake up at half past eight, I have a hard time to choose optimism then. Today I woke up before six and have been sparking and other thing to wait for the daughter to come up - that means doggy comes too, so him and me are going for a bike ride!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    2679 days ago
    i like it, meddy - living each day to the fullest is the best we can do. making each day the best, making a difference personally, or societally, whenever, wherever we can - what more can we do?

    it's the journey!
    2680 days ago
    Positive thinking does wonders but it does not stand alone We must also act upon it
    At age 31 I had my last and final round of Ulcerated Colitis. It was so sever it almost took y life. It was positive thinking and acting upon it that saved my life I am a born optimist stubborn and strong in nature. For every negative there IS a positive. The truth is out there even though reality bites at times the truth is still the truth.
    I too had to face the truth every day I looked into my mirrors. But then I changed the mirrors
    2680 days ago
    There are lots of positive thinking guru’s; the most famous probably being the book “The Secret”. These books say that whatever is in your life, you brought it to yourself, including severe trauma’s, illness, etc. If you speak to people who believe in books like “The Secret” Heaven forbid if you disagree with that philosophy! I don’t understand how they cannot see how insensitive they are being when they are ‘blaming’ someone for their own illness, loss of a child, or physical attack, or whatever the case may be. I find that lack of human empathy unconscionable. But, the philosophy of such books do blame the victim.

    There was a case against the writer of “The Secret” where people died in a sweat lodge during a spiritual retreat, where people were to sweat out their worries. James Ray “was convicted of negligent homicide” on three counts. This case further convinced me of the folly of following someone else.

    2680 days ago
    All way too deep for me this mornngi. I can handle the Serenity Prayer. Have a wonderful day!
    2681 days ago
  • SILLYHP1953
    Something occurred to me while reading your blog. It could possibly be a breakthrough moment for me. My dh watches a lot of tv, reality shows, sitcoms, etc. He is watching other people live their lives instead of living his. I'm not sure if I'm starting to resent that or not. But when I read your blogs and JOHNTJ1's blogs and _LINDA's blogs I'm reading about how you all are really living your lives...and I'm reading about your lives, I'm not living my life, I'm not writing blogs, I'm not using my talents. So my dh watches tv and I read...what's the difference? Nothing. Not a thing. Yesterday I went to work, then to the gym, then fixed dinner, worked in the yard, took a shower, updated a website, and meditated. I did live my life last night and it felt good. But that is not a normal day for me. I want my days like that, well, I say I want them like that, but those are just words, kind of like reading.
    2681 days ago
    Good for you, Meddy, on using this early-morning time to do some thinking and be productive - there's some positivity!

    There's an old idiom about 'papering over the cracks.' Instead of fixing the underlying problem of cracked plaster and the time and effort required to patch and fix it, some people just paper over the wall - cracks, blemishes, and all - thereby hiding the problems. Of course, the problems don't go away, and eventually they become worse and ruin the wallpaper.

    That's how I see the whole 'think positive' trend. Too much of it seems shallow and artificial and superficial. It papers over the cracks where genuine problems - the issues of Life - cause pain or misery or anguish. People are made to feel they have failed somehow: positive thinking hasn't cured your depression? You aren't doing it right. Positive thinking hasn't fixed your marriage? You aren't going about it the right way. Positive thinking hasn't cured your cancer? You aren't praciticing THIS type of positive-thinking program. And so it goes.

    If I so much as mention anything that can be labelled non-positive-thinking it seems as tho everyone and their sister jumps on me (SP is notorious for it, unfortunately). I wish I'd had the smarts to come up with the book concept Barbara Ehrenreich did, because even before I read it (and believe me, I plan to!) I can see some ways blindly subscribing to 'The glass is always half-full, no exceptions' could undermine society.

    If we can learn to use positive thinking as a tool, rather than trying to paper over reality, I believe it can be of genuine use. As you say, Meddy, 'let go of the result, focus on the process.' Reality is what it is, and when we recognize and confront that reality it is not a so-called failure to think positive.

    Oohh, this early-morning thinking is contagious, lol...
    2681 days ago
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