My whole life I’ve been a negative person. On the outside it might not seem like that, but negativity is what drives me. It really came out in me in my teens, and my high school sweetheart’s dad used to tell me that I needed a PMA (positive mental attitude) all the rage back in the 70s. I didn’t feel worthy of that, and the more entrenched I became in negativity, the less I liked myself, and the less I liked myself the less I felt worthy of anything positive.
Though, positive things still happened despite myself, I would feel shocked and unworthy. I learned that when something good would come for me, it could also hurt another person, like winning a spot on the cheerleading squad and my two best friends didn’t.
I stole the title here from a book I read many years ago of the same name. Actually, it’s one of many that I’ve read over the years to try and overcome this negative self-image, and negative thought process. (The most healing book that I have read several times is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.)
Even still, I will always secretly consider the negatives before I openly seek and embrace the positive. When I look in the mirror, I will see the flaws first, and then force myself to see the beauty.
Still. I. Do. This. And. Can’t. Stop.
As a preacher’s kid, we showed outwardly what people wanted to see, it was all a big secret, you know? In the case of my high school sweetheart’s folks, well, my guard was down after a time, and they were able to actually help me see a better me, and that was one of the most pivotal relationships I had at that age. So, a big shout out to Mr and Mrs B for helping shape a woman who would eventually embrace and personify PMA. YAY!
While I think we are wired to be a certain way, there are ways through meditation, personal relationships like the brief one I had with Mr and Mrs B, nature and most certainly God to find that hope that is also innate in all of us, but gets lost in the pain, loss, or whatever fuels the negativity.
Through the years, my feelings of unworthiness have inspired an amazing gratitude in me. Because of feeling unworthy, every good thing that happened caught me off guard and deepened my appreciation for things as fleeting as the Great Blue Heron on the river, or as simple as my husband’s soft snores in the middle of the night. I tell you, there is no one more hopeful than I for my hubby, the business, my children, even our world as scary as it is right now. I am a believer, because I consider the negatives first.
It’s all an oxymoron now isn’t it? My life. It seems like one thing on the outside but absolutely starts as a seed of negativity on the inside.
Some people will not see the depth of my persona, and instead will see the smiling Pollyanna who believes in all people, who can see the strengths in those around me, and guess what, unlike the smiling young girl who faced a town of people expecting that smile, this Pollyanna in me is real. I give glory to God for that gift. Even if it starts with negativity in my mind, through prayer, meditation, and hope, I feel worthy, and absolutely believe in the worthiness of everyone around me.
Thing is, you can afford the luxury of a negative thought, if that thought leads you to hope. Believe me. I know.