Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Be Positive?

"Be positive" is an expression I used to hear a lot. There was a time when I read many of the books on the subject. Being positive sure beats being negative. But perhaps the expression is not all that it's cracked up to be. Why do I say that? Just had this thought yesterday: The word is not specific! Never mind that it may or may not take God and spirituality into account...Most people who talk about being positive do have God in their lives and do turn to him for help in being positive. But what exactly does it mean to "be positive"? It's hard to know.

Instead, how about identifying the specific "negatives" that are in our lives and applying the opposite? If we are fearful, perhaps we need to work and pray to "be trusting in God". We might look at how He has taken care of us so far, and at the goodness of His creation, as well as read the Gospels. If we are pessimistic...or scrupulous, we may need to "be hopeful". We may want to meditate on heaven, and particularly stay close to our loving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. If we are gloomy, we can pray for help to "be cheerful". And perhaps read about St. Phillip Neri who was sometimes called the "cheerful saint".

Whatever negative thought patterns are working in our lives, if we pray for guidance we can probably find the opposite thoughts or virtues and focus on those. This might not be an overnight project but a lifetime endeavor. But we can always try to "be patient" and persevere in our quest.


Love2Learn Mom said...

Here's a related consideration that might (or might not!) be pertinent. There's a certain sense of "negative" when dealing with life in our crazy world that's about focusing on reacting to what's bad "out there" instead of helping to develop, understand, act-upon (etc.) what is good. There's a certain amount of reacting we have to do of course, but it's easy to get so caught up in that that we can end up ignoring the other side of things. Just a thought. God Bless!

Margaret Mary Myers said...

Liked your thought, Alicia. Thanks for sharing.