Negative thoughts and feelings are not always so easy to control

“The goal isn’t to get rid of all your negative thoughts and feelings; that’s impossible. The goal is to change your response to them.”  – marcandangel.com

For those who possess a natural tendency for optimism during adversity, for positivity during times of struggle, for courage when faced with unforeseen circumstances – I applaud you.

If I’ve read one study I’ve read hundreds proclaiming that some people are simply chemically wired that way. In a sense, it’s part of their overall personality – an energy which effortlessly flows throughout their body and is almost as basic to them as breathing.

I’m NOT one of those people.

While I’m certainly not at the far end of the spectrum, I have a propensity to focus on what’s going wrong, rather than seeing everything that’s going right. In essence, negative thoughts and feelings. I’m emotional at times, unable to compartmentalize the circumstances surrounding me, which leads to feelings of jealousy, frustration and even sadness.

What I am though is human.

I feel things and need to talk about them. I want things and need to express my anger when roadblocks prevent me from attaining them. I long to control the perceptions others have of me, yet haven’t yet mastered the ability to simply accept the perception I have of myself.

It’s easy for those I referenced above, with their natural optimism, positivity and courage, to point fingers at those of us who aren’t as emotionally stable as they are.

They look to silence our discussions and limit their support in the misguided belief that there’s a simple reset button which will make us suddenly change who we are – change how we think.

If only that were true, then the world truly would be a better place for all of us.

I love the simplicity and honesty of this quote by Winston Churchill:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Let’s face it – for the good majority of us, what you see on the outside is rarely what’s reflected on the inside. Many of us are struggling and doing the best we can to “keep going” with an optimism, positivity and courage few of us possess.

It’s during those times when we turn to those around us and hope they’ll understand that you can’t always control how you feel, but you can change how you respond. I need to work on that last one.

Stay strong.

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