Sunshine and rainbows

Ever gotten tired of staying positive? Tired of telling yourself that everything will be okay? Tired of repeating affirmations over and over again and yet nothing sticks?

I would like to believe that my outlook on life is positive, on most days. I get several opportunities to practise positive thinking when handling particularly difficult situations. The strategy is to find the lesson or positive outcome no matter how bad a circumstance is. This is not to say I don’t also experience negative emotions. That would be a blatant lie. I am human after all. So yes, there have been certain times I have allowed myself to sit with the yucky feelings, the feelings that cause discomfort and dampen my mood.

So when does one say  enough is enough, like the local informal expression of even my tired is tired? When you have explored all possible options of staying positive and there’s no more positivity to give, do you succumb and let your feelings consume you? Or do you try to shift your mindset back to a positive space? What I do recognise is that as human beings, making that switch is not automatic. So many factors determine how anyone would react in an unpleasant situation. 

Is the unpleasant situation occurring in a personal or work environment? What are the power dynamics between you and the person you are in disagreement with? What do you stand to lose by exploding in anger? Are you better off removing yourself from the negative situation till you are in a better headspace? But then what happens next after you extricate yourself? Do you allow yourself to dwell on the bad feeling or do you hit the flip switch and change trajectory towards something positive?

Today’s experiences had me struggling to keep a positive bubble around the circumstances I found myself in. Everything in me gave up on trying to work through it. All I wanted to do was yell and talk back,  which would have been extremely rude at that moment. But to be honest, a big part of me was not scared of the outcome. I was ready for whatever outcomes that would result from not keeping my cool. The need to break something or yell back at someone took rest of the day to navigate through.

And we hear this all the time; take a deep breath, step away from it, walk it off and all those other things we keep telling ourselves is for the better. But does that always work, because there are moments when I don’t want to walk away or control my breathing. There are times I want to feel all the rage or anger or hurt or disappointment. I do not want to walk it off. That negative emotion in that moment is serving me. It is providing a strange sense of comfort.  I want to express sadness or hurt. So counting down to 10 is not what I need!

This week especially has really been a week of not wanting to positively think my way out of anything. This can be hard to do if your first encounter of the day is a negative one. Imagine starting your day and having a run in with your colleague or immediate supervisor, and not the kind of altercation you can easily brush off. The kind that has you questioning your abilities, wondering how important it is for you to maintain civility in the work environment. Or maybe having an argument with your significant other. This person who is your person is now the source of your grief. And every fiber in you is unraveling. There’s a little voice at the back of your head telling you to maintain, maintain, but the louder voice rumbling like a hot volcano is screaming at you to stay mad. It really is like that sometimes.

There’s this misconception that just because you practice yoga, have self-care Sundays, meditate and surround yourself with good vibes and I’nshallah, you should not get riled up easily. Girl! There’s no amount of incense  that can dissipate raw negative emotions. No amount of  green tea mask sessions on Sunday evening can protect you from the level of foolishness the world can throw at you sometimes.

Maybe because I am more self aware of the energy around me, I am more susceptible to picking up on people’s bullshit. Maybe self-awareness is all about clearing the gateway for you to be mad! And stay mad! Definitely this is said in jest but I can’t help but wonder if that is a possibility.

In any case, let’s just say that I am glad this week is finally over and the weekend will be a chance for me to restore balance. 

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