Blog 2140 – 08.25.2021
The Power Of Positive Or Optimistic Thinking
Some people, I think, confuse positive or optimistic thinking with magical thinking. And before we discount magical thinking entirely let me say that childhood magical thoughts like Santa Claus are modern myths and that there are some deep lessons to be learned from them too. In the song from the movie, La La Land, called The Fools Who Dream, there are many great lines. One of my favorites is, “A bit of magic is key, to give us new colors to see. Who knows where it will lead us? And that’s why they need us.”
But, back to the important difference between magical, mystical thinking and positive or optimistic thinking. No one even Pollyanna can deny that there is trouble even in paradise and this world is not always a paradise for any of us. Linus, the religious Peanut in the world of Charlie Brown once quoted the Bible in the well know strip. It was a verse, I believe from the book of Job: “Man (woman too) is destined for trouble as the sparks fly upward.” I do not know that much about sparks, but I do know about trouble and can only assume that sparks indeed do fly upward because trouble is our constant companion throughout this life.
One of my favorite lines from another favorite movie, While You Were Sleeping, with the lovely Sandra Bullock, is where Jack has finally gotten up the nerve to tell his dad that he does not want to continue his father’s business, but wants to go into business for himself, making furniture. Jack brings a box of donuts and his dad is saying: “There is a moment when the kids are grown and everything is going good, no trouble and you can relax for a moment.” Jack says, “Dad, this is not that moment.”
Though it is true that if we count our blessing instead of sheep or our troubles we might go to sleep faster and sleep more soundly at night, still most of us have a hard time finding that switch in our head to turn it from worry mode to trusting mode. The core of my now somewhat longer morning mantra is a phrase that came to me over ten years ago. It goes:
I am so glad and grateful that everything that I could ever want or need is already mine and coming to me at just the right time and in just the right way from my loving and infinite source.
I carry an small pewter heart in my pocket that has words on it. The one side reads: “Thank you for this day, Spirit.” And the other side reads. “I am Holy, I am Whole.” Twelve words that say more concisely what the thirty-nine words above say. Gratitude is one of the best cures for worry. Find something to be grateful for and that will help you to get your mind off your troubles and if the troubles pains you so much that you cannot think of anything to be grateful for, be grateful for your troubles and all the wonderful lessons that troubles teach us – primarily that there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother especially in time of trouble. For many the name of that close friend is Jesus. Others have other names for their closest friend, the one that they can always count on. Some have trouble leaning on anyone that hard and have taught themselves “trust no one.”What a sad lesson that one is to teach anyone especially ourself. “a friend in need, is a friend indeed.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Lean On Me