The Beginner’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Three Difficult Steps

A woman against a sunset at the beach

Confession:

When I am with a client and they start to “go off,” I mean really make a spectacle, a part of me relishes it. I go to my happy place four hours into the future where I waltz into the bar, plop my purse down on the table, and tell my girlfriends, “You’re. Not. Going. To. Believe. This. Shit.” I then revel in their shocked faces while the shit-talking pours freely from my mouth like some kind of Mean Girls-style verbal diarrhea. Lord forgive me.

Like most women with a lot of sauce, the idea of embracing “positive thinking” summons images of girls in skirts made of wheat, singing Kumbaya around a campfire or literally stopping to smell flowers and staring up at the sun to bask in the radiance of the day. Basically, a fucking nightmare.

But…

There are a few mental habits that I have embraced of late, and I feel better for it. So this guide is for my down-to-earth ladies who would like to bring a little positivity into their lives without having to learn to play the ukulele.

1. We are all just trying our best

This is your new mantra. Repeat it.

Judgmental thoughts towards others is a one-way ticket to brain atrophy and unhappiness. You are absolutely, one hundred percent entitled to your beliefs and core values. You might think that everyone should be vegan because eating animals is cruel and disgusting. You might think that the world would be a better place if everyone joined the republican party. You might think that religion, weddings, and having children are going to be the downfall of civilization. That’s fine. Blog about it.

But when it comes to dealing with people in a real, one-on-one way, there is only one thing you need to know: they are doing their best.

Woman saying "Yeah, but..."

I can hear all the but… but… buts starting already. A person may cross your path who embodies all that you consider wrong with the world. They are six hundred pounds on a breathing machine while chain smoking and screaming at their nine children in tow. Their car is covered in every bumper sticker that directly offends your core values. They are wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while paying for their groceries with food stamps. Hear me clearly: as far as you are concerned, they are doing their best.

2. We are all just trying our best

No, this is not a typo. It just bears repeating.

People have fucked up, traumatic childhoods that they in no way chose. When you are beaten with a shovel by your dad, diddled by your uncle, and verbally abused by your mother, it fucks with your brain chemistry. When you are born to riches and splendor and loving parents but your great granddaddy was as nutty as a fruitcake and his crazy genes happened to show up in your DNA,

It. Fucks. You. Up.

People struggle and suffer. People have serotonin imbalances. People make bad bad decisions. People are cruel. But people are the way that they are for a reason.

Homer Simpson asking why life has to be so hard

3. We are all just trying our best

We all want the same thing: love, security, well-being, happiness. Do people make decisions that are counterproductive to this? Yes. But are you? Because in this moment, if you are deciding to hold onto your judgments of other people, you are committing the very same crime.

Whoville on Christmas Day

If you want a happy life and a healthy brain, every time you want to pass a judgement on someone else just stop.

Breathe.

Look at them and say to yourself:

They are just trying their best.


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70 thoughts on “The Beginner’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Three Difficult Steps

  1. Holy shit! YOU ARE HILARIOUS! Wow. I have been meaning to check out your blog, and right now I am praising baby Jesus that I finally did. I love all of this. Like everything. Your brain is a beautiful thing, and I am so goddamn happy right now that I am about to become a subscriber!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’re so right about literally everything in this post! I was recently hanging out with some friends and we saw a girl and her friend sit down on some steps and start taking photos (probably for a blog post!). I was pretty shocked when my friends just WENT OFF saying how she didn’t even live there and how silly it seemed. As a fellow blogger, I was thinking, “hey, good for you girl.” It was an eye opening experience for sure! We just need to remember that everyone is trying their best!

    xx Pia
    http://gymbagsandjetlags.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this comment girl! Yes, it is always alarming when people just randomly shit on other people’s lifes in front of you, and you’re like “umm, shouldn’t you do that in like…private?”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I’m not a fan of outright swearing, I must admit, I found the way you’ve blogged is a breathe of fresh air! I soooo agreed with you! We are all doing our best, just like everyone else, regardless of where they are in life!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have no idea how badly I needed to read this post! Your website is amazing. From what I’ve read so far, YOU’RE amazing. Haha. I’m most definitely going to subscribe.Thank you so much!

    Like

  5. I fucking love this. LOVE this!!! This has been a theme today and what I keep repeating in my blog…just let me do what I need to heal and get back on my feet. Don’ t judge me, don’t tell me where I should be by now or what i ‘should’ be doing…on and on.

    On the flip side, I have to keep checking myself as well. It’s easy for those of us going through hell to look at those whose life we think looks great, or they are happy, or they are in a great relationship and think ‘well of course your are happy, you have a great husband or job or whatever…and of course you can tell what to do and how because….on and on.

    We are all just living and doing what we do and in different stages…as you so beautifully wrote, we are all doing our best.

    Thank you for this…so needed it today

    Like

  6. LOL! STOP IT! The funniest thing is that you came to my blog today and liked my post (thank you so much!!) and NOW I see why! Girl, you know your audience with your POTTY mouth! Your Message is on point, the Buddhists call it COMPASSION. Thanks for liking my post, come back/Follow as I will yours! Light and love, Shona

    Like

  7. I LOVE this post! I’m always trying to find ways to look at the brighter side of things and embrace positivity and it’s so true that just knowing you are trying your best really helps shutdown the negative thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the sentiments of what you are saying. I personally think if people aspire to be interesting, instead of ‘happy’ or ‘positive’ that might be an easier goal. And the world would be a better place!🙄 As they say, no great book, movie, film, story, culinary dish or blogger 😳 worth his salt was written by some positively happy, bubbly, sunshine-in-my-face person…(Not even Joyce Meyers, who has loads of money and a direct hot line to Jesus is smiley, smiley and/or sparklingly positive….) So being Mr/Ms/Mrs Positive…is not all that, however as I said in the beginning, I like the sentiments of what you are saying, and that is to ease up on the judging of folks, for it really is not your business…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The way you have presented your post surely makes up, so much of the Positivity, what you have written is clearly evident in the way you showed it, very interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What’s wrong with ukuleles? 😉 Seriously, you are right. I have made judgments in the post that you liked on my blog. I have days when I try to be positive. (But I don’t generally post on those days. 🙂 ) Anyway, thank you for the reminder. And thank you for liking my post! Full Throated Feminism is in its infancy, and whether it is or not, every like is precious. So thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this post! I think when we train ourselves to retire our brains to focus on compassion and well on anything else but us, is when we actually allow ourselves to see just how selfish we are. People often think being positive is a cover up or lie. What they fail to understand is, it’s a choice. Literally. With every thought… you have a choice of whether you’re going to harp on all things wrong or on all things right or could be.

    Absolutely love how uncut, raw and to the point this is!

    Like

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