Monday, September 23, 2013

Motivational Monday


THE ESSENCE OF WISDOM 
IS TO SEE THAT THERE IS ALWAYS A SOLUTION
ONCE YOU REALIZE THAT THE MIND, 
WHICH SEEMS TO CREATE SO MUCH SUFFERING, 
HAS INFINITE POTENTIAL TO CREATE FULFILLMENT INSTEAD.
(Deepak Chopra)

I often tell my husband that if he could spend five minutes in my mind, he'd run away with his hands clasped over his ears, screaming. 

A lot of people ask "What if?" questions, like: What if the house burns down? What if my spouse/children go out one day and never come back? What if that medical test comes back positive?

But I'm pretty sure there aren't too many of us who think this: What if someone - a woman, a child - bangs on my door, saying they need help, but I don't open the door because I'm afraid it's one of those urban legend hoaxes? What if the person gets hurt or dies because I didn't help? What if it was me or a loved one knocking on someone else's door? But then again, what if it really is a hoax, and when I open the door awful things happen to me and my family? (Welcome to my world. Is it any wonder I don't sleep well?)

Recently, though, I read somewhere about changing it up - instead of "What if this horrible thing happens?" ask "What if this good thing happens?" 

What if the house burns down?
What if it doesn't?

What if the test result is positive, and I have a horrible disease?
What if the test result is negative, and I am healthy and strong?

This is not about being all Pollyanna-like and ignoring the bad stuff or not taking precautions. For me, it's about not going too far down the road to Crazytown. If I don't have facts to support the negative, scary "What if?" route, then what's to stop me from taking the positive "What if?" path? It's really weird the switch it throws in your brain.  

This new way of thinking hasn't totally gotten rid of my monsters. After all, I want some of those guys to stick around to keep my stories sharp and scary. But it has helped put some of those fears in check, the ones that get in the way of the important "What if? questions, like...

What if we let ourselves write or create without being blocked? What if we practice our art without being afraid of what others might say? What if, this week, we free ourselves from at least some of those fears? What if...?

14 comments:

  1. I guess that's the difference between thinking positive and thinking negative.
    Chuckled at the part about your husband running away screaming.

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    1. My poor husband probably already does that and I just don't know it. :)

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  2. I am a firm believe that the lens we view life through determines our outlook and inner happiness. What if things go bad? Sure they can. Ah, but what if they go wonderfully :)

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    1. What if things go wonderfully? You're absolutely right. :)

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  3. thanks for the positive spin!!
    i could use this advice, get too worrisome sometimes!

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  4. This is a good one for me to try as I am the master at coming up with every possible horrible thing that could happen and freaking myself out. I'm going to try to change my what ifs, thanks for the suggestion. :)

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    1. I hope it works for you. Just know that you're not alone in working on it - I am, too. :)

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  5. There is so much good in the world. We need to remember that. Great thoughts!

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    1. There really is a lot of good out there. We just need to pay attention and look for it. :)

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  6. I LOVE it! Dare to be positive, eh? Time to start asking the right questions. Thanks, Madeline. I needed that breath of fresh air.

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  7. I'm pretty positive in real life, but it doesn't make for good stories. I use a lot of my 'what ifs?' in my fiction.

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    1. I wish I only used mine in my stories and not in real life! :)

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