Thursday, August 5, 2010

entertaining negativity

Yesterday, in yoga (seems that's where my inspiration seems to be coming from these days), I heard a profound thought:

Don't entertain negativity.

Immediately, I pictured a loutish party guest, sloppy drunk, being forced out the front door by responsible hosts. Negativity seems large, furry, slobbering, with a permanent scowl on his face. And it's definitely a him, in the New Yorker-style cartoon that popped into my head. 

All day, as negative thoughts took over I thought of that statement and pushed them right back out again. I don't want negativity at my party. He's not welcome. 

And then I realized, negativity's not a guest I can readily dismiss. Negativity is part of my immediate family. I claim him as a dependent on my emotional taxes. He's a permanent part of my exclusive inner circle and much as I can't stand him, he's here to stay. Or, at least, that's the way it's always been.

Is there such a thing as a negativity exorcism? A negativity restraining order, ban, dismissal? Can I really get rid of him and make sure he doesn't slip back in through the back door?

Sadly, I'm afraid Negativity and I have a co-dependent relationship. Much as I'd like him gone, he's too ingrained in my day to day.

Perhaps though, with some hard work and commitment, I can at least get him to stay in the den.


Carrie said...

perhaps you can have an @havi type conversation with Mr. Negative and just explain - it's not working out anymore. You don't want him there; truthfully, he's not gonna want to be there anymore because it's not going to be as profitable for're not gonna facilitate his stay, etc.

maybe this is too simplistic but after all the complicated methods sometimes a girl just has to get back to basics

MrsWhich said...

Everything has a generative and degenerative potential (extrapolated from Adam Kahane's work on Power and Love). What we call negativity is likey the degenerative side of that in us which recognizes and longs for perfection, which I believe is really a longing for communion/unity among humanity. In its generative form, this longing is productive and pushes us to do important work, make change, think. When the longing degenerates into worry, self-pity, judgement or unactionable/unactioned and general discontent, it hurts us. Rather than kick Negativity out of our family, maybe we just need to stage an intervention when he can't seem to find his way to healthy generation of energy. Just some late-night thoughts...