Monday, June 8, 2009

Accentuate the Positive

What I want to talk about this morning is recognizing your own worth. This was touched off by something I read at MamaWriters this morning.

Sometimes we don't always realize how important we are. We don't see that the little accomplishments are worthy of celebration. It's a shame, really. Every little thing we succeed at is worth something. This weekend, I cleaned my husband's bathroom. Not a great thing in the scheme of accomplishments, but if you knew how much I hate to clean, taking the time to scrub a toilet is something to shout about.

One thing we all can do to take a more positive look at ourselves and our own accomplishments is a little exercise I assigned last week for Psychology class. I had my daughter write down every positive thing about herself that she could think of. And when she couldn't think of anything else, I gave her a few things to consider. Then I had her write down all the negative things. Of course, her negative thing list was twice as long, but once we went through every item on both lists, she shortened her negative list, added to her positive list, and felt a whole lot better about herself.

Now, I'm not saying to take 'I can clean toilets' and leave it at that. It's not necessarily the only thing any of us has to be proud of. But listing even the little things will help point you toward the larger things. 'I can clean toilets' leads to 'I keep a tidy house' which could lead to 'I'm an organized person'. And so on.

Looking at the negative things is important, too. If you don't know what you think is wrong, you can't fix it. Right? List them all. Figure out which negative aspects of yourself you have control over, and if they really bother you, make a plan to fix them. Also, look at the things you have no control over, because once you accept the fact they're beyond your control, you can let them go. For instance, if you write out your list and one of the items is 'I'm too short', you need to come to grips with your shortness. You can't change it, and you need to move on.

And don't dwell on the negative things - even those you can change. Make steps to change them, but realize they aren't the most important parts of you. If you're going to dwell on anything, dwell on the positive.

"I am a good mother." Hey, good job raising that kid from a baby to a teenager without killing her or yourself! "I've written six novels." Way to go! That takes a lot of work, and you even though it was tough sometimes, you kept your head down and got it done. "I made an awesome dessert this weekend." Good job! That idea to use cider mix in the frosting was genius.

You get the point. Sure, we've all got things we don't like about ourselves, but I think sometimes we get so mired in the misery, we forget to even take a peek at the glory.

So this week, I'm going to try to accentuate the positive in my own life. For every drop of rain that falls, I'm going to find the flower - even if it kills me. How about you? Are you up for a little positivity this week?

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