X and Extraordinary: #A-Z Challenge
“Nothing that had happened in the past could be taken away. This was an amazing gift. The past was over and done and settled; you couldn’t get it back, but still, whatever good you had gotten from it, spiritually, emotionally, would be yours for your lifetime.”
I had already read multiple books for every other letter of the alphabet. Choosing the concept I most wanted to talk about was my challenge. But X was different.
I started with X, the book in Sue’s Grafton alphabetical mystery series. I struggled through the book (didn’t like it much) to find a quote I could use. The quote I found is about memory being a filter. The idea is that we remember what we can tolerate, and block what we cannot. That doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been fortunate enough to never experience real trauma. Or maybe it’s because I’ve seen the repressed memory movement from the 80’s do enormous damage to families, and then turn out to be false memories urged on by therapists who are overly keen to ‘recover’ trauma. Researchers have learned that the real challenge with traumatic events is trying to forget them, not recover them.
Are We Really All So Broken?
Leo Tolstoy’s the one who first said, “All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Then, far more recently, there was “Every family is dysfunctional” (Andy Garcia), and now I’m seeing versions of “Every family is dysfunctional in its own way.”
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.Colin Powell
I think I can simplify this. We’ve each of us got baggage we’d just as soon leave behind, beliefs and habits acquired in childhood that don’t serve us well. I’m all in favour of processing – to use a therapy term – whatever needs to be processed to allow you to move on. Writing to heal exercises have helped me. Other people have other methods from meditation to art to therapy. And certainly if you have experienced real trauma, it’s vital to get professional help.
Let’s Speak Up for Positivity
But let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Let’s make sure that along with the negative memory processing we, like Werlin in the quote above, also remember and celebrate the good times from our past. Positivity is defined as “the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.”
Having a positive attitude makes us physically and psychologically healthier than having a negative attitude. So says Martin Seligman, guru of positive psychology. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic agree.
And if we’re searching for a way to be generative, to mentor others, positivity makes it easy to do as you’ll see in this 3:12 video from National Geographic.
Other people will draw power from our positivity. Now that’s a legacy worth leaving.
My impression is that Profound Journey tribe members exude positivity. Is that true? Is your default setting more on the positive or the negative end of the dial?