Toilet Ruminations #64

I am told that being negative is a choice. Maybe it is. While I was on my morning walk I was being very negative. I was ruminating about all the things that are wrong. My unhappy life. My miserable marriage. My dull sex life. My poor health. The stupidity of all the people around me. The ugliness of the houses. The dumbness of everyone in the world. The laziness of my wife. The arrogance of other people. My own failed literary and artistic efforts. My boring life. My inability to feel motivated. On and on these negative gyrations went. My chest tightened. I was sweating. I could not take a deep breath. I felt my blood pressure rise. So I said to myself, “Lets try to change channels for a moment. Is it possible for me to be more positive? To switch my frame of reference? To change out the lense on my perceptual apparatus? To repaint the canvas in my head?” So I gave it a try. I began to talk to myself in more positive way. Look at the beautiful flowers. That is a nice color for that house. It really is a beautiful summer day. What a nice time to be alive. Such pretty clouds drifting in the sky. That is a pretty shade of purple. Oh look, here I am at my wonderful home. I love my home. It is so nice. Such a nice home. My wife and I have created such a nice life. I then walked here to my toilet and now I actually feel better. I feel more pleasant. My chest is less tight. So I suppose it is true, a person can become more positive. I am probably destroying my life and wearing myself down with all this negativity. The canvas that I paint in my head is bleak. Like a Francis Bacon or Edward Munch. But then I wonder if being more positive is really me. Am I trying to force something that is not natural? Am I making myself into just another positive zombie? Or by becoming a happier person am I rebelling against the misery of the world? By being miserable am I just like most other people? Is misery an honest response to the state of the world and my life? Or would positivity and happiness be a more radical and non-conformist response? Would I lose my personality and all the things I am interested in if I became happier? More positive? Or would my life improve so much that I would not care that I lost my personality and all the things I was once interested in? It is difficult to tell what the correct response to life would be. I know that I normally have an aversion to positivity because it feels fake and unappealing. It seems like a stupid way to interact with life. So many people seem to be selling positivity and happiness and I suppose that I associate positive people with giving into this. But maybe I could find my own version of positivity and happiness. Maybe I could find a way to remain focused on what is good and fortunate in life without letting my self slip into obsessing over everything that is wrong. Maybe I could maintain a kind of stoic affirmational quality in my mind without becoming just another cliché happy person. It must be possible to achieve this more dignified and philosophical practice of focusing on what is good and right rather that what is bad and wrong. I am interested in the challenge that I guess I am giving to myself. Lets see if I can just maintain this for today. It is so nice sitting here on my toilet and thinking to myself. Like listening to the best kind of music.

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