Google+ Authentic Parenting: Spiral of Negativity

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spiral of Negativity

Everything about this consumerist, capitalist infusion Westerners are brought up in drives people to always wanting more. Now, there’s no harm in being ambitious and wanting to achieve your goals, but the way I see this urge manifested in many of my relatives and friends is not a positive quality whatsoever.

It’s like nothing can ever be good enough and there’s alway something missing, something lacking, something that could have been there to make the picture perfect, but is not, so now it’s ruined.

It’s like my mom who always used to say she wished my father was home more often, and then when he retired, she said she wished he did more around the house, and when he started cooking her meals every once in a while, she said she wished he cleaned up afterward, and when he’d clean up, she says she wished he put things in the right place and didn’t do such an awful job cleaning...

I see this downward spiral of negativity in so many people I know... And I wonder why.

Image: qthomasbower on Flickr

People always seem to be weighing their lives against other options and only seem to see the negative of where they are right now, they are so focused on what they are missing, on what they wish they had, they forget that they have so much already and that life is great and wonderful as it is.

You can still be ambitions and want stuff, but be happy and grateful about what you DO have. It’s not such a difficult switch to go from an attitude of negativity and resentment to one of appreciation and positive thinking.

When you find yourself wishing things in a way that make you unhappy, when you feel that you start comparing your life to someone else’s or one you could have had if you’d only ... (fill in the blank), just pause for a moment, and turn it around: see what you wouldn’t have if you ... (fill in the blank). Find a couple of things that are unique about you and your life, summon up the things that make you feel grateful. You’ll quickly feel much better.
If you practice this often, you will find that these spirals of negativity will show up less and less frequently.

So tell me, what are you grateful for?



  1. this is sooooo true, and its something that really bothers me also.

    i am thankful for our house - it may be small and not built well, but its cheap to rent (we could never afford to pay standard rent or mortgage) and we have wondeful neighbours. we'd love to own a home but we are so lucky to have this place.

    and of course i am thankful for my husband (who is the most fantastic partner and father anyone could wish for), and my wonderful kids who drive me up the wall but i wouldnt have it any other way.

  2. I was just thinking about this. I am going through discontentment and I don't understand if it's a monthly female thing for me or just real discontentment. Thank you for helping me be thankful regardless of another life I want to live sometimes. Is daydreaming encouraging discontentment? I always thought it was healthy until I started dreaming about being someone else entirely.

  3. Hi Family of Movers
    Sometimes we can be profoundly unhappy about the way life is going, maybe that is what you are experiencing. If you are dreaming of being someone else entirely, maybe it is time for a change.
    I found myself having escapist thoughts all the time a while back, so now we are moving to another country. Maybe that is a drastic change for many, but there are smaller steps too. Think about what you like and reach to achieve it.
    If you can't find anything to keep you doing what you are doing, then change :)

  4. Thanks for this post. It has made me reassess and appreciate what I have a little more. I have so much to be thankful for, but most of all my daughter and the ability to stay at home with her. All to often, I take this for granted.

  5. I feel grateful for my body, which is healthy and active and can do what I want it to do... for the health (such as it is) of myself, my husband and children, for my animals and family, for my mother and brother and sister.

    I'm grateful for the chance to learn to really enjoy, deeply enjoy, family life. To be with my children day in and day out.

    And, hee, Family of Movers, who says our "a monthly female thing" isn't real, and isn't important enough to consider as a litmus for happiness or what might need to change?


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