June 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm #37118
However I realized I've mastered positive thinking which gets me through this challenge just fine. I wrote about it in my blogJune 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm #37122
Are you sure that you've mastered positive thinking? I just question that because you're not being honest about your living situation with someone whom you connect. Don't be afraid to be honest about it – you may miss a great opportunity. That girl may not be around in a few months, and if she cares about you, then she won't be turned off. I have friends who CHOOSE to be homeless – they say they have never felt so free. If I remember correctly, the Buddha also was homeless for a time. I would suggest being honest and open with her, rather than causing her pain by shielding yourself from possible embarrassment. (Not that you have nothing to be embarrassed about!!)
NamasteJune 18, 2013 at 7:25 am #37144
How timely that you posted this topic on the forum; I actually just started reading a book entitled “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking” The title is a bit cutting (probably meant to be tongue-in-cheek for marketing purposes), but the text itself is fairly light-hearted.
It does however propose a very interesting paradigm shift about the positive thinking school of psychology – although it can sometimes be seen to produce short term results, it doesn't do much in terms of helping cultivate longer term resiliency when it comes to facing the harsh realities of life's ups and downs.
The author, Oliver Burkeman, looks to the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics as well as Buddhism to demonstrate how actually sitting with and exploring worse case scenarios might be more fruitful towards our psychological development and growth and motivate us to action.
What really speaks to me about the book and your blog post highlights the problem that I see, is this whole notion of cycles – our minds our conditioned to constantly be evaluating everything around us either positive and negative and because it's a cycle, when you're down you have to work at bringing yourself up and when you're up, chances are you will eventually drop down. Like riding a sine wave, the higher the ups, the lower the downs and the more effort you have to exert to bring yourself up from the downs.
My question is (and this is what has lead me to Buddhism in the first place), how do you break free of the cycle? How do you stop that constant evaluating and judging of everything and everyone around you, exerting energy looking for happiness and trying to stay positive, but simply be and exist and face reality objectively?
I don't have a solution for it (that would probably be enlightenment), but it is an idea that's definitely worth exploring further.June 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm #37168
Peter, thank you for taking the time to read the post.
As for your questions, first of all it I would say breaking the cycle is unnecessary. Whichever cycle you fall into is just an experience, it's the journey. As I remember correctly the Buddha experience being rich and virtually spoiled of all the materials things in life and also experienced being deprived of the most basic necessities of life. This is how he was able to educate himself of the nature of emotions and prescribe a treatment for it. Both negative and positive parts of life are nothing more than just education, and that is where the true beauty of existence lies.
For the second, whichever mode of thinking you have positive or negative IS your reality. You are already facing it no matter what mode of thinking you have. Knowing this and how it effects your overall quality of life, it is advisable to CHOOSE the positive side, because of the benefits it yields as I've mentioned in my blog.