Several years back, I remember asking a friend about her blood type. Sidenote: I have absolutely no idea why we were talking about this. Maybe I thought I would need a kidney one day and wanted to keep my options open.
Anyway… her response was B+. “So fitting for me,” she said. “Be positive.”
To which I responded, “Mine is AB+. So fitting for me – like Ay! Be Positive!”
We have all seen the papers and the research essentially saying you reap what you sow, a positive mind begets a positive life. Well, I know this, but the snarky punk self sitting in the back of my mind thinks this is a load of crap. So, normally, what ensues is a battle of wills.
Punk Self: “I hate everyone.”
Self: “Ay! Be positive.”
Punk Self: *Major eye roll* “Fine.” Under her breath, “But all people do suck.”
This is how the conversation in my head would go. I would lambast myself for my negative thoughts. Typically, I ended up feeling guilty, ashamed, and angry–which does not a positive mind make.
Here is the thing, the person you talk to the most is yourself so might as well make it a good conversation. I’m stubborn (I know, big shock) so when someone yells at me to stop doing something, I do one of two things. Either I stop doing it while imagining that person’s slow and painful death. Or I say, “F#@% you! I do what I want!”
Either response doesn’t make for a very good conversation. I end up hating myself. So I decided to change the conversation.
Imagine a child having a temper tantrum. Your response is to yell at them and tell them to stop. What do you think that child would do? If it was me, I would have bitten the person on the arm and continued screaming my head off.
Now imagine you gave that child some space, or just talked to them in a caring way, tried to understand what they were feeling and why. What if you told that child it’s ok to be angry or sad? What if you gently remind them of the good things while, also, recognizing and acknowledging where they are now and what they are experiencing?
More than likely, that child will feel comforted, respected and heard. That child would be able to better comprehend their emotions, feeling them completely, and then move on.
So I tried it on myself. It wasn’t easy. Bad habits are hard to break. And, honestly, I felt more than a little ridiculous. But I was up for the challenge.
Punk Self: “I hate all people.”
Self: “I understand. That person did just walk right in front of me in line. That made me angry. And that’s ok. But I care for a lot of people. And they care for me, too. Just the other day, my dad brought me dinner, and that was pretty great.”
Punk Self: “Yea true. But I’m still angry! Stupid people!”
Self: “Ok let’s be angry for a little bit. And then let’s move on and try something else.”
Well damn! That went unexpectedly well. And my punk self is no longer giving me death stares.
So while my blood type remains AB+ (funny how that doesn’t change), my mind isn’t. It is now be negative when I need to be and then try to be positive.
So now you know my inner conversations as well as my blood type in case you ever need a kidney.