Counselor's Corner: Positive ­investment of emotions

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Fred Cavaiani

Where do you invest your emotions? When a tragedy happens like the latest shooting or latest terror attack, do you find yourself becoming emotionally distraught? When the news media presents information on President Trump, do you find yourself becoming angry and critical at him or at the news media for reporting something you don’t believe about him? If someone says something that you do not agree with, does this lack of agreement make you resentful and critical of the other person? Do you preoccupy your mind with all that seems wrong about this world?

It is quite common to invest our emotional life in negative thinking and feeling. Sometimes we do this just to feel something. People come together and often start bonding by talking about something that they agree is wrong about someone or something. Criticism of other people and establishments can appear to be a bonding force between people. When someone in authority criticizes another person in the public forum, many people tend to bond with this criticism. It makes good television and good Facebook posts, and good newscasts. Investment of emotion in negativity sells more television and papers than investments in being positive and loving.

However, the more we invest ourselves negatively in our thoughts and words and even actions, the more we jeopardize our emotional, physical and spiritual health. Negativity in thoughts and actions do not help people go forward in life. It really stagnates people. Negativity causes people to feel angry and critical and lacking in hope. Being positive causes people to look for goodness and maximize what is good about life. I then begin to see goodness everywhere and look for the positive even in the negative statements and actions that might surround me by those in authority.
We can choose to be positive or we can choose to be negative.  If I choose to be negative in my thinking and words, I create an energy of negativity around me that helps no one. In fact, it harms people.

Recently we remembered the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th. This man who was so positive even in the midst of great pain and suffering, left us a legacy of being positive and a legacy of hope. He looked for goodness in everything and everyone even while he was marching for civil rights in the midst of great danger and pain.

Great leaders look for the positive in people. They speak with hope and a strong investment in seeing goodness all around them. Poor leaders will try and find an enemy to criticize and focus upon.

In the last couple of weeks we have had inconsistent weather. As one person put it, “Mother Nature has a bi-polar diagnosis and is off her medication.” Instead of accepting the weather as it is, we can easily invest in criticism and regret and how we wished things were better.

To invest in a positive attitude is not that difficult. It takes an awareness of our negativity and how this doesn’t help anyone, especially our own personal self.

Sometimes I wish we could go back to the old days when there were no 24-hour news cycles. We can become bombarded with negativity. Yet we all have the power to invest in being hopeful and positive.

When we stay positive and look for goodness in everyone and everything we begin to discover a peaceful wisdom within ourselves. This positive attitude brings more hope into our life. We begin to realize that in life there is always a God looking after us. This positive awareness of a God and goodness in life is a good choice to make.  Maybe this is what each of us needs to bring into the world, our conversations and with our family and friends. It will work. Just do it.

Take time throughout this day to check your attitudes. If you find yourself becoming negative, make a determined effort to be positive and look for the goodness in whatever you are feeling negative about. If you can’t find any goodness or hope in it, know that you are too invested in being negative and that you are not taking enough quiet time with yourself. Each of us can become positive. It means we have to make a decision to do this often throughout each day. When we do this we create an attitude and an energy that has a positive effect on anyone around us.