You know that thing people say, ‘don’t think of a monkey’ and then they love to see how you can’t help but think only of a monkey?
What we focus on expands until it fills our awareness.
That’s why I choose to focus on positive thoughts, including positive thoughts about feminism. If I were to focus constantly on what’s being done wrong without offering a positive solution to focus on, what’s wrong couldn’t help but be perpetuated. When a person has nothing to replace old behavior with, they continue old behavior.
I don’t have all the answers. Nope. I know people wish to get all the answers from one place, or find a magic solution that solves all their problems. But the reality of life is that it takes persistent work to effect good change in the world. Small changes successfully implemented in one’s own life can make a bigger change than publicized revolutions that ultimately miss their mark.
Indulging in negativity makes me feel negatively, so I avoid it. I avoid sarcasm, because it makes me feel sad and states what I consider to be a lie in a way that could sound like truth if it isn’t recognized as sarcasm. So I worked really hard to learn to say things in a positive way and I continue to work to speak so. It’s important to me and when I do it well it absolutely transforms my interactions with others.
I believe goodness practiced softens rough edges. I believe people find it easier to listen when trust is there and truths are spoken calmly. Firmly, and calmly. I believe in backing up fellow women when they speak their truth, saying ‘I know what you’re talking about, that’s how I feel about it, too,’ to counteract the common discounting of women’s experience. And even when we disagree I believe in listening and showing respect.
I was taught that all people are equal, inherently. All people deserve the same amount of respect as one another. Some folks relinquish their sense of honor by their behavior and they still deserve basic human respect, even if not the sort of honor given someone who has earned it with positive actions.
I’m feeling good about focusing on the positive.