1.23.2009

Becoming "Glass Half-Full"

I am, by nature and nurture, a "glass half-empty" person. My husband, my sweet, awesome husband is by nature and nurture, a "glass half-full" person. In the 12-1/2 years we've been married, the most important thing I've learned from him is to be positive. I remember the moment my heart turned. You see, I thought positive people were less sensitive, less aware and critical than I. I thought positive, upbeat people just didn't see what I saw, felt what I felt, knew what I knew. {Ugh.}
I can picture us standing in our bedroom, each of us tidying up [or "redding up" as we say in some parts of PA,] discussing something - I don't even know what, when I realized that my dear husband chooses to be positive. He sees. He feels. He knows. But he chooses wisely.

I have since then practiced being a "glass half-full" person. Yes, it can be learned. Am I always cheerful and positive? Umm that would be a negative. Is my first thought and comment always positive? Negative again on that one. Believe you me, I can b*tch with the best of 'em! We tell Boo that he needs to practice at being strong - in body, heart and mind. That memorizing verses strengthens his heart and mind. That doing homework is practicing. And to take the ole proverbial taste of my own medicine, it took practice to become a positive person. Or shall I say for myself it takes practice.

Why bother, you ask? Yes, it's more pleasant. You'll be more popular at cocktail parties and jewelry parties. Yes, it helped me to improve our marriage. I related to my in-laws better. But here's the key for me. How can I be negative and unappreciative and always notice the bad things, when my gracious God, my Heavenly Father has given me all things? Romans says all things work together for good to those that love Him. Jesus said what father, when a child asks for bread, will give him a stone? The Old Testament says God gathers us to His breast like a hen with her chicks. Then, do I turn around and scoff in His face?
So, to borrow from Hippocrates:

#1. First, do no harm.
For many of us, and especially my gender, that means don't say anything.
Nothing. Nada. Stop. Take a breath.
#2. Think of something positive to say.
Anything. You can do it. I know you can.
#3. Say the positive thing. Only.
It may hurt and you may wince, but you can do it! You do it every time
you look at your toddler's drawing and coo, "Oh that's be-yooootiful!"
#4. Don't say the negative thing that first came into your head.

Make a note in your head not to do /say/ see/act/wear what you thought
was so aweful, but keep the words to yourself.

Lift it up to the Spirit and ask Him to help you. If you want to, that is. We use the phrase with Boo, "is that a wise choice or a sad choice?" so much that my siblings tease me about it. The point being, that our behavior, our very thoughts are our choice.

Now drink. Let's drink from this life God has given us!



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8 comments:

rosemary said...

Love this post! I am a half-full person by nurture. Nothing negative was tolerated in my house. My folks are very religious and they expect faith at all times. But I think this has been so good for me b/c I am probably a half-empty person by nature. I over think everything and I WORRY!! I bet that Boo thanks you later for this emotional training. I know I have thanked my parents. Or at least I meant too... ;-)

AmyP said...

Well done, Grace. I can always learn a thing or two from you!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

What a great post! I have problems with #4. I definitely need to work on this!

Lora said...

I feel exactly the same way that you felt, and I'm trying desperately to get over it. Thank you for this post.

Also, I just sent Jake upstairs to "red up" his room. People down here hate when I say that.

Donna said...

Brings me back to what Thumper always said in "Bambi"- we quoted him quite often when the kids were growing up: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anthing at all". Wisdom from a rabbit!

blackbelt_oma said...

Donna, after I spent all that time and energy writing the post, I thought this is the proverbial "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Well, that would mean I could never talk again and THAT wasn't going to work. So, I thought that phrase was just plain stupid. Ha Ha.

JulieKP said...

Fabulous post! I too am by nature half empty person. Actually I am a there's not even a glass person. This was how my whole family is. We put on a good show and say all the "right" things in public but on the inside we are severely negative.

Then I married an extremely positive man. It struck me as odd at first how he could think the way he does. But after 11 years it has worn off. I don't think as negatively anymore. I still have my moments but being negative isn't my first thought anymore. Actually it's made my life a whole lot nicer.

Musings of a Housewife said...

All true. But so much harder than it sounds! :-)