How I Found A Positive Attitude

by Mark Ivar Myhre on May 15, 2008

I’ve got someone inside of me.  I call him the Negative Guy.  Here’s how it all started:

You see, as a child I experienced pain, and I didn’t know how to deal with it.  It would get a little too intense sometimes.

But I had to put the pain somewhere.

Emotional pain must go somewhere.

So I started making judgments (among many other things).  I started judging myself and other people and God and the world and everything else I could think of.

Judgments freeze.

It’s like putting your pain in the freezer. It doesn’t end the pain – it doesn’t make it go away – but it does help you cope.

For a child growing up with few tools and resources, it’s a way to survive.

In my case (and I suspect, for many others) judgments were a receptacle for the pain.

Eventually, that freezer full of judgment took on a life of its own.

A lot of power lies hidden in your intensity; and pain can be intense.  A lot of power was locked in my freezer.  So I guess it was inevitable the freezer would come to life.  My pain came to life; like Frankenstein’s monster; as the Negative Guy.

The Negative Guy

I’ve lived my life; I’ve functioned out of him.  I became him.   For periods of time, anyway.   He was always there for me.  He became my anchor.  I knew I could count on him.  He was safe and comfortable and oh-so-familiar.

Like a pair of worn-out shoes.   Doesn’t look good.   But at least I know what I’m getting.   It’s comfortable.

And the safest answer is always ‘NO’, right?

That’s what I believed.

It wasn’t until the last few years I even realized I had a receptacle for my pain inside me.

A living, breathing, part of me who always says NO. Who always believes it won’t work; that things won’t go well.  Because life’s a bitch and then you…

I never thought to question it.   Because I was so immersed in it; I didn’t realize I could CHOOSE whether to function as a Negative Guy or not.

The Negative Guy has no choice. All he knows is a negative outlook on everything.  Getting him to change would be like trying to get an eagle to stop flying.   Or to get water to start flowing uphill.

No, he has no choice.  But I have a choice as to whether or not I will function as the Negative Guy.

You see, he has a counterpart; a positive guy.  I call him my Expectant Self.

The part of me who’s always expecting the best, no matter what.

“We’ll expect the best in every situation. And we’ll deal with whatever happens, in the best way we can.”

Of course I’ll still have my ups and downs.   But I feel so much better with a positive expectancy!  It takes me out of the prison of negativity.

Unfortunately, I have decades of experience being negative.   And a rather short time seeking positive expectancy.

At first, it actually felt uncomfortable being positive.   It was WAY TOO easy to sink back down into the familiar negative expectancy.

The Positive Self Is Real

And he’s eager to help me.   If I’m feeling negative about a particular situation, I can bundle up the energy of the negativity, and hand it over to the Expectant Self to heal it for me.  That’s one way he helps me.

I also ask him to be more present in my life.  To fill me with positive energy.  To stand next to me, and whisper in my ear when I start to sink.  To give me a pep talk when I need it.

I ask him to be my eyes, so I can see life in a new way.

Positive Expectancy brings with it many gifts; Wonder, Joy, Love, Freedom, Enthusiasm.

Life works better.   I feel better.

The Negative Guy will always exist inside me.   There will always be a space for him; just as the termite tunnels remain after the termites have been exterminated.

Working with the Negative Guy involves working with my own pain.

But the juice – the power – the energy – MY energy – does not have to flow into him.  He can be like a hollow shell.  A mummy.   In a strange way, he can be an ally – with just enough power to warn me when I’m getting off track.  He can whisper in my ear.

But no more than whisper. That’s my goal.

And for more information on creating a Positive Expectation, check out the e-book How To Create Your Own Reality.


Mary K January 3, 2009 at 6:28 am

Very interesting post. By acknowledging the shadow, we shed light onto it and thereby learn the lessons of life. will be of help to your readers.

Sharon October 11, 2011 at 7:44 am

This article and sharing about the bi-polar issues realy assists me in understanding some wonderful people that are in my life, thanks for sharing, and de-mystifying the bi-polar diagnosis. I have greater respect and support for these lovely people now with better understanding and your cheerful spirit. Sharon

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