For years now I have been hearing about how we can change our own lives, health and wealth by merely thinking good thoughts. There are thousands of books written about it and even scientists working on it. Positive thinking has become a cliche which we know of, but when life throws stuff at us we forget about it. Then we try again and just about when we start feeling well life does it again – another challenge (to stay positive I am not mentioning the word “problem”).
I have been an outside observer of the notion that our thoughts create our lives. I have read some about it, watched the “Secret”, came to the conclusion that being positive just feels good, if it does not do anything else. So I have trained myself to be somewhat positive, or at least tolerant to people and events.
But just a month ago I met a person who has shifted my skepticism significantly.
My friend has a cousin, about 45 years old now. She got married very early, moved with her husband-musician to London, divorced him soon after, remarried an older guy who died of a lung cancer few years ago. The most recent news about her was that she got a multiple sclerosis and goes through some treatment now. This was really devastating even though I was not too close with her. Such a terrible disease! The rest what I knew about her life was that she has some 9 to 5 job in London, which did not pay too well. She used to paint well long time ago, but does not do that anymore. For us sitting here at home and chatting about her once in a while, the picture was quite gloomy – dreams never came true, private life never worked out, and now multiple sclerosis at such an early age. Poor woman.
A month ago I heard that she’s coming home for a month. The next thing I heard was that she decided to make an exhibition of her paintings. I was informed about that with a sad face – “It’s a part of her therapy somehow, you know.” Sob, sob.
So I went to the exhibition promising myself that I am going to like whatever I see there, even if it sucks. It’s a therapy for a sick woman after all. And I will be as supportive as I can. All intentions good.
What I found there when I arrived was beautiful POSITIVE paintings that radiated light and happiness, happy and energetic artist who looked even better than what I remembered from before and no signs of depression caused by the disease. No signs of a disease itself.
Couple of days later I met her again at my friends place. She was chatting away about her life in London. She is determined to find love soon because “who’s gonna like me when I am 55” and she was telling hilarious stories about some of her more unfortunate dates. Her job (that boring 9 to 5 one with little pay) turns out to be directly related to art and painting so she has to attend every exhibition in town and meet tons of people with similar interests and taste. She goes out intensively – more funny stories about her not always appropriate outfits in clubs, and in general she is very hopeful for the future. We agreed for a weekend trip for that Saturday and I left for home.
Next morning I realized that my moods are suspiciously elevated for no reason, and I was looking forward to our weekend trip like I used to do when I was child. I just wanted to spend some more time with her – there was so much optimism, happiness and joy when she was around.
I could not let multiple sclerosis go from my head though. From what I know about this disease, it is degenerative and in some years to come she would have to go through some horrible times before she dies. This got me thinking and I could not link her behavior with her perspectives. I called my friend, her cousin, and asked what was going with her treatment. Turns out the doctors are bewildered – the disease has disappeared. The only plausible explanation was that she was misdiagnosed to start with, because doctors do not like the word “miracle”. They’d rather admit their own mistake.
I watched her that weekend again and came to a conclusion that she just knew how to make her thoughts create her life.
After the weekend I was with friends again and mentioned her, told her story. Suddenly I was showered with negativity again. Oh no she can’t be happy. She had such a talent and she wasted it, she works hard in some office instead of being a famous artist, and nobody knows if her disease comes back or not. It felt like they did not even hear me at all. I lost the ability of speech. I could not understand why we saw the same picture in different colors and then I got just another proof literally in the same week that thoughts do create our lives. The middle aged women who were ranting about how unhappy she should be, were very unhappy themselves. Boring lives where the only way of self realization is there children. And children tend to disappoint over-expecting parents. Husbands who sleep in separate bedrooms. Crisis which affects their family budgets. The only joy is to see someone who is even more miserable than them. And if they don’t see it they make it up.
I still doubt that I can create a sack full of money with my thought but I am determined to become happier and learn how to dream again. Thanks to my friend from London.