Sunshine and rain

I’ve listened to the positive thinking activists with interest. Those people who believed in The Secret. Like that episode of S&TC when Charlotte & Carrie go to the self-help workshop and Charlotte asks a question. The host then says she mustn’t be getting “out there” and Carrie says, “oh believe me, she’s out there”.

I’ve come to believe that maturity is understanding that the world is full to the brim of grey areas and learning to navigate our own truth in amongst all that grey.

I have never known whether I’m an optimist or a pessimist. I’ve tried to catch myself out in the way I describe a glass half filled or not…but it seems that I describe them as alternately full or empty. Probably based around what kind of day/week/month I’m having.

I think it’s most likely because I’m what is mostly called, a realist. I see things of course through my own paradigm but I’m neither overly optimistic nor pessimistic. I navigate my way through the world mainly by combination of overthinking and heart – so, by my gut instincts really.

I recently saw an interview with Oliver Burkeman, columnist, author and provocative thinker. He is such a fascinating fellow! He spoke about his book, “The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” which I’ve since read.  There’s some seriously thought provoking stuff in this book.  It’s an exploration in to the ways self help industry and the constant focus on positivity aren’t actually helping achieve happiness in people’s lives and that they are actually doing the opposite of what is intended.  Instead, he focuses on how we should embrace negativity, embarrassment and accept that we are flawed.

It all makes perfect sense to me….balance in all ways…..grey areas abound….we must experience the full rollercoaster of life….perspective is important….as is being present…..the yin and the yang.  The full spectrum…the sunshine and the rain.

9 thoughts on “Sunshine and rain

  1. rhythm & method

    I think this acceptance comes with time. I don’t think I could handle the grey in my 20s, but as my 30s march on, I’m OK with it. I think we need both for the world to be balanced, to appreciate the sun and take solitude when it’s grey. (I can’t believe I wasn’t following you … sorry).
    Lovely post. xx

    1. catbeloverly Post author

      You’re right, I think it does come with age. Seventeen year old me couldn’t abide grey at all. Almost 38 year old me knows differently. X

  2. mumabulous

    I heard this guy interviewed on Richard Fidler’s Conversations program. It was engrossing stuff. I would love to be able to get round to reading the book.

  3. bubsweatandtears

    This post is gold and describes me to a T. I remember my Mum telling me one, Pip, it’s ok to just be sad some days, it’s not a crime. (she’s a psychologist). I often feel that. When well meaning friends are encouraging me to be more positive her words ring in my ears and I think I’ll feel like being more positive in a few days.

      1. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker]

        Radio National is all my Mr! You know my dodgy tastes in movie and tv viewing so you can imagine I’m forced to listen to the AM drone against my will 😉 But I concede they do have interesting people on!

  4. Mixed Gems

    It’s strange how some topics have seasons. I hadn’t heard of Oliver Burkeman but had recently been coming across this topic of countering negative thinking quite a lot. I think I’m going to have to hunt down his book!

    I also really like your take on this topic. I see myself, at this age of my life, quite similar to your description too. I was much more negative when younger.


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