Power Over Life and Death…

I’ve never been an idealistic person. I had very few illusions about the world and the people in it and even those were destroyed or otherwise debunked by the time I hit my teens. I’ve lived life as a realist for as long as I can remember. I have great respect for optimists and great fear of pessimists. I can’t even fathom the thought processes of either group. The fact that we are possessed of the ability to retain and recall previous events, for me, acts in support of realism.

Negative speak wears on me. If you want to forfeit my acquaintance or my friendship, persistently complain or speak in a constantly pessimistic manner and I guarantee you won’t even know when I cut you off. I grew up in church, on Bible stories, parables and such. A few have stuck in my head and one of them is Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Stop for a minute and think. Think of that person you know, we all know at least one, who constantly predicts doom and gloom. The person who if they are to be believed has never had a good day or a good thing happen to them ever. How do you feel when you think about that person? Do you want to share that person’s company on a regular basis? I sure as hell hope not. Or…are you that person…? I live in a culture where this is prevalent. And I cannot understand it. I live on an island. One of the most beautiful in the world according to numerous polls. I can go to the beach at any time of year – that alone is awesome to me. But more than the basics – we have running water, electricity, a decent economy, access to a level of education that is acceptable worldwide, access to every material thing under the sun, we have foliage and fruit, we have music and an amazing spirit. And yet, there are so many people who when asked, will refuse to admit that things are going well for them, that they are content, satisfied or even just OK. I can only hazard a guess as to why. Maybe some persons are afraid that they will ‘jinx’ their good fortune if they get too happy about it. Maybe some persons are so aware of the transience of things that they focus more on the fact that something may be lost than on the fact that that thing is currently in their possession – whatever that thing may be: a good job, good health, happy relationships, wealth…

Now I understand if bad things have happened to you before then there’s always that little bit of fear that it will happen again. It could be that some persons are afraid to express gratitude because they fear that what they are grateful for may be lost or taken from them. We can see and understand patterns and progressions. Information about prior events and occurrences can even be used to predict possible future outcomes. We all know that somewhat pessimistic adage about history repeating itself, not to mention the one about how there’s nothing new under the sun. That’s reality right there. But the past cannot control our present. The power is within us do what is needed to maintain our blessings and harmony and that power starts with how we think and speak. When a noted and noteworthy medical journal conducts and posts research on The Power of Positive Talking, it may be time to really assess how much our own words are affecting the quality of our lives. 

As a realist, I acknowledge the limited amount of control I have over outcomes. Realism is accepting that perfection is an illusion, that things won’t always go according to plan and that in order to move from day to day, I need to be able to quickly adjust my outlook and actions to reflect my current situation. Reality is the midground between optimism and pessimism. But the line is very thin in either direction and some people cross it very easily. Reality in the direction of optimism can make it easier to deal with difficult situations. It gives a buoyancy to your thoughts and words and actions that can make the day to day better. Reality in the direction of pessimism though, can drag you across that line before you realize it. Living in a state of accepting that bad things will happen at a time when a lot of bad things are happening can be overwhelming. But speaking positively and expressing gratitude for blessings helps us to maintain a level of hopefulness that should guide our actions in the right direction – the direction of continued health, wealth and happiness…

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