Positivism as a Means of Happiness
May 31, 2016 10:41PM
● By Sudha Allitt
Don’t ever apologize for being positive. Being positive means we are experiencing a level of happiness that includes compassion, acceptance and courage: Compassion in understanding that all other people, without exception, have their own personal experience of life, including both suffering and happiness; Acceptance in knowing the only one responsible for your worldview and world experience is you; Courage in rising above the little irritations to see empathetically that the rude store clerk is overworked and underpaid, the person who “stole” that parking space is experiencing some doubt about being “good enough”, the person who is mean or cruel in some way has fallen out of touch with their own heart.
People who are unhappy or anti-positive often misunderstand two things:
- Being positive is not the same as “seeing through rose-colored glasses”.
Being positive, or choosing happiness, is seeing the truth of each matter as our opinions and ego allow, acknowledging the limitations of that, then making peace within our own self, despite all else. Seeing through rose-colored glasses is a form of camouflage meant to protect a heart that thinks it is broken and breakable, and is fearful as a result.
- Anti-positivity is rooted in anger.
Anger stems from one’s own limited perception of happiness for self and others. Anger holds us back from the experience of compassion, acceptance and courage. This is largely because the chaos of the outside world calls upon our ego to sort things out. The positive, happy person knows the only thing to be sorted out is our self.
Take a moment every day to see something positively that you would usually criticize. Don’t accept ownership of the words or actions of other people. Understand that each person’s sentiments, reactions and aversions are based solely on their own perception of life in this world, as are yours. Those perceptions include some degree of potential and some, probably far greater, degree of limitation.
Choose to recognize the courage of each person, and eventually you will recognize your own courage. That will bring about a more positive perspective, which will feed into the deeper happiness that makes this life an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
Dr. Sudha Allitt is a yoga therapist, minister and co-founder of Kula Kamala Ashram, in Reading.