I rarely feel anxious, nor does my wife, however, we are both a little tense right now.
As I write from a cafe, our future is being determined by somebody else, yes, that’s the case with most people in this unfair world but when it happens to you, it’s a lot to be concerned about. To avoid the inevitable stress, my wife is working in a hospice this morning. I had decided to have a haircut, but the hairdresser is busy so I’m eating cake, sipping coffee and writing this on the hoof. I love writing. It opens my mind to other ways of seeing, it also helps me work through what I’m thinking. So what am I thinking right now?
Well, I’m querying the positive-thinking industry, for that’s what it’s become. I know messed-up people who think they know it all and who are regarded as little or giant gurus and others who really are special who are not noticed. I was once lauded as a guru across London, but stepped away because I knew I wasn’t as wise as I was taken to be*.
Being completely positive, which thank goodness I’m not, is an undesirable trait. Hmm, many of you will surprised I’ve written that. People who are, shine-up the little negative signs which alert us to problems, even dangers. That’s obvious, but what isn’t is that being positive skews your view of the world, you tend to live more within your own perceptions than reality. Anything you see is interpreted by this positivity rather than seen for what it is. Studies have found that very positive people are blind to the thoughts of others, they think they know what the other is thinking, they quickly put others into boxes. They also live their lives according to theory, call it religion, philosophy, hunches, and hence lean towards an intolerance of other ways of living/being.
Hmm, that threw the spanner in the works. But not really. Positivity tempered by scepticism is the middle way. It allows you to scan the situation as it is and watch the various options unfolding before you and come to a calculated, yet open, decision. The word calculated might alert you, but don’t be concerned, a health mind continually calculates, working out the most advantageous way forwards.
So what is it that is bothering my wife and me today? Unexpectedly, my health turned downhill some months ago, and two weeks ago we made the decision to move from the cottage we have spent a year renovating. It was the effort of doing so which ruined my health. We now need to be near amenities. As I write, somebody is looking round it. We’re hoping they’ll like what has been described by many as an impeccable, delightful cottage. We hope they will offer more than the last person whose deal would mean we’ll break even. This would be sad. We are always broke, although we’ve both given our lives to working for the good of others, life always works against us; for once we’d like to make a little money.
An hour later.
A call from the estate agent. Today’s clients were city folk frightened by the rurality of our home, “It is too quiet!”
Because we need to move soonish, we’re having to go with the lower offer. There we are, once again we face not having as much as we’d comfortably like. But that’s life. At least we’re not being bombed in a war zone. But it does mean we’ll have to leave this area and move to a more affordable area. Had we been totally positive, we’d be disappointed, but not allowing ourselves to fall into the trap of imaging that we could influence fate, we simply sat, neither positive nor negative, waiting in what the Buddha termed the middle path.
*If you want to know more, my autobiography comes out in a few months.