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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

August
12
2007
12:19 pm
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Am I too positive?

I took a long drive recently – from Austin, TX to Temple, OK and then back. It’s about a 5 hr drive each way. I always have my music with me for traveling – music and I share a special bond.

As with most people, my mind drifts all over the place when I drive.  Sometimes I sing along with tune du moment, sometimes I think about work, then about the new side business I started, about friends, my blog, the family, you know.  Sometimes you see something on the road and it throws your thoughts off on a tangent. In the small towns of Bowie, Hastings, Ryan and Waurika, I see a few businesses running and a smattering of people living and milling about, but I see many abandoned houses and rundown places, so I think about what happened to them. A stork (an honest-to-goodness stork!) rests in a creek alongside the road and I wonder about it and its life thus far along that highway.  Is it there because of the recent rains?  How old is it?  Are storks that common and I just don’t notice them?

All these things are going on in my mind, sparked by the visual catalysts sharing my day; our space-time coordinates are coinciding in those moments.

One of the thoughts that coalesce into my brain is one of the taglines that the new business I’m getting into uses quite a bit —

Balance – Variety – Moderation

I don’t think anyone can argue with those three words much. In the contect its used above, it’s referring to nutrition and more specifically, fruits.   You need to balance your diet with a variety of foods and do so in moderation.  It’s not like someone’s going to successfully convince you to overdose on bananas, or try to get a ton of antioxidents in your diet by drinking a quart of wine twice a day. 

I start thinking about the word “Balance” more and start to wonder how much I employ in my own life.

I think about the songs I’m listening to, and what I’ve chosen to load into my player, and I realize that a lot of it is what you’d probably call positive. From Moody Blues‘ ‘Blue World’ or ‘Gemini Dream’ to Trout Fishing In America’s ‘It’s Better That That’ and Rush’s ‘Red Barchetta’ and all over the place, my favorite stuff is mostly positive music.  Even the stuff that might not necessarily be upbeat and positive, like Sting’s ‘I Hung My Head’ or ‘I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying,’ they’re emotional and still leaves you appreciating what you have.

My all-time absolute favorite artist is Yes. Could you ever find a more inherently positive word than ‘yes’? And almost all of their music is ephemeral, uplifting, positive and beautiful.

I just don’t surround myself with negative music. Even stuff that I might groove to like NIN’sHead Like A Hole‘ (which DEVO covered quite nicely IMHO) loses its appeal somewhat as I parse the words.  Since I’m usually oblivious to the words sometimes I surprise myself to what I’m singing.

Is it that there isn’t that much negative stuff? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Do I need to employ balance in my music, and have more negative input? I hope not. Does the need for balance extend to good and bad?

Sometimes I wonder if I come across as disgustingly positive to others. I’m a ‘Yeah, and’ person vs a ‘Yeah, but’ person. If someone asks me how I am, I’m optimistic.  If I ever find anything cool and good, the first thing I want to do is share it with people.  I tell my kids the good they’re doing more than I point out the bad.  What gets rewarded gets repeated, in my mind.

Astrologcally speaking, however (I prolly just lost half of you :)) my natal moon is in my 12th house – I have a Cancer ascendant, so the Moon is my chart ruler. Moon rules emotions, and 12th house can relate to secrets, the hidden, spirituality, etc.  So maybe it’s not that I’m not experiencing or feeling the bad emotions, but in actuality I’m hiding them.  I don’t know.  From my perspective I’m just not processing them.  You know how some people have chemical imbalances and don’t process a specific protein, or a vitamin or something?  Maybe I lack the ability to process bad emotion.

I even see it on blogs – a lot of people vent.  They complain. They point out what’s wrong and they seem to do that more than lauding what’s right or what they see as good.  Maybe its easier for people to comiserate – therefore, people like writing about something bad or an injustice because they know others will identify with it and leave a comment.  Hatred gets more press, surely.  Nothing spreads like bad rumors, or complaints, or ‘woe is me’.

While I might get emotional or sad or a lump in my throat in some circumstances (watch me listen to Harry Chapin’sCat’s In The Cradle‘ or GLAD’s ‘Easter Song’) and I’m not an unfeeling robot – I still feel like I’m wired to experience joy, happiness, and focus on those feelings.

Is this abnormal?

And lo, the people did comment thus:

6 Comments

  1. michelle says:

    Wayne, first of all, there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” feeling. Feelings just are. Some are painful, some feel good. But none are good or bad specifically.

    Second, you gave me a chuckle when you talk about chemical imbalances. God bless you for trying. You try so hard to understand those things, and it’s really cute. Not a protein thing; it’s a neurotransmitter thing. But it’s cute that you tried.

    There is nothing wrong with being positive. You just tend to stay more “balanced” in your mood. To be sure, you can be “balanced” in any mood. You can be perpetually depressed, perpetually moderate, or perpetually “happy”. You are a positive person; no doubt about that. No matter what seems to happen in your life, you take it in stride, unlike me. I don’t get an excuse, but I do have a chemical imbalance.

    I think that your resilience is based upon your upbringing. From what I know of you, you seemed to have a fairly normal childhood, save the baseball thing, and you probably learned great resilience from your family, and they were probably positive the whole way through.

    My family was and is resilient; to the extreme. But they take a different tack with it. They tend to do it out of suffering and pain. Hence, the battle to a positive outlook on life on a consistent basis has been difficult.

    So, to answer your question; no one is either too positive or negative. Emotions just are. The thoughts behind the emotions are irrelevant. In the exact moment in which you are, what do you feel? Does the thought really matter? Die to the past each moment, and you will stay focused on the immediate.

    The better question is, who are you despite your emotions. Emotions are just the effect of a thought. And we are much more than our thoughts. We are not our mind, we are not our emotions, we are not our body. Without our mind, emotions do not exist. There is a part of us that exists without mind, body and emotion. That is what is most real. You can call it whatever you want. I liken it to the UFT and one-ness. I am not religious, but it all fits.

    Watch “What the Bleep; Down the Rabbit Hole”. You will like it very much.

    Michelle

  2. michelle says:

    BTW, when am I getting my f’ing astrological chart??? It’s been two years!!!!

  3. whall says:

    Thanx for the thoughtful comment.

    I disagree with good/bad feelings – two people can see the same thing or experience the same thing and one might have an optimistic reaction/feeling and the other pessimistic. I think the one with pessimistic response chooses (even if nudged by upbringing or conditioning) to do so, same as the optimistic one. I think this is a good feeling vs a bad feeling.

    wrt chemical imbalances, you’re talking about them in the brain. I was talking about in general. There are people who can’t process a specific protein. There are people who can’t process vitamin C. There are people who can’t process sugar. There are people who can’t process iron. That’s what I’m talking about.

    Definitely agree on upbringing – I’ve been blessed in many ways and a key one is that. It’s like if you get a good night’s sleep, so many other great things can come from that naturally, such as better mental acuity, more energy, or a better metabolism. So whatever gets you a good night’s sleep could be credited for those other benefits, but really it’s just the sleep. Same with a good upbringing – it springs so many other benefits in life.

    Note sure I agree about the “despite emotions.” I think the emotions define us quite a bit. But I’ll quickly say that it’s not like I’ve researched it or know a lot. Just my gut feel – um, my gut emotion if you will.

    And I love the rabbit hole DVD – I went many levels down.

    I have your chart and have had it for a long time – but the chart itself does little good. What you’re really waiting for and I’ve not provided is the analysis of the chart. I’ll quicken my pace so I get it to you before you’re 80 and don’t need it any more…

  4. Jen says:

    Hmmm, well emotions are complicated and dictated by different factors that are tossed into the hat. Emotions can be easily altered by substances you put into your body – for example, caffiene or vitamins will give you a temporary elevated mood and antidepressants may cause you to experience something you didn’t before.

    Your emotions originate in the limbic system of your brain and are dependent on your brain’s chemistry, so substances like caffeine, alchohol and antideppressants alter your chemistry and affect your emotions. So you do have some control over your emotions with medication in that regard.

    You can sit in a room, with complete silence, and remove all emotions from your mind and be content. Remove the circle of bills, work, obligations, illnesses, hurt, happiness, deadlines, everything…and sit still. At this moment, nothing can affect you – you control everything and you don’t have to carry any emotion. Life is content.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may have no control at all. For example, if you pet or family member dies, you cannot help but feel sandness and dispair no matter what type of substances you use to try and prevent feeling that way. The only real thing you have control over is how you exhibit your emotions and what types of actions you take. Your actions is what you have control over, not the emotions themselves.

    Emotions are what allows us to navigate our way into this world and secure our own place in it. Sometimes I remove my emotions completely (yes, I can do that) — when I remove them, i can flounder around on auto pilot, without a care, and consequently lose my true understanding of what my path is or where i am going. That’s not a good thing, but sometimes it’s the easiest thing. Easy is nice sometimes…

  5. sue says:

    Very nice post. (I always liked “Yes”, too…)

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