You think you are a negative thinker?
What do you think? You would know best.
Absolutely. You absolutely are. I would say the majority of your thoughts are negative.
Yes. Without a doubt. You are either thinking about worst case scenarios (worrying), judging yourself or judging others (especially your wife). This is what you do most of the time.
It’s not good.
Look at yourself now. Your wife just said to you, “I hope you have a lovely day babe,” before she left. How did you respond?
I said, “Do I have to? Do I have to have that expectation?”
Exactly. Would you not say that was negative?
Yes. It was also honest. I am a bit tired of all these expectations to be happy, to be filled with joy, to be peace, to have a wonderful day, to be redeemed.
Maybe I want to be irredeemable. Maybe this positive psychology expectation to be happy, to be filled with love and joy is just not a pitcher of Kool-Aid I am willing to swallow. It is such a California thing. Why do I have to be happy? What is so great about being happy?
You don’t. But all these negative thoughts are causing you to be unwell. Look at how your chest feels constricted right now. Notice how you are having a difficult time breathing? Notice that heavy weight on your shoulders and chest? That can’t be good for you.
I know. But I can’t seem to stop these negative thoughts. They just happen and take me over. I try to meditate, recite a mantra, exercise. None of it seems to work. I just have to wait it out and eventually it will pass. But it is true my mind seems to judge, worry, criticize constantly. Negative thought after negative thought.
Angry about this. Worrying about that. Constantly.
Yup. I don’t know how to stop it. My father was and still is an angry man. Grew up with him upset and yelling continually. My mother is and was a depressive worrier. I seem to be programed to be a negative thinker. It is in my blood.
Probably true. You did grow up in a very tense and hostile environment. There was a lot of negativity floating around all the time.
Yes. But back then it was just normal. Now I am aware that it is not normal. It is fucked up. So many years spent being unaware of all this negativity. Now at least because of meditation, I know when it is there and I try not to get too caught up in it. But it is a constant struggle. Often it wins. Sometimes it doesn’t and I just wait for it to go away. It sucks. It feels like some sort of illness.
It is a mental illness.
I do. Without a doubt. You have an undiagnosed mental illness.
Wow! That is a radical thing to say.
Probably full on Borderline Personality Disorder.
A brain that is as negative as your is is not a place of well being and health.
Well I don’t know what to say. I know I am a prolific negative thinker. Seems to be my destiny. I do what I can about it but the rest I need to accept. It is just the way it goes. All I can really do is just be aware of it and try not to get too identified with it.
As a mindfulness meditation teacher this is what you teach other people to do. So at a very intense level, you are being challenged to do the same thing.
“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”
This is your favorite quote?
It is. It sums up my entire practice. I am learning how to just leave the negativity alone. Don’t need to fuck with it all the time. Just need to be able to let it be. IT will come and IT will go. This will be my life.
Probably true. It is a kind of chronic illness that at this point you can only learn to live with.
Yes. Besides, I do not want to be happy and positive all the time. That sounds incredibly dull. I like a certain amount of negativity. Keeps things dark and interesting.
But you have way too much negativity.
This is true. I know. Just talking about it now is helpful. I feel better- like I have let some things go. I will be spending the rest of today alone so hopefully I can just be with myself and let a lot of the negativity go.
Sounds good. What are you going to do with your time alone?
I just want to read, listen to some records, take a nap, meditate once more and maybe do some drawing. Just go easy.
Sounds about right. Just do the things you like to do today. Hopefully it will help you to calm some of your negativity down.
Ok. Well thanks for talking.
Your welcome. Enjoy your solitude.