As many of you know, my experience in sobriety has been incredibly positive. It has been so positive, I have dedicated a large portion of my life to helping others experience something similar. The one criticism I have about the sober community is the overabundance of negativity regarding recovery. I have stated this many times in the past, but I do not believe it can be stated too much or too often. We project the outcome of our sobriety. Whether it is a positive or negative projection begins in our thoughts, beliefs, and words. If we say it sucks, it sucks. If we say it's easy, it's easy. We can experience one or the other or any myriad of experiences in between. It's a choice, we choose our experiences every single moment of every single day. We choose via our thoughts, actions, words, beliefs, and even friendships and relationships. Every single one of the before mentioned provisions comes with options and therefore choices. How we choose those options determines the outcome of our moments, days, weeks, years, and lifetimes. It can be difficult to hear how much of a role we play in the outcome of our lives but make no mistake, we play a starring role.
It shouldn't be so difficult to be positive, but when you think of where we came from, it makes sense as to why we tend to lean toward the negative. Our ancestors lived in a world of survival. Nothing came easy and nothing was taken for granted. Every single day was a new day to fight for survival. Focusing on the negative possibilities of everyday life literally kept our ancestors alive. In the modern world, even without the inherent dangers present, we still have a tendency to lean toward the negative. While a positive outlook is a choice for everyone, it is a more difficult choice for those of us suffering from addiction. We have enveloped ourselves in negativity for so long we no longer know the difference. In order for us to see the more positive side of things, we have to first open ourselves up to the possibility that positivity is more prevalent than we are used to experiencing.
Positivity, after all, is a catalyst for change.
The definition of the word positive is the practice of being optimistic toward the future. For the addict, this feels next to impossible. But why? One reason is due to the perception we hold of consistent failure in our lives. Another reason may stem from what we have heard others say about us. Yet another reason may come from what we say about ourselves. Ultimately, the reason we struggle with optimism is we have not seen any evidence to support its presence in our lives in a long time. Whether or not this is true is irrelevant. What matters is our perception of the truth. In order for us to start seeing more positivity, we have to start actively looking for it. As addicts, we have a tendency to seek out negativity because it gives us a reason to engage in our addictions, guilt-free. We use negativity as an excuse, a crutch.
In order to seek out positivity in our lives, we have to spend some time defining what positivity looks like. Like everything else in sobriety, what positivity looks like is different for everyone. A positive occurrence to you may not necessarily equate to a positive experience for me and vise versa. This means we have to do a little work to discern what positivity means to us. Once we understand its meaning for us individually, we have a better chance of seeing it when it occurs. In the beginning, this task may seem a little overwhelming. I mean, we have been living off negativity for a long time. How can we expect to start seeing the opposite? It may feel improbable at first, but it will get easier. You will find you have more of an ability to see positivity than you think, and you just may enjoy the results.