I started writing The Positivity Papers in January 2018 as a vehicle to communicate principles and practices for experiencing more joy in life in a way that's accurate, accessible, and actionable.
Think of it as a series of apologetics outlining the value of positivity that's one part literature review, one part commentary, and whole part empowering.
The most recent edition of The Positivity Papers was written for inclusion in Volume Two of the print edition of this series, and you don't even have to wait for the book to arrive. You can check it out right now here.
I personally feel that this is one of the most important pieces that I've written, but that may just be my own bias due to my personal experiences.
Letting go of expectations, letting go of what we once had, letting go of an old dream or talent or purpose or way of life that is no longer serving us is a something that took me twelve years to master, and it's still a work in progress that I'm continually honing every day.
Today Facebook sent me a notification of a status updated that I wrote ten years ago today. It read:
"No one ever said that life would be fair, only that it would suck."
There were those who tried to talk sense into me at the time, that it would all be worth it in the end, but I wanted to hear none of it because at that time my reality was so locked into the old narrative what life should have been, what I had but no longer had, and of what I so desperately wanted to get back. The truth is, sometimes life does suck. Part of positive thinking requires taking an honest look at the situation, and sometimes the feedback says that life isn't going very well right now. The trick is not to ignore this truth, but it is also not to let the "suckyness" of the situation overwhelm us.
Some parts of life do suck. But many parts don't. What can we learn about what's going right, and how can we apply it to what's wrong to balance the scales? In a similar way, what can we learn about what's wrong to be better prepared for the future? And what can we do starting right now to make for a better tomorrow?
I hope you choose to invest 5 minutes to read this piece, and then I hope you choose to let me know what you think.
Stay Positive, my Friend!
I have decided to sell my fiancée’s engagement ring so that I may make good on the many debts I accumulated when she passed away just a day after I picked it out for her.
I have not made this decision lightly for this is the ring that I promised to give to her but never did. I just could not bring myself to do it after that unimaginable Sunday afternoon after stepping through the unfathomable door at the funeral parlor and walking the impossible walk across the room to stand over her lifeless body lying in the casket.
One week earlier from that very moment we were playing mini-golf at Lake Winnepesaukah and just four days before that we were lying together in her bed staring into each other’s eyes, our
souls were talking to each other you see. She was willing me to ask, and I that
I hadn’t a ring yet, and she that it didn’t matter.
And so I asked.
And so she smiled.
And so she nodded.
And so I smiled.
And so I said, “I always wondered what that would feel like.”
And so she asked, “What?”
And so I said, “To ask the woman of my dreams to marry me and to have her say yes and to have that woman be you.”
And yet there I was with ring in hand and finally ready to give it to her seeing in my heart that the woman lying in that casket was not Stephanie.
It was not my best friend.
It was not her.
It was most certainly the body her soul inhabited during her time as Stephanie but no that was not Stephanie.
And so I couldn’t give Stephanie’s ring to a lifeless body that was not her and so I carried that ring with me anywhere and everywhere I went in search of her from appletini to appletini yet anywhere and everywhere I could not find her.
I drank all my work. I drank all my possessions. I drank all my money. I drank all my hopes. I drank all my life away and still I couldn’t find her.
And so time went on and time went by as I did not and just when I all but gave up I did find her again and I will give you a hint as to how I finally did:
She was found in letting go.
No job. No car. No home. No possessions. No anything nor no everything. No nothing no never no not no none no no.
Once I let go of life I found that I could have all of life and it was in all of life that I found Peace of Mind. And it was in all of life that I found Love in my Heart. And it was in all of
life that I found Joy for Life.
Yes, I have finally found Stephanie again.
Yes, I have not made this decision lightly to sell my fiancée’s engagement ring that I promised to give to her but never did but I have found Stephanie again and I have also found I no longer need to carry this ring anymore nor do I need to hoard it anymore for this ring is of this world but is not for this world and my work is for this world but is not of this world and my work for this world needs the money that this ring holds. Transferring this money to my work for this world will finally allow me to give to Stephanie her engagement ring that I promised to give her but never did to make good on the many debts I accumulated when she passed away just a day after I picked it out for her, this modest trilogy diamond ring that has an inscription that reads “P.S. I Love You”
It is with a heavy heart that such a moment has come but it is with a heavy heart that all moments of this world come.
With Abundant Peace of Mind, Love in Your Heart and Joy for Life --
I was born and now it is today.