Spiritual Effects of Being Negative

SimpleMan

Sparrow
Just a little reminder.

As he mentioned, we can be aware of whats going on but it's important to remember God always, and live in Joy as much as we can no matter what is happening.

Some threads on here, particularly within the current events section, can keep us focused on the wrong things for too long - which is what satan wants us to do. Complaining and worrying means we are fighting with God, thinking and saying it should be different. We may also be giving too much attention on the works of satan at times - thereby glorifying him - but I guess some find, myself included, curiosity of what they're up to, too much of a pull at times.

We don't need to put our heads in the sand and ignore things. We know whats going on and it's not what we would want. Maybe we can see what's on the horizon too - but even predicting things is in the realm of imagination and can lead to further despair and further away from God.

Be wise and prepare for the seasons of change accordingly, but remember God always.

 
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Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Here are some teachings from St. Paisios on this topic:
 

stugatz

Pelican
Negative thinking, especially wrath, is a major problem in my life, to the point where I think it's actually THE problem in my life. I'm struggling to deal with it at work, but have had to get creative to get past it, as I am working towards some financial goals and can't just rage-quit. I've noticed that during rushes (I'm a line cook at two different places) my attitude towards how I respond to stress makes a huge difference in everything.

I'm tempted to start swearing when I finish four orders and then am immediately greeted by twelve new ones, like I'm playing some brutally hard version of whack-a-mole. However, I've noticed that giving in to this temptation and saying nasty derisive comments like "wow, these people are pigs" actually makes me even more surly and stressed out. I've noticed if I say stuff like "OK guys, party time, let's get this all out!" that makes a major difference in my demeanor.

This can likely be applied to politics too...although I've chosen to deal with that stress by intentionally not getting informed on the latest news. That's definitely not the solution, especially since much of the news is worth knowing about.
 
My relationship with my wife sometimes suffers because of my negative attitude about the state of things. She often needs to remind me to reorient my focus to the Lord. I very much struggle with this, as seeing things fall apart is like watching a bad accident...it's hard to look away. I admit though, I feel much better when I limit my time on news. Spending time in prayer with my wife helps us both greatly.
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I think there is a fine line between positive thinking and living in denial. The world is filled with evil, life is very painful. These are undeniable realities. You can't put your fingers in your ears and pretend everything is all gravy.

Being positive in this instance would mean to realise that the evil and the negative stuff serves a salvific purpose for us. It's not just random, pointless, nihilistic evil. We can use it for our spiritual growth and thus turn it into a positive thing for us
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
Here are some teachings from St. Paisios on this topic:

Thank you Roosh. A great read and full of Wisdom.
Looks like an interesting blog to read more from, even if it's not active anymore.
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
Be like a bee.

The Elder started telling us:

– I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; people either belong to one or the other. The first one resembles the fly. The main characteristic of the fly is that it is attracted by dirt. For example, when a fly is found in a garden full of flowers with beautiful fragrances, it will ignore them and will go sit on top of some dirt found on the ground. It will start messing around with it and feel comfortable with the bad smell. If the fly could talk, and you asked it to show you a rose in the garden, it would answer: “I don’t even know what a rose looks like. I only know where to find garbage, toilets and dirt.” There are some people who resemble the fly. People belonging to this category have learned to think negatively and always look for the bad things in life, ignoring and refusing the presence of good.

The other category is like the bee whose main characteristic is to always look for something sweet and nice to sit on. When a bee is found in a room full of dirt and there is a small piece of sweet in a corner, it will ignore the dirt and will go to sit on top of the sweet. Now, if we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: “I don’t know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar; it only knows the good things in life and is ignorant of all evil.” This is the second category of people who have a positive thinking and see only the good side of things. They always try to cover up the evil in order to protect their fellow men; on the contrary, people in the first category try to expose the evil and bring it to the surface. When someone comes to me and starts accusing other people and puts me in a difficult situation, I tell him the above example. Then, I ask him to decide to which category he wishes to belong, so he may find people of the same kind to socialize with.
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
@stugatz
That must be challenging, especially in a hot and hectic environment like that. I came across a post that mentioned a landscaper's perspective:

I'll never forget what a friend of mine said once when we were discussing our jobs. I was a landscaper at the time. He said "treat your landscaping job as if you are landscaping the gates of heaven for Christ". Stuck with me, and helps me get through work days.

In what ways could you shift your perspective at work?
 

Stadtaffe

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Gold Member
Some threads on here, particularly within the current events section, can keep us focused on the wrong things for too long
I was thinking of starting a thread about the same thing, specifically -
and
Not good. I found myself reading some recent long posts from the former one "die alone" It is not that there are not valid statements in there, but one can almost imagine the authors of some of these posts sitting with a revolver on the table, spinning the barrel and playing Russian roullette every couple of paragraphs. Do we have to all attach lead weights to ourselves..
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
My relationship with my wife sometimes suffers because of my negative attitude about the state of things. She often needs to remind me to reorient my focus to the Lord. I very much struggle with this, as seeing things fall apart is like watching a bad accident...it's hard to look away. I admit though, I feel much better when I limit my time on news. Spending time in prayer with my wife helps us both greatly.

If we really think about, our environment is simple without screens and constant information. Without the news cycle, and general internet, our life could be very different as a day to day experience. The black mirror we idolise so much adds a whole other world on to us, we should remember that.

Sure when we go out, there are signs up saying to be afraid and there are people wearing things on their face (because they are afraid), but this could lead to compassion if we choose, rather than annoyance and the burden we think it places on us. Poor me vs Poor them (..they have forgotten God).

Some are losing their jobs, this must be very difficult to turn around, but there is always a way, we just maybe are not looking hard enough yet. We have lived in so much comfort, and when I think about others in third world countries, multiple families in small dwellings, war, daily struggle etc I reflect and think.

I reflect and remind myself of how grateful I am to have what I have, the luxury of having the basics of shelter, food and entertainment. I'm even grateful that I can be annoyed by a simple app that says "computer says no" to me. Fear is not the way I have chosen, and it is not fitting with God.

Humour and joyfulness can also be a great response to those in power, and to our own thoughts. We can learn to laugh at ourselves and shake the chains of fear away while also sticking up for God, calling out Sin when we come across it...in our normal lived in life.
 
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Pantheon

Robin
Orthodox
I think there is a fine line between positive thinking and living in denial. The world is filled with evil, life is very painful. These are undeniable realities. You can't put your fingers in your ears and pretend everything is all gravy.

Being positive in this instance would mean to realise that the evil and the negative stuff serves a salvific purpose for us. It's not just random, pointless, nihilistic evil. We can use it for our spiritual growth and thus turn it into a positive thing for us

Yes, modern evangelical Churchianity tends to suppress the negative and dark aspects of life while promoting a theatrical state of positivity. Eastern Orthodoxy is more serious, which is perhaps symbolized in the clergy dressing in black.
 
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