As much as I loved the movie Pollyanna as a kid, I tend not to move easily toward seeing the bright side of things. In fact, I often roll my eyes at Dawn who can be a total Pollyanna. I see it as not being grounded in reality. If the truth is that something is shitty or hard or insane or frustrating or wrong, then we should name it as such. Ultimately, of course, it is fine to call a situation what it is. The issues arise when we get bogged down in the negativity of it all and/or start to weave intricate stories of catastrophic, apocalyptic outcomes (which is my tendency).
My anxiety is a very real thing (let’s call it what it is), and I am not naive enough to believe that it is going to be truly addressed with a little Bob Marley song (or Pollyanna’s “Happy Texts”), but I have tried lately to try on this song as a kind of mantra and/or reaction to circumstances that are causing me deep worry and fear. Surprisingly, it kind of works. It is hard for me, as I said, because I want to roll my eyes at and resist this kind of oversimplification. I want to scream, No! Everything is NOT going to be alright. How could anyone be so ridiculously simple-minded enough to believe this?
But it’s like anything else in life, if you tell yourself (or someone else) something enough times, you (or s/he) will begin to believe it. I’m definitely not at the point of fully believing it yet and probably never will be. My apocalyptic, Hunger Game-level fears are still very strong (and, as I like to point out, most likely warranted). However, we all need to find ways to get by; ways to not always be in state of fight or flight (because the converse of the idea that my fears are warranted is the fact that 99% of the time there is “no tiger” in the room at that very moment).
Sing it with me now…. 🙂
Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin’, this is my message to you-ou-ou