I was reading about this philanthropist the other day. Now, if you don’t know what a philanthropist is, it’s someone with a great deal of money, who gives away lots of that money to charity. So it made me think of something. I think it’s not necessarily what you think that counts, but what you do that matters. Like, remember that old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.” I think it’s like that.
You know how I’m always urging you to be a positive thinker. Well, I’m not changing my stand on that or anything. But what I’m saying is that your actions will be a natural offshoot of what you think. If you think positively, your actions will reflect that, and they will be positive actions.
But what if you have negative thoughts? Do your actions have to necessarily be negative ones?
That’s what’s challenged my thinking. See, I don’t think it has to be that way. I know as a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder, you experience some pretty negative feelings toward your loved one, their bipolar disorder, and sometimes even your life in general.
Having negative feelings is a natural part of having to deal with bipolar disorder. What’s important is the action you take on those feelings, though. And what I’m saying is that I don’t think your actions have to necessarily be negative ones as a response to your negative feelings.
Now, I’m not saying you have to stuff your feelings, either, as that wouldn’t be healthy for you.
But I’m saying that you can deal with your negative feelings in a healthy way and make a
decision to act in a positive manner toward your loved one IN SPITE OF your negative feelings toward them.
Here’s an example: Say you’re feeling angry at your loved one. First, you need to recognize and get to the root of WHY you’re angry at them in the first place. Because there can be a variety of reasons why you’re mad at them. You could even be angry at them simply because they have bipolar disorder, or because it’s caused a big change in your lives, and you resent that. But you can decide IN SPITE OF that anger, to not treat them in an angry manner, and to still be supportive of them and their attempts at recovery from their bipolar disorder.
Or…Say they’ve done something specific to make you angry. Say you’re even in an argument over something they’ve done. Here’s a good one (and a very common one for people dealing with bipolar disorder): Say you’ve caught your loved one spending money excessively, and now you’re in an argument about it. Are you angry? Yes. Is this a negative feeling? Yes. Do you want to fight about it? Yes. But can you CHOOSE to react in a positive manner IN SPITE OF your negative feeling? Yes. You can choose to walk away from the fight. You can choose to rise above your anger. You can choose to manage your money so that it doesn’t happen again.
Do you see how you can do positive things with a negative feeling?
Well, I have to go!