“Think positive” is something we have all heard – probably so often that we are about sick of it. It can be especially frustrating when our MS causes us to have a difficult time thinking at all! Positive thinking may not only help us deal with our illness, but it can also help us deal with other people. I know we have all heard the phrase “giving someone the benefit of the doubt.” This means thinking that the other person isn’t going to intentionally harm you with their words or actions.
I think it is very easy for us to think that someone other than ourself has nefarious motives. Not only does that way of thinking allow us to give ourself props for the positive motives that we have, but it will let us see ourselves as just a little better than the other. This is also a very selfish way to look at the world. If we can imagine that everyone around us has a positive motive for their actions, it gives us a way to connect with them. They are then like us!
Certainly there are people in our life who we know do not have the best interests at heart, but if we allow rumors and speculations about a complete stranger to color how we would interact with them, then we are not being just. How will it hurt us to think the best about people, not just situations?
There has been a lot of news lately in the U.S. that tries to draw us into a belief that this country is strictly divided. This does not allow any room for the greys that are rampant in life. With a chronic illness many times there is not a defined path for your illness to follow. We have to live most of our life knowing that while we clearly fit in the category of people with this disease, but we are our own warrior! We will combat our illness in a similar way than some and in a completely different way than others.
Likewise, our very personal experiences shape how we experience our illness, how we experience aspects of our life, and even how we experience other people. We may not be able to choose our experiences in life, but we can choose how we will react to those experiences. Positivity seems to work well with reactions to situations that we experience, so thinking positive about how someone else may impact your life may be good as well!
Think of the last disagreement that you were a part of. If you had given the other party the benefit of the doubt, or even imagined that they were not trying to hurt you, would things have ended differently? Would you have been damaged horribly or even just a little, or would it possibly just be your pride that was hurt? Imagine how much joy you may have been able to spread just by thinking the best!
It is beneficial to us to try to keep our world as stress-free and peaceful as we can. Not only does thinking positive in general help with that, but thinking the best of others can help us remain positive as well. It may be hard work at times, but we are not ones to shy away from the hard work! Besides, the good that can come from spreading your positive energies beyond your front door will make up for any mistakes along the way!