The ‘Ain’t it Awful’ Trap

The ‘Ain’t it Awful’ Trap
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

I never used to pay much attention to politics . . . and I certainly didn’t pay any attention to American politics. It seems I’ve changed.

Politics rarely inspire me. I’m more likely to be rankled. I’m afraid I’m falling into the negativity and the trap of “ain’t it awful.” Frankly, things that are happening lately are pretty awful.

There is, and will always be awful things happening around us. The last year has certainly proved that over and over again. Horrible events merit recognition of the situation and certainly of the suffering. But we don’t need to suffer endlessly along with every political blunder and bad newsreel. Swimming in a sea of negativity is very harmful to our wellbeing.

If only we kept the negativity to ourselves – but no. We go about infecting others. “Ain’t it awful.”

Continuing to brood is like keeping your hand on a hot stove. The pain serves a purpose – awareness. It happens in a flash. Are you allowing your hand to burn and fester?

In what area of your life is your hand stuck on a hot stove?
• Are you still beating yourself up about over-consumption over the holidays?
• Are you in denial when you need to be aware?
• Are you tolerating something, or someone, that no longer works for you?

It’s important to be aware of what’s happening in our communities and in our lives. Practicing curiosity, compassion and creativity are but a few ideas to get us out of a rut.
• Where is she coming from?
• He is doing the best he can at his level of consciousness.
• What can I do based on my available options?

Critical, not negative thinking is always in order. We tend to see or hear only what we want to see or hear that validates our beliefs.

I really don’t want to be part of any negativity by tuning into, and regurgitating, bad news. But it’s quite addictive, isn’t it? Good news surrounds us too. We just need to look for it. What about all the fascinating advances in science? We can look to the arts to be awed, or the innocence of children to make us laugh. Then we’ll be saying, “Isn’t it great?”