Changing Minds

A long time ago, and I don’t remember exactly when, I learnt that opposites attract. When I first learnt this, my understanding of it was that opposing magnetic forces are attracted to each other. It wasn’t the most useful thing I’d ever learn at school but it did mean we got to play with magnets instead of the usual boring stuff, so that was good. When I was a bit older it became apparent that people also thought opposing personalities were attracted to each other as well. There didn’t seem to be much science behind this to me, and it wasn’t quite as easy to demonstrate as just putting two magnets near each other. In all honesty I don’t put much faith in the phrase when it comes to people, people are too unpredictable, not like those trusty reliable magnets. But there are no doubt instances where opposing personalities attract.

The trouble though is that positive and negative thoughts don’t seem to attract each other. I’m not quite sure why you’d want negative thoughts when you’re feeling upbeat and positive about everything, but when you’re depressed and can’t see even a glimmer of positivity amongst the darkness it sure would be nice if opposites attracted. Instead we ourselves have to work at it. We have to strive to be more positive, or negative if you’re that way inclined. It can be a real struggle sometimes.

There’s no magical force drawing the two perspectives together (technically it’s not magic but it does seem like it). This is probably because they are on a sliding scale, not one of those straight line scales though. Something much rounder, so that if you can just tilt your view of it suddenly your perspective shifts. Take for instance the moon. Not all that wonderful, mostly just a very grey dusty place with very little fresh air…

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But that’s only if you are stood on the moon. We aren’t stood on the moon most of the time. In fact I would even go as far as to say 95% of the time I’m on Earth… And from Earth the moon is this majestic silver shining orb, dangling in the night sky (actually it’s not shining, it’s reflecting, but that’s just semantics right?)

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So somehow I’ve got to tilt my view to see the positivity. I could say I’ve had a crappy day today and ordinarily I probably would. I was awoken at 09:00 after going to sleep at 04:00. This rude awakening came from a lot of banging and drilling, courtesy of the builders working on my roof. They know I work nights but somehow do all the noisy stuff first thing in the morning and work like ninjas the rest of the day… I’ve also had a headache all day. I’m pretty sure I’m about to be ill and I am lacking all motivation to do any of the things I thought it would be nice if I could do today.

However, if I shift perspective, squint my eyes and think about it really hard I can peer through the negative thoughts. I have had a very relaxed day (despite the lack of sleep), I’ve had plenty of time to do what I want to do. I haven’t got work tonight and the nausea from the medication seems to have settled. And better still I read a fascinating article about two young stars colliding, no not celebrity gossip. I’m talking about real stars, the kind that look like this when they collide…

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It happened 500 years ago but you know, speed of light and all that, took it’s time getting here. Best damn firework I’ve ever seen. You could see it as a negative thing that the stars got obliterated. Or you could decide that as everything in the universe is made from exploded stars, this is just the beginning of something new.

S. Hansen

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