Pieces of me

A blog for the warriors

My son has a pet largemouth bass, named Ron. Ron is but a fingerling and has one eye. He is not a social fish, as his kind grows to be the apex predators of their habitat. Having only one eye, he swims sideways. When I bought my son his first aquarium this past December, I had images of brightly colored tropical fish, which we bought from the pet store, swimming around in little schools. Things don’t always go as you planned. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and heartburn if you keep an open mind about new adventures.

“There will always be a frontier where there is an open mind and a willing hand.” – Charles Kettering

If you’ve been following along with all the #30daysofGrowth, you might remember I wrote a bit about being open to new ideas on day 13, Think Positive. I shared about Barbara Fredrickson’s research discovering a link between positive emotions and being open minded to new prospects.

Fredrickson’s theory conversely[1] teaches that the mind constricts when filled with anxiety, fear, frustration, or anger. The mind perceives a threat and focusses in on that threat.

Thus, this opening of the mind is inextricably intertwined with positive emotions. Positivity focuses us on the virtuous. Keeping an open mind, however, allows us to take the next step and risk a poor outcome.

Now, no one is in a constant state of happiness or contentment. Further, I don’t advocate trying to deny or run from normal human emotions. I’m convinced that trying to do so landed me squarely in the middle of my eating disorder. Experiencing undesirable emotions (the “hot loneliness” as Glennon Doyle[2] describes it) is not a character flaw. It’s part of the human experience.

Black and white photo of woman holding her head in her hand.

Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

Here’s the lesson, as I see it. Since what we focus on grows, we intentionally add positivity to our lives through affirmations/meditation, healthy eating and exercise, and so forth. That opens our minds to innovation, which expands our resources in the form of strengthened relationships, more secure finances, a stronger self-worth, etc. Those resources are what we draw on during the hot lonely times.

Input the positive affirmations and your mind opens to new opportunities. Those opportunities, if taken, grow confidence as yesterday’s post, Believe in yourself, considered.

This type of confidence isn’t about ego or pride, however. This is rooted in our truth, because we grew it from our ability to take the courageous acts necessary to live our best life.

So, keeping an open mind is part of becoming more resilient for when life gives you a one-eyed bass rather than colorful schools of small fish.

Fingerling largemouth bass in home aquarium

The best picture I could get of the elusive, Ron the one-eyed bass.

[1] http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org

[2] See Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

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