60,000 thoughts per day. 60-80% of those thoughts (depending on which research you follow) are negative. That’s part of the negativity bias. And hey, the negativity bias does protect us. It plays a needed role in our days, but maybe we don’t need it as often as it shows up, like it did for me this morning.
It’s Father’s Day. My father is awesome. I count him (and mom) in my top 5 best friends of all time. We are a triumvirate. But, thank you negativity bias, when I started to think about Father’s Day and father-stuff, I started beating myself up about all of the times I wasn’t nice to my dad… thinking about the countless times I was impatient, rude, defiant to the bad-ass who raised me. Thinking about the moments that I wish I could go back and repair. Thankfully, nothing horrendous happened, nothing so irreparable that I should be thinking about that today. But that’s the negativity bias, the same part of our conscious mind that replays the one time we flubbed a word reading out loud in class rather than the thousands of words we read out loud with perfect pronunciation.
I’m not letting the negativity bias win. Instead, I’m letting it work for me on this sunny, warm Father’s Day. Rather than ruminate on past cringe-worthy moments, I’ll step into my loving light and make beautiful memories for today. At any point, we can pivot and choose again, choose differently. When those thoughts of a rougher nature crop back up today, as they likely will, I will lean into the lesson and the love. My pivot will cultivate positive moments and memories. When Dad has the Mets game on louder than I would like, I can choose to accept the volume, curb the eye rolls, let the man have the volume he wants in his own home on the day we designate to celebrate him. That small right action will keep the negativity bias away for that moment.
And I’m just enjoying this Father’s Day, moment to happy, silly moment. That man makes me laugh, but not as much as he makes himself laugh. It’s endearing. See, I sat down anxious and angry at myself for being occasionally imperfect as a daughter over the past 36 years yet I took this time to process, to share with you and now I’m smiling, choosing some of my 60,000 thoughts to be of those moments where Dad cracked himself up to happy tears. In classic Leo fashion, his self-esteem is solid. I’m grateful to have inherited that from him.
Pivot. Choose again. Smile. Happy Father’s Day.