A fall day in Colorado. Above Geneva Creek, 90 mins west of Denver, 12,000 ft.

A Positive Path

A fall day in Colorado. Above Geneva Creek, 90 mins west of Denver, 12,000 ft.
A fall day in Colorado. Above Geneva Creek, 90 mins west of Denver, 12,000 ft.


I’m inclined to judge—people, places, my dogs, myself. I’m inclined like some rotten old tree, bent toward an undefined but clearly negative gravitational mass. And none of this is new, of course. I’m certainly not the only one afflicted by this proclivity. My mind, my ego, or the “I” of which “I” speak is effectively a resistance device, manufacturing judgment and negativity; bush-whacking through a daily span usually by toil and brow-sweat and a hell of a lot of swearing.

But this I know.

And therein lies the hope.

With self-knowledge always comes a liberating ability—that of choice. I can choose to see that negative inclination for what it is and I can let go of it. Or at least I can sit back and watch the movie play out, knowing that “I” am that movie’s audience, not the film itself. And then, with practice, I can choose the opposite of that negativity. Or rather, once that darkness is isolated and dropped, something else will shine through. Of its own accord. Not by any force of “my” will. What shines through (this strange light) is the stuff of life. Babies are born from it. Great and beautiful things are built from it. Good books are written from it and brilliant, creative ideas are infused with its effluent (which is green-golden, btw).

All of this is very out there. Yeah. But I’m speaking really of something simple…choosing to live a positive life; choosing to swim against the current of the (brown, fetid) negativity flood. We’re surrounded by it, breathing it, eating it. Turn on the television. Turn on Fox News. Listen to someone whine and whinge (I love the British and their words). Drive 15 minutes somewhere between the hours of 4 and 6PM. Negativity, anger, defeatism, jaded acquiescence and “acceptance” of things that are wrong with our society—these are all everywhere; ubiquitous, superfluous, as abundant as ignorance and garbage and obesity and carbon emissions.

When you make the conscious choice to let all of that external influence flow past you, when you no longer listen to those same (brown, fetid) voices in your own head, something incredible happens. You find the true life within and that feeling is purely positive. It’s also pure joy. Live through this, write through this, create through this, go shopping at Walmart through this, change your kid’s diaper through this—and the world will be a place none of us now would recognize.

Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA.

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