I'm making a concerted effort to not be negative. Until you try to do this you don't realize how much negativity rules your life. I think negative thoughts almost instinctively at this point. What I'm trying to say is that if I don't make myself not go there, I will.
Today I redirected a conversation away from negativity toward something more positive. This is an art to do, I soon realized. What I mean is that it's easy to say, "Can we not talk about this? I'm uncomfortable with where this conversation is heading." But that sounds condescending and comes across quite sanctimonious. I'm not interested in that harsh redirect. The reason this is an art form is because it takes a whit and whimsicalness to cunningly change course without changing topic.
You have to look for little openings to pull a "hey, but isn't that the beautiful thing about struggle?" or "yeah, but what I love about them is they're so honest" or "I hear you, but have you ever thought about that from the vantage point of a child" or "I used to think that, too, but after my humiliating bout with depression I don't look at it quite the same" or "I see where you're coming from and sometimes there's no way around that, but thankfully I am given mercy when I screw up." I think we would do well to practice creative diversions when negativity is taking the floor.
We must "make up our mind" to think truth or as the bible says "take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10)
It gets scary when you think about the verse in Proverbs that says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." You will become what you believe. Your thoughts become your theology. Your ideas become your ideology. If we can clean up the mind, we can clean up the world.