Linda Cirulli-Burton has
written 46 true short stories that demonstrate how a simple thought change
from the dark side to the bright side impacts feelings, behaviors, and
outcomes in numerous remarkable ways. In
Why the Bright Side Is Always the Right
Side: A Shockingly Simple Way to Change Your Life by Changing Your
Thoughts…One Thought at a Time,” Linda uses real life examples to
create a guidebook to help readers move from negativity to
positivity, from fear to love, from turmoil to
peace of mind.
Based on her own life and those she has closely
observed, she admits that she changed some names to protect the embarrassed.
(Contrary to popular jargon, she claims that they are
Commentaries and suggestions challenge and stimulate
readers to apply the stories to their own lives.
The excitement of learning to improve her life by
changing her thoughts led to the desire to create a how-to manual that would
help people live happier, more joyful lives.
did not enter this world a happy person. As the first born in a
closeknit family of seven children with
wonderful parents, all of whom I adored,
I felt inexplicably negative, depressed, and anxious. I just
couldn’t feel at home in my body or
If you looked at me cross-eyed, I knew you didn’t like
me so I didn’t like you back. If you did me wrong, I could remember every
detail 20 years later and talk about it like it just happened yesterday.
And I did just that – talk about it like it just happened yesterday. And I
did just that – talk about it 20 years later in flawless detail! I remember
my sister Crissy telling me that I had a
terrible mind and should always drive my car listening to tapes on high
volume to drown out my negative thoughts.
There was always something or someone to blame for my
unhappiness: my eyeglasses, my hair, my weight, my job, my salary, a
co-worker, my friends, living in a small town…THE LIST WAS ENDLESS! The
resolution of problem after problem, which was supposed to bring me
happiness, made only ephemeral imprints of joy on my life, and then I was
miserable again. I suppose I deserved an A+ for constant – if futile –
One month, several people came out of the woodwork and
pronounced me the most negative person they’d ever met in their lives. It
felt like a groundswell of disgust. The timing was terrific. I’d just
about become as sick of myself as they said they were of me.
It was stunningly apparent that the only thing I hadn’t
tried changing was my mind. The thoughts that swirled around inside my head
were largely undisciplined and fearful and led to a life that felt the same.
Over and over, my mind had brought me to my knees.
At the time of my personal epiphany, a remarkable book
showed up at my door, delivered on two different occasions by friends I
deeply respected. Marianne Williamson’s
A Return to Love was a turning
point for me; not only was it exceptional in its own right, it introduced me
to a program of spiritual psychotherapy called
A Course in Miracles (ACIM).
For three years, I attended ACIM classes
every Monday night for two hours to learn how to change my thoughts from
fearful to loving.
The excitement of learning to improve my life by
correcting my thinking has been a bumpy road and a thrilling, ongoing
journey. In many ways, I am living proof that misery is optional.
How many times has someone told us that we need to look on the bright side
of this or that? Actually, how many times have we told someone else to look
on the bright side? But do we really understand the powerful implications
of that advice? Imagine that by changing a single thought to the “bright
side,” feelings, behaviors, and outcomes may be impacted in numerous
remarkable ways. I have come to learn that indeed “ the
bright side is always the right side.”
It’s also possible that choosing the bright side
creates a domino effect that reaches far beyond our immediate personal
experience. It can affect large numbers of people or animals or the
universe at large. It’s a sacred mystery of life that we will never know
how far afield go the effects of our positive
All 46 stories contained in this book are true. In
some cases, the names have been changed to protect the embarrassed!
Following each story or small group of stories are commentaries or
suggestions on how they might be applied to your life.
The book is formatted on what I consider to be the best
definition of a positive attitude: the outward manifestation of a mind that
has trained itself to expect the positive, find and dwell on the positive,
interpret in a positive way, and extend love.
In 1995, a movie named
Smoke starring Harvey
Keitel and William Hurt really touched my heart.
The movie revolves around the Brooklyn Cigar Company, located on the corner
of Third Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City. Auggie
Wren, the owner, is a pleasant guy who’s been carrying on an eccentric
project for 11 years. Every morning, at the same hour, he goes across the
street from his shop and takes one picture with his 35 mm camera. He
accumulates more than 4000 photos, each telling the stories of life that
pulsated on his corner of the world.
Like Auggie, we each have
our corner, our piece of the world. Our challenge is to brighten it up for
ourselves and others.
For the record, I want you to know that I remain a work
in progress. Now, when something or someone ruffles my feathers, rattles my
cage, hits a raw nerve, drives me up a wall, frustrates, infuriates, or
strikes a low blow, the time it takes me to recover continually decreases.
What once stressed me for a week is now peacefully processed within a day.
What often caused me to call ten friends to whine and seek comfort may no
longer be worth a single phone call. Personally and professionally, I,
Linda, am making progress! And so can you.
After reading the following true stories, you’ll agree
that this positive attitude stuff really works!