You’ve heard it all before…
“Think more positively and you’ll get what you want. Visualize, affirm, and manifestation will happen effortlessly. Oh and be sure to overcome those pesky limiting beliefs! Affirmations, gratitude, and positive thinking will cover that one for you. Life is easy if you just think positively enough!”
I have one word to say about that kind of positive thinking…
Okay, so by the time my subconscious was done ranting I discovered I had more than just one word.
That’s not to say positive thinking is bad. It’s fundamentally important to living a happy, fulfilled, engaged life. However, the lie and myth is that positive thinking is all that’s needed.
The reality is that we have difficult and painful emotions for a reason. They arise out of a self-protective compassionate need to SERVE our selves more effectively. Like physical pain, emotional pain is a compass that helps us see when things aren’t quite working right inside ourselves.
When we ignore physical pain or mask it over with overmedication, our body degenerates and ultimately finds more pain (not less). The same is true when we use Positive Thinking as a form of “overmedication” for our soul.
By not honoring and owning our emotional pain, then our soul… our heart… our spirit… call it what you will… ultimately will degenerate. Our psyche isn’t designed to repress and suppress pain indefinitely. That’s a big reason why some higly successful people have emotional breakdowns. They just kept overmedicating (or ignoring) until finally they couldn’t do it anymore.
The flip-side is equally as dangerous. When we completely identify with the negative painful thoughts, when we allow them to run our lives, to make us forget how magnificent we inherently are, then we also breakdown. We aren’t designed that way either.
Instead, I suggest accepting and acknowledging painful emotions as a compass – like a thermometer – to help you more effectively focus your attention and energy. Notice the “warning signs” that negative thinking presents to you. It’s not like I never have negative thoughts. I have them every day!
The thing is, I don’t take them so seriously. I strive to see them for what they are: helpful information that can point me TOWARDS living a happier and more positive life. They show me where more attention and self-care is needed in my life.
By using negative thoughts and painful emotions in that way, then the positive thinking is no longer a crutch – it’s no longer an addictive medicine that silently degenerates us until it’s too late.
Instead, positive thinking becomes a support to help you through the negative thoughts and ultimately take your happiness to the next level.
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