Over the past year I have begun to notice a growing trend in spiritual circles, so much so I feel the need to talk about the rather large elephant in the room that many spiritual teachers are failing to address fully. The intense emphasis on positive thinking is creating a state of neurosis in many people on the spiritual path.
While some people are brought up to view life experiences positively, a greater number are not. While positive thinking may come naturally to a rare few, some interpret positive thinking as the way to enlightenment, a way to a better life. This is simply not true.
From Louise L Hay encouraging affirmations, saying ‘I LOVE YOU’ in the mirror, to Abraham Hicks encouraging everyone to get in ‘The Vortex’ to countless others, they fail to bring clearly to everyones attention that positive thinking is often a forced state by many because they feel they ‘should’ be thinking positive, even if they do not feel that way. Many faking it till they make it, going against the flow of their own inner state.
By pushing against ‘what is’ we merely increase the feeling of ‘negative’ thinking further.
No Need To Drown In The ‘Negative’
Stop fuelling the negative by resisting it through positive thinking!
Everything is a choice. We can drown in the feelings and thoughts if we play the story of ‘I must feel happy, better, relaxed’ – but we needn’t.
I Played The ‘Positive’ Story Or So I Tried
“If we really looked, we would see that the things we are labelling as positive, although they feel good and they release feel good hormones into the blood stream, those very things are often what hold us back and keep us dependent; we can even become addicted to and dependent upon those feelings. Whereas the things we are labelling as negative, are often the very things that help us to push forward, overcome obstacles and make us independently precocious.”
The ‘Dark’ Feelings Want Your Attention And Your Compassion
How Do You Know When You’re Smothering The Negative With The Positive?
“..if you are affirming when you’re in a dark place inside, you’re beating up that inner child and ignoring what they need – your love and attention not a beating over the head with a ‘positivity’ stick.”
If you visualise your ‘future’ when you feel in deep doubt, your abusing your inner child once again. These are all signals to begin paying real authentic attention to what is going on within you.
Time for present moment awareness – not occasionally but more consistently.
If I Don’t Think Better Thoughts My Life Will Never Change – Is This True?
Letting Go Of The Focus On ‘Trying To Be Positive Does Not Mean You Will Always Think Negative
Being mindful and not ‘trying’ to be positive when you feel like crap is not only a relief but allows you to experience real genuine compassion for yourself. This does not mean you will never think a positive thought ever, it simply means by being present, allowing the feelings without fighting, your thoughts naturally evolve into more relief bringing thoughts. You will no longer be all ‘RA RA RA my life is good!’ there will simply be no attachment to either good or bad (see HERE) and this in itself is a real blessing.
Compassion Is Not Fake Positive Thought
Mindfulness Is Beginning More And More To Be Used In Therapy Sessions
Therapists are now beginning to see the benefit of bringing people back to the present moment through mindfulness. They are beginning to recognise that distraction and resistance is not what is helping patients but by allowing and embracing feelings and getting in touch with the moment is key to finding relief from symptoms.
So if you want a different way of looking at your feelings and experiences and are finding ‘Positive’ thinking is not working, begin right where you are now. Stop distracting from the feelings and let your feelings become your family. And release your attachments to the positive.
It may just be what brings you the freedom you have been seeking all along.
And if you are based in the UK check out this article in the Guardian this year. You may have an NHS in your area funding a course in mindfulness.
If you live outside the UK type ‘Mindfulness Course’ or classes into the search engine for your area.
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Photo 1 Unsure of photographer as posted everywhere online. If you are the photographer and want credit or removal please contact me.