• The Negative Side to Positive Thinking

    Sometimes when a reality hits we don’t like, and feelings overwhelm our bodies, staying positive is too much for most of us.
    To try and align our thoughts and feelings toward a “thinking positive” outlook takes more energy than we can muster. In those moments, we just want to get through the next five minutes or even the next breath.
    Yet, our mind may give us a million fearful arguments – “if I don’t think positively, something bad will happen”, or “ I have to keep my thoughts up if this situation is to turn around”, and worst of all, “if I don’t change my thoughts and feelings, I’ll attract more of what I don’t want because that’s what the Universe reads, and this will never end!”
    This kind of thinking puts us in a position of power, but it’s a false power. The fearful part of us tries to conjure up the necessary boot straps to haul our emotions back into a ready stance, lest we be punished.
    It doesn’t work.
    It only succeeds in scaring us into believing if we allow and experience the emotions we are feeling, we will lose and it will be our fault.
    This does not sound like love, and if the Universe, God, Spirit, Source, Higher Power, Intelligent Mind, or Wise Self is love, then this is not it.
    Positive thinking comes naturally after we allow ourselves  to express darker emotions in a safe way- not before. Fear of expressing them only makes them grow and puts us into a state of overwhelm.
    So what do we do when things feel out of hand, when our emotions feel like heavy buckets of water we can no longer carry, when we feel overwhelmed and frightened and can’t seem to find a safe place to rest our mind?
    First, we pray. If the Life Force that created us is Love, then we ask that Love to work through us and help us accept the situation. We’re not expecting our emotions to miraculously change to joy and feel “good”. If we are experiencing something deep and difficult, joy is an unrealistic bar to reach.
    Instead, we trust taking the next step toward relief will eventually lead to better days. That next step may be crying our eyes out, getting out of bed only to make a cup of coffee because coffee feels good. It may be stepping into a warm shower and letting the gentle spray and fragrant soap soothe our senses for the moment- or as long as we want. Or the next step may be to call a friend, confess our fears and feelings, and allow a loving witness to cradle it all  while reminding us we’re going to make it.
    All of these things take us to the next moment while making room for our humanity. Getting out of overwhelm is a process – and not always a pretty one.
    But the process works. Don’t be afraid you’ve fallen behind or taken two steps back; this is the process. That’s how acceptance operates. It shifts in fits and starts until it settles into a place where you can move forward (with occasional coughs and sputters).
    Don’t beat yourself up; you’re not doing anything wrong. Your body, mind, and emotions are wrestling with change and need time to cry, despair, feel uplifted, fall back down, get angry, and cry some more. Finally, after feeling spent and worn out, the body, mind, and emotions will accept the situation. And with acceptance will come peace.
    Let yourself be human. You will rise again. You can trust that it will all be okay.
    Because it will.
    Just for today, I will let myself have the process of nonacceptance on my way toward acceptance. I will comfort myself as best I can as my body, mind, and emotions work to integrate this new reality. I trust it will be okay. I trust I will laugh again. I trust there is a Loving Force working something out in me and in my life. I know acceptance will come in its own time and my heart will open to love again, naturally. Till then, I will trust the process and practice being kind to myself.

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