|Written by Gina Lake|
|Wednesday, 29 July 2009 16:16|
A positive mind is preferable to a negative mind because it is easier to live with, more functional, more close to the Truth, and much easier to detach from. So any emotional or psychological healing work that allows the mind to be more positive is a step toward freedom from the mind altogether, which is the goal of spiritual practices and the result of spiritual awakening. Most people live in a very negative mental world that produces much suffering for themselves and others, and this isn’t necessary. When this negativity can be ignored, we are freed from this suffering. The problem is that a negative mind is difficult to ignore and detach from because negative thoughts produce fear and other unpleasant emotions, and we get involved with trying to get rid of these feelings or avoid what we fear. When fear, in particular, is stirred up, we believe we need to do something about it. We believe our fears are meaningful and must be listened to, which isn’t true, but we are programmed to believe this.
All of these thoughts and actions in service to our feelings keep us out of the present moment and from discovering what Essence might be naturally moving us to do. If we are busy with fear or other emotions, our attention and energy isn’t available for what is coming out of the moment. What is life calling you to do now? What is it showing to you now? How is it moving you? You won’t know if you are caught up in your emotions. Negative thoughts and feelings cause the egoic mind to be very compelling and difficult to ignore. That’s where positive thinking comes in: Positive thoughts can be used to counteract negative thoughts, and this can help free us from a negative mind. When positive thoughts are used that way, they can be healing, and healing supports our ability to be in the moment and experience the peace and joy that is available there.
However, the subject of positive thinking is complicated by the fact that some positive thinking is definitely ego-based. Some positive thoughts are just more of the ego’s stories or lies and simply reflect its fantasies and desires and, therefore, only continue to keep us out of the present moment and in its unreal, made-up world, rather than free us from it. A lot of the thoughts that attempt to “manifest your reality” are of this nature. They are imagining a future the ego wants and trying to make that happen. That’s just what egos do. Egos also imagine negative futures, and those teaching manifesting are just teaching people to try to create a more positive one. These positive thoughts and imaginations may be useful if they are aligned with Essence’s intentions for your life. But if they aren’t, they just cause more suffering because you still won’t get what you want—and now you’ll blame yourself for it. The idea that we manifest our reality is leaving a lot of people feeling bad about themselves. They believe that they should be able to create the reality they (the ego) want. But—guess what—nobody consistently succeeds at that because there is something much bigger than your ego here, and it is orchestrating your life and everyone else’s for the wellbeing of the Whole, and not necessarily catering to your ego’s particular desires and preferences. Although your will is a factor in creating life and certainly in your experience of life, your will doesn’t determine what happens (although the ego would like to think so).
Some people have succeeded at manifesting something they wanted because it was Essence’s intention to give it to them anyway. They thought they created it with their will, but Essence created it or allowed it. Sometimes our negative thinking interferes with receiving the opportunities or abundance that Essence intends for us, and when that is the case, positive thinking can help remove the blocks to receiving that. However, what isn’t acknowledged by those teaching manifesting is that sometimes limitation is the experience Essence intends for us for the time being because a great deal can be learned from it. If that is the case, all the positive thinking in the world won’t bring abundance until Essence is ready to allow that. This Intelligence that we are is very wise in bringing us exactly the experience we need to evolve us, that is, to make us more wise and loving.
Another problem with positive thinking is that it may be used to deny feelings. If sadness is present, for instance, it isn’t helpful to declare “I’m happy.” Positive thoughts can be used to neutralize the negative thought that created the feeling, but if negative feelings are present, then being present to them is what is needed. Being present means allowing whatever is. If a negative feeling is there, you say okay to it and let yourself experience it (without feeding it with more negative thoughts). Just let it be there and see what you can discover about it. Being present to a feeling with compassion and acceptance will reveal the negative belief that caused it, and once you see that, that is often enough to release or dissolve the feeling. At that point, bringing in a positive thought to neutralize the negative one might be helpful. For instance, if you discover that you are feeling sad because you are believing the thought “I will never be loved,” you can counteract that with the truth (which happens to be positive): Love is abundant in the universe and in me. Love is available to me now and in every moment when I choose to recognize it and express it.
The kind of positive thoughts that are most helpful are those that reflect Essence’s viewpoint, or Truth, which is essentially that life is good, life is trustworthy, and you are divinely loved and treasured, as is all of life, and you are having exactly the experience you need for now. All is well and in good hands. Rest, allow, love, and be.
If you are interested in reading more about this subject, you might enjoy Anatomy of Desire: How to Be Happy Even When You Don't Get What You Want. You can purchase it through Amazon.com or by going to the bookstore here on radicalhappiness.com. A free chapter from that book is available under "Free."