Positive thinking is considered a powerful magic which can transform your life. Attract everything you desire just by willing it to come to you. Believe in it, infuse it with positive vibes and you are a magician creating a perfect and wonderful life for yourself.
There is merit to positive thinking, and it does work. Yet it doesn’t work for everyone who tries it. Why. Two people can do exactly the same thing, follow the same positive thinking formula, and yet the results will be completely different. One will prove that positive thinking works and go on to preach it to those they view as being negative losers. Come on! It worked for me, you’re just not trying hard enough! You’re not believing! One will find that no matter how hard they try to follow the advice of positive thinking winners, the formula just doesn’t work for them. It must be their fault, who else is to blame, they obviously did it wrong. They should try again, put even more into it, banish all negativity and this time it will work.
So why does it work for some and not for others. Mainly because thinking is only one part of the whole human. And even thinking is divided. If your positive thoughts are a whitewash over negative thoughts, then the negative thoughts may override the positive ones. Not necessarily because the negative thoughts themselves have more power than the positive ones, but because the negative thoughts are tied to a deeper part of you.
Thoughts are creative things. This is why we believe that thinking positively creates positive events, and negative thinking creates negative events. There is truth to this, however it is over-simplified. Thinking is creative, thoughts create ideas, ideas create actions, actions create consequences. Yet what creates thoughts. From where do our thoughts spring. Sure, thoughts create thoughts, but what is the thing doing the thinking and creating the thoughts, what fuels the mind.
Many years ago, about the same time as I was reading books like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and a whole slew of other power of positive thinking books, I also came across a slim volume called Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin. It taught a very simple technique to communicate with all of you, to understand what a sensation in the body was trying to tell you, to be able to follow a discomfort to its source, and retrieve information from within. That is how I understood it, others reading the book might have found a different message and meaning to the technique. My version of it gave me an invaluable tool in understanding myself, and gaining an awareness of the subtleties of the whole human. In realising that thoughts were connected to parts of the self beyond the mind, such as emotions, feelings, and even deeper places within the psyche.
Which is why positive thinking doesn’t always work, because for the positive thought to become a reality other parts of you have to agree with what the mind wants. If the mind wants something the heart does not want, then the two will be at odds. And even if the heart and mind agree, the deeper recesses of your being, the psyche, the soul, may believe that this is not a good thing for you, and thus it will hold the other two back. All of you has to work in unison to make a positive thought into a reality.
There are many elements to be considered when creating with our thoughts. Such as, if you were ever punished as a child for being in a happy mood, because your happiness bothered an adult who may have been in a serious mood at the time, you were bouncing around being effusive in your joy, living in the moment, and your joy was viewed as a nuisance, because the adult was trying to concentrate on the grim reality of a present problem which was affected by the past and would probably affect the future too, if this happened more than once and embedded itself in your system, then within you is a fear that being positive incurs punishment. There is a hidden belief that expressing positivity will attract negativity.
There are times when positivity acts more negative than negativity does. I have often heard people who consider themselves to be ultra positive say things along the lines of – I can’t be around negative people, they bring me down and cramp my style. Surely if you are genuinely a positive person, then your presence would uplift a negative person, rather than your being dragged down by their negativity. If a negative person can override your positivity, then your positivity may be hiding your own negative thinking, and thus when you encounter someone whom you think is negative, you are not being dragged down by their negativity, but feeling your own hidden negativity rise up from within and push aside the curtain of positivity you have draped over it to hide it from yourself. Why are you so afraid of your negativity, perhaps it has some valuable information for you, perhaps it has the solution to the problem which you are trying to fix with positivity.
We all know how wonderful positivity is, and loudly proclaim its power. We often shun and shame negativity. Yet too much positivity, especially when it is not genuine but an act put on to get something, can be just as harmful as too much negativity. Negativity is only your enemy because you choose to view it that way. Positivity can be an enemy too. They can exchange places at any time. Don’t let positivity bully negativity out of your life. The two things are not mutually exclusive, in fact for one to exist, it needs the other. If you eradicate one, the other one disappears too. And they do work very well together. Negativity brings humility and a deep understanding of the human condition, it ties the high flying balloon of positivity to the earth, and gives it grounding.
Positivity says – You can do anything you want to do, be anyone you want to be.
Negativity says – No, you can’t… this is the point people often stick their fingers in their ears and stop listening to negativity, drowning it out with a positive mantra, but if they listened to it they would hear… do anything you want to do, because sometimes what you want to do is not what you are meant to do, you have innate abilities which you need to nurture and grow, focus on those, stop wishing you were someone else with someone else’s abilities, your abilities and who you are can only be done and expressed by you.
Positivity says – You can be so much more than who you are, you just need to believe in yourself.
Negativity says – Why don’t you love who you are, why must you be more than who you are to be loved. What is so wrong with just being your true self, the dark acknowledged and accepted as much as the light.
Positivity says – Be yourself, as long as yourself is super positive!
Negativity says – It’s a pity that you don’t love yourself as you are, and can’t accept all of you, that you can only love the positive, and the negative must hide in a shame-filled darkness… if we worked together, negative and positive, who knows… sigh!
Positivity says – Don’t listen to your negativity! Stamp it out! It wants to drag you down and kill all your joy, whereas I want you to believe so much in yourself that you sprout wings and fly up high all the way to the Sun!
Negativity says – R.I.P Icarus. I’m sorry. I tried to warn you, tried to get you to see that I am not your enemy, and that if you had loved me as much as positivity and worked with both of us, you would still be flying. So, sorry… you will be missed.
Positivity says – Blaze of Glory, Icarus! You will be remembered as a legend all thanks to me!
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Love your post! Before opening your blog I was having annoying headache. I asked myself: “why is this happening?” And a thought that ran through my mind was that I resist my negative thoughts too much, that they are source of tension in my shoulders and upper body and the reason of my headache. This came to me and at the same time I opened your blog and started reading and your post described my thoughts exactly, but in more details and helped me realize what I was missing! Thank you! This is a little miracle! May I repost this on my blog with the link to your blog and credits, of course?
P.S. My headache is gone now 🙂
Thank you very much! It is a pleasure for me to have been a way for you to find the answer you were seeking. And yes, you can do whatever you would like with my post 😀 ❤ Ursula
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