Finding Your Way Out of Negative Thought05 Mar 2018
Sometimes life circumstances can move you to becoming a negative thinker. Before I explain some of the ways this can happen, let me tell you: there is a way out!
It is also very important to know how life might have set you up to have this tendency for negative thought, so you can stop the destructive pattern of thinking that there is something wrong with you. Self-judgment is the harshest of all the negative thought patterns. If you do not believe in yourself, you cannot believe in anything or anyone.
Maybe when you were a child you had a parent who told you that you could do and be anything that you wanted. After a couple of failures, a self-defense mechanism kicked in and you felt you had to protect yourself from positive thinking, for it was too painful when it did not work.
Maybe you were the kind of person that put your head down, did the work, and helped everyone you cared about. Then, when it was your turn to need help there was no one there for you, so you began to feel like, “Why bother? It is just easier to avoid people, for they only use you and then kick you to the side.”
Maybe you were rejected, neglected, or abused by a parent or guardian. Perhaps this abuse had you create an emotional survival attitude that said, “If I were a better person/child, they would love me more and treat me better.” Maybe you told yourself, “I must deserve this, and I must be bad.” As children, we have no control over our guardians, only how we deal with what is dealt to us. We sometimes think if we get better, they will treat us better. This gives us hope and a sense of some kind of control, as if we could effectuate the situation.
I could go on and on with different stories and situations you may have found yourself in during your life. They all boil down to, “Life happens.” We all go through stuff; some people just experience more and harder stuff than others. Remember the old saying, “Poop happens and when it does it is best to flush it and not let it stink up the whole house.” Yes, some poop smells worse then others. It all depends on what you have ingested and how long you have held back its release.
Well, that was then and this is now, so where do you go from here and how do you fix your attitude?
Step 1: Understand that we do not live in a static universe. Not only does change happen, it is mandatory, for without it we cease to exist.
Understanding that life is a journey we are all destined to take is essential to becoming less judgmental, especially of self. We have all the time we need to get what we need out of this life. There is no rush. There are simply lessons that need to be understood. When we understand what something has taught us, it frees us to move on to the next part of our trip. I guarantee you that this is more pleasant than repeating the same lesson over and over again, which is quite draining. Let’s just get that tee shirt and move forward.
Step 2: Realize we have all come into this life to learn something. We are all here learning, growing and evolving.
There is nothing that has happened to us that does not have a lesson. When we can ascertain the gain, it disempowers the pain. When we stay stuck in guilt, shame, or blame (including self blame) the pain is not only in control of our lives, we destine ourselves to keep repeating it, just in different faces and different places.
So, you say to me, “How do I find the gain?” My answer is to look in the hidden places, and remember the gain can be hiding in plain sight. Maybe you had an over-critical mother who was always pointing out your mistakes and you found this unpleasant. Because of that feeling you learned to be very discerning and aware of your surroundings and to avoid the pain you would find the necessary corrections before your mother pointed out what was wrong. In this example, to avoid the pain of criticism, you may have developed a sharp eye for detail. I could go through many more and a lot worse examples, though I believe you have the gist.
Step 3: Focus on what you want to manifest.
Life follows our mind. Our minds can be our greatest ally or our greatest enemy; the choice is actually ours. It will manifest whatever we focus on. I am making focus sound easy, though I know it is not. There are so many situations in life that draw our focus away from the positive and down into the negative. When you find that happening and it will, discipline yourself to redirect your thoughts and focus them back onto what is actually productive for you. Negative thoughts are not productive; they only rob you of your possibilities.
I am sure most of you have heard the story of the Native American grandfather telling his grandson that he lived his life with a white dog and a black dog fighting inside himself. When the grandson asked him how he knew which one was winning, the grandfather told him, “It always depends on which one I feed that day,” in other words whether he focuses on positive or negative thoughts.
Step 4. Practice a positive focus.
Don’t expect to be proficient over night. A positive attitude takes a lot of practice, a lot of redirecting and the courage to correct your self. It also takes courage to correct someone that you care about from spiraling into negativity and taking you with them. I have a rule: if you have a problem, you can tell me all about it once. If you tell me the same problem a second time, I will assume you are asking for my advice. After I have given you my advice and you come back with the same problem, I will tell you that I am unwilling to listen to you for you were unwilling to listen to me. Sometimes people use their problems as what is referred to as street currency. With this currency they get attention, pity and excuses for why things do not work out for them. If I listen again, I am just feeding their problem and allowing them to bring me down.
I am very fortunate. I was raised by a very strong father who taught me, when I was very young, how to control my emotions. He never once allowed moods to be used as street currency. I can remember being 4 or 5 years old and being sad or moody and my father taking me back into the bedroom. He would tell me, “Honey, you have not done anything wrong, yet I want you to understand that bad moods are contagious. If you cannot be happy being around others, you need to stay in your room until you can share a smile.” He would say bad moods are the same as breaking wind in public. Nobody enjoys someone stinking up the place. It would always make me laugh and poof, the mood was over. Find something that alters your mood or borrow mine.
Step 5. Believe in something greater than yourself.
There are many different belief systems in place on this planet Find one that works for you. For me, I believe in a greater power. This greater power is known by many names. I choose not to mention names here, for there is already too much fighting on the planet about the name you choose to give this greater power.
I believe in reincarnation and that this greater power gives us endless time to work through our kinks. Because our physicals bodies (at this time) are not eternal, we come back until we get it right, or choose to move forward. I believe that at the time of conception, a homing signal is sent out that says something like, “This is who I am, and the soul that needs the lessons it can get by choosing me as my parents, let it gravitate to me.” I believe that we choose our parents as much for their assets as for their liabilities. I believe that we draw the people to us in our lives that will participate in our lessons until we no longer need said lessons. I believe that staying positive is a necessary discipline that takes focus and practice. It is a habit and it is our responsibility to form good habits. You may have to remind yourself consciously many times until you have mastered forming good habits. Trust me, it will not be too long before the smile is real. A bad mood is just a bad habit.
Step 6. Have Faith in yourself.
After you have adjusted some of these bad habits, having faith in yourself will become easier. Faith that you can accomplish your healthy heart’s desires is a necessity in order to accomplish anything. Otherwise life is a constant struggle. This does not mean life lived with a positive attitude will be without struggle. It means you will handle the struggles more easily and will not allow them to keep you down. You will become less problem-obsessed and more solution- driven. Problems will now become situations to be dealt with and moved past. Problems will become things that you learn from and grow from and don’t find yourself repeating. “You can do this”, will be something you reinforce within your self. Yes, maybe you still will not win at everything. Life it not about winning at everything. It is a journey of lessons, lessons that will be as hard as you make them (or need them to be), or as pleasant as you allow. Without faith in yourself there is no drive to try, for how can you do anything well that you do not believe in? So to do you well, you must believe in you.
I invite you to develop faith in yourself, to believe in something greater then you, to practice being positive, to focus on what you truly desire to create, to realize you are still a work in progress and to understand that life is a journey. Remember to enjoy the little victories for they will fuel the bigger quests. Happy Journey!
Love & Blessings,