How New-Age Thinking Can Ruin Your Life
“Whatever you do, don’t think negative thoughts or you will bring them to life.”
Whenever I read this or hear someone say this I want to scream. First, I stop and question if that is true because, well, I’m human and if it is true, I’m screwed. Then, I let my intuitive and logical mind unite and remind me that, if that was the case, I would have been poisoned, stabbed, suffocated, burned to ashes, drowned, publically flogged or have been locked up in a padded room by now.
And since that hasn’t happened yet, I’m pretty sure that this “fact” can be re-categorized as an urban myth. As a rational minded mental health professional who is equally committed to her spiritually based mindset, this popular belief drives me even more nuts.
When someone tells you not to think negatively, it’s like saying, don’t think of the color red. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t think of the color red. Block it out of your mind. Don’t do it! Are you doing it? Are you thinking of the color red? Why are you thinking of the color red?? I told you not to. Now your whole world is going to look red. And in your effort of making yourself feel better, you instead feel like a failure, beating yourself up because for the life you, you simply can not block red from your thoughts. Which makes the red feel even brighter and stronger in your mind.
Here’s the Reality: Embrace the Negativity
When we experience challenging moments in life, we are going to have negative thoughts. We are going to have sad thoughts and angry thoughts and fear filled thoughts. To tell ourselves we shouldn’t feel that way is a huge disservice and setback to our healing process.
Giving ourselves permission to feel and think how we are feeling in the moment is sooo important in the process of acceptance. To deny ourselves how we really feel is the act of stuffing our emotions down and that’s the kind of stuff that actually gets us in trouble. Those feelings want to come out. In those moments, they are asking to be heard, they want to be accepted and understood. And when we tell them they are wrong because we are uncomfortable with them, they grow even stronger to keep our attention.
Think of them like the child who feels neglected. When we don’t give them the attention they crave, they may jump up and down and start screaming to be heard. When you turn your back on them, they will find that permanent marker you thought was out of reach and draw on whatever is precious to you. They will make their mark and they won’t let you forget that you ignored them.
Yet, if you listen to them, let them say what they want to say, allow them to be heard and respected, give them a hug to let them know you support them, they will settle themselves and the tantrum will naturally subside and internal balance will re-establish itself naturally. Embrace how peaceful you feel after an intense cry, or the relief after an angry argument that gets resolved. Pent up thoughts and emotions have a need to be recognized. They want to be released. And they want to be respected.
We need our shadow side to complement our light. The pain of sadness is only respected when the sense of joy takes over. But you really can’t have one without the other. The combination is what keeps us authentically whole.
Does Negativity Manifest Into Reality?
As for thinking negative thoughts manifesting into form, the truth is when you think of events that are scary, you can physically and emotionally feel what is happening as if it is really happening right in front you. We know how powerful thoughts are. At that moment you are manifesting the discomfort around them and that becomes your emotional reality. That is what you instantly manifest.
You can feel all the symptoms of fear, anger and sadness immediately. And you can also immediately respect them and remind them that their services are not currently needed, but thank them for reminding you that you know where to find them if needed.
Over time, can you create your greatest fears if you focus on them? I’m certain you can. I have, with my own belief systems, recreated many patterns in my life until I realized what I was doing. What we focus on we bring to life, which means we can bring to life our own self-acceptance by listening to all the parts of us with compassion.
Accept, Not Shame
We’ve got a lot of voices in our heads. The key to balance is to acknowledge them for their role and purpose instead of trying to shame them out of existence. The best way to respect these voices is to let them be heard. Write them in a journal, talk to a trusted friend, paint, draw, sing, scream, cry, express them in whatever form feels good or makes sense to you. Let them be real because they are.
And once they’ve been expressed, allow the calm to linger as you learn to support all parts of you. Be real and proud and brave enough to let your whole self-confidently exist.
That’s when the real manifestation begins, the kind you’ve been waiting for all along.
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