when positive thinking doesn’t work!

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When you feel like you are walking on eggshells, when your feelings are constantly invalidated, when you try to express the slightest negative emotion and get rejected for it, when no matter how positive you think you keep experiencing negative outcomes, when you don’t get enough importance from others, when you try to fix yourself by focusing positively and it just doesn’t work, you feel like you keep running into a wall… what exactly is happening??

When the famous movie ‘The Secret’ was released, it revolutionized the concept that we create our own realities consciously or unconsciously by dint of the law of attraction… since then, every Tom, Dick and Harry and their father is telling you to think positively, as if positive thinking can erase all the so called negative experiences from our lives and make us happy.  Some concepts floating in our human consciousness are:

“Happiness is a state of mind”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

“Attitude is everything”

“Positive think your way to happiness”

“Fake it till you make it”

“Visualize the positive reality you wish to create”

And so on…

It is everywhere… like a virus… it infests your mind… think positive and everything will be better… don’t complain, positive thinking will dissolve your problems away; think positive and you’ll be happy… and so forth!

But what is the real deal? Is positive thinking really the panacea of all our problems? You’ve heard about the law of attraction, that like attracts like.  Positive thinking attracts positive outcomes and vice versa… when you look around, especially on social media, this idea is even more reinforced, people more often than not post their so called positive experiences or create smiling selfies and you read about everyone’s positive experiences and join in the crowd for the same attention… but at the end of the day you still feel empty and no matter how positive you try to portray your life to be in front of others, deep within you know it’s not all as wishy washy as it is cracked up to be… and all this positive thinking mania is making you more and more antisocial and lonely!

We are a feel good species.  We naturally deviate towards that which makes us feel good.  Usually the things that make us feel good are an abundance of attention, affection, connection, unconditional love, acceptance and approval of ourselves reflected through others.  We spend our entire lives trying to attain these things through everything we set out to conquer, in one way or the other!  We go for our ambitions, we dream, we desire, we get into relationships, we help others, we do charity, we try to find meaning in our existence, all because we want to feel good about ourselves, in a super positive way! However what really makes us feel good is a complicated matter altogether!

When we come into this world, that is do the thing called “take birth” the first few years of our lives we navigate the outer world solely through our feelings, before any perception of logic, thought or reasoning develops in our minds.  Feelings are the language of our soul; they are where our truth lies. And we come to understand our feelings through the experience of a variety of emotions that inform us about our states of being at any given moment.  Emotions are like our internal compass that tells us exactly where we stand in terms of our truth.

You can ignore your emotions, you can deny them, avoid them, suppress them, fake them, replace them with positive focus… and it even seems to work for a while, you see the manifestation of your positive thoughts in your external reality and you get excited… you go further in your mind trying to eliminate all negative thoughts, until there comes a time, when you just can’t seem to do that anymore, you find that no matter how positive you try to think or how high you set your goals, you keep bumping against a wall and can’t seem to get past it…

This is when you realize that you are using positive thinking to escape yourself.  Everyone you meet and every experience you have seem to be conditional upon your positive behavior and the slightest negativity pushes them away causing you to experience rejection again and again.  This is when you hit a wall in your consciousness.  You cannot go further.  You realize you are walking on eggshells.  What is happening essentially is that the external circumstances are mirroring your own inner vibrations; the law of attraction acts like a mirror.  To know more about the law of attraction, watch my video titled “the mechanisms of the law of attraction”.  So basically you are running away from yourself, escaping yourself, denying your emotions, hence causing them to be wrong, and by doing that you are making yourself wrong for feeling that way.  You try to surpass your own internal guidance, your emotions, and by doing so you push them further within your consciousness, but they don’t go away, they fester! As you reject your own negative emotions, the outer world is also mirrored back to you as a very conditional and crude reality, where you will only be accepted if you are a certain way.  This is when you come face to face with your shadows.

We are here to attain self-realization.  By avoiding parts of ourselves, we cannot realize ourselves. There is no short cut to enlightenment. We cannot bypass ourselves, deny our states of being or white wash our way to nirvana.  We need to deal with our negative emotions, understand their message and what’s causing them to come up in a certain way… remember emotions are our compass, constantly informing us about our states of being and thus impacting our feelings.  We are first feeling beings before we are human beings.  Causing any of our feelings to be wrong is essentially causing ourselves to be wrong.  Anger for example is a cover emotion… behind anger there maybe be a feeling of disappointment that someone didn’t meet our expectation, behind the disappointment may be hurt or sadness and behind that sadness maybe a feeling of unworthiness… a feeling that says, “I am not important, or I’m not enough, I’m not valued, I keep getting disappointed with the way others treat me”.  This is the feeling we need to deal with buried deep within the trigger emotion, anger.  This is where we need to explore our own subconscious for the key.

When we are born, ideally we are deserving of unconditional love, acceptance and approval that we come here to experience.  Our parents, our primary care-givers are supposed to give us this unconditional love.  However, our childhood is marked with all kinds of “not so good” experiences.  We are born into a society that trains us to struggle, compete against one another and endure hardships.  Our parents impose on us all kinds of rules and restrictions to discipline us so we can fit into the norms of society.  However, society itself is a variable depending on which part of the world we are born and which soul group and belief pattern we incarnate into.

So anytime we don’t experience this unconditional love from our primary caregivers, who we trust with our lives for survival, we experience trauma, especially as children, causing it to mean that there is something wrong with “us”.  We thus develop all kinds of coping mechanisms, or ways to win our parents’ unconditional love.  We try hard to ace our exams, we behave in ways that will receive their approval and sometimes when we can’t abide by their rules, we turn the other extreme, becoming rebels, breaking the rules… it’s cool we say, trying to create our own way!

Or, let’s say as a child every time you wanted your parents’ attention and went to them, they were extremely busy and hence ignored you or asked you to play by yourself; gave you all sorts of gadgets to play with but their time. You as a child didn’t have the capacity to understand their ‘busyness’ and caused it to mean you are unlovable as you felt rejected or unimportant to them.  You had no way to demand their time or attention so you coped, and buried yourself in your toys.  Thus you believed you weren’t important to them. Or you started hiding parts of yourself that you felt won’t be approved of and hence began to experience love as conditional.  Now as a grown up, you keep experiencing circumstances in life, at your job, with your peers or family where you never get to experience importance. It’s become a belief pattern within your subconscious mind.  This part of your consciousness that is caught in childhood is resisting all your present actions or positive thinking to create likeable outcomes, and thus it’s in control of most of your life experiences; it’s the dominant vibration within you.

So what happens is a part of your consciousness remains locked up in your childhood, unresolved in the past, buried in your subconscious mind and another part of it moves forward into the present… your consciousness fractures.  And you experience dissociation; this creates pain, unrest, dissatisfaction, unhappiness, the manifestation of all kinds of diseases, a nagging feeling that just won’t go away and you have no idea what’s going on! It is the part of your consciousness that is locked up in the past is what resists your attempts in the present, it is in charge of you! As time passes, the gap between the different parts of your fractured consciousness grows bigger.  It is these fractured parts of your consciousness that are seeking integration and showing up as negative outcomes. The desire to become whole may make you seek help, like try meditaion, read self-help books, go to a retreat, think positive, listen to motivational talks, do healings etc… but those external attempts cannot unlock the hidden subconscious trauma buried deep within our minds. These spiritual practices might instead put you at a place of even more self-conflict.

Those who do succeed in overpowering their subconscious may find real success in life, like an excess of abundance or popularity but many of them may still find themselves locked up in the past, lonely, suicidal or manifest chronic illnesses, form addictions etc.  because they are still not looking into their subconscious; externally they are trying to find themselves, but by doing that they are still running away from themselves.

So what is the solution?  Emotions, especially the negative ones, are constantly informing us about our own past traumas buried deep within our subconscious mostly from childhood, because that’s when most of our beliefs are formed. When we resist these difficult emotions, we keep them there.  What we resist persists.  These parts of us need our attention and unconditional presence.  This is when we need to practice unconditional love and approval of ourselves… so that we can free those hidden, locked-up emotions by shining the light of our consciousness within those darker places in our consciousness. Darkness is the absence of light. Just by focusing on them, being aware or understanding ourselves, we can release those unresolved emotions. Shadow work simply implies radical self-acceptance. If you have used positive thinking and reaped positive benefits in the past, you have enough light of consciousness to delve deeper… use that light to shine into the dark places within your being and en-lighten them.

I know emotions are a difficult territory to navigate and we are not equipped to deal with them. We live in a society that outrightly rejects our negative emotions. We primarily experience our emotions in our solar plexus. Any experience that triggers us like anger, jealousy, hatred, cause us to suffer. The goal is to move the energy from the solar plexus to the heart center where you can experience unconditional love. So you still feel the same emotions, but you are not so attached with them anymore, so they pass by quicker and get freed. You will still experience those emotions, but now they won’t create suffering or association coz you are not at the mercy of your emotions anymore.

But how do you cause this energy to rise from the solar plexus chakra to the heart chakra?  Definitely not by avoiding your emotions, but to embrace them. This can only be done by expressing your emotions and acknowledging how you feel.  You have to look within your subconscious and find the inner child that is still hurting from any experience in your childhood and give it unconditional love and attention in order to free them. Many people are walking with the emotional maturity of a five year old child, because their inner child, those subconscious traumas are still holding them hostage. By giving attention to those unhealed parts within and shining the light of our love can free us from our past. Even if you cannot express your emotions to others, acknowledge them to yourself. Don’t bypass yourself. Try to surround yourself with friends, people who will validate your emotions; it is not necessary to always be right in order for our emotions to be validated. Everybody has the right to feel the way they feel, given the situation they are in. Feel them, navigate them, understand what feedback they are giving you about you, which aspect of you is in need of your attention and approval, go within and nurture, cradle that aspect of your consciousness. Usually it’s the little inner child that resists all the conditioning of society. That part of you is in control of most of your life experiences, so you hit the wall and come against yourself.  Until you learn to unconditionally love, accept and approve of yourself, that experience will elude you from your external circumstances too. You may create a façade of your personality and have one self  of you behind closed doors and another self that you show to the outside world. It is only when your inner and outer worlds can align with each other, that is when you can be really free as you align with your higher self. 

Let me give an example… let’s say you have a very serious and intense personality.  When you are in a state of rejection, all the external people, relationships, circumstances will reflect back to you what is wrong with you.  You take self-help courses, you go for retreats to change your personality and you notice that you are only accepted when you do so.  Whereas if you are in acceptance of this personality trait, you will meet people who will actually like you for your intense personality, who will see the gift of you being that way and will welcome your way of being as an added flavor in their lives. Do you see the difference?

When you do this inner child work, you will often reclaim your authentic confidence, renounced potential; you may find that your entire life changes, career path changes and everything is turned upside down. This may sound scary, but it is in your own highest benefit to do it so you can find your real passions and what makes you truly happy rather than living your whole life trying to meet someone else’s expectation of you.

And here’s the good news. Positive thinking works in our favor when there is no resistance, when we have a genuine curiosity towards life and want to create something wonderful out of a place of self-acceptance and non-judgement. However, when positive thinking is used to escape ourselves or our negative emotions, that is when they can harm more than heal.

So if you meet someone who tells you they are super positive and always have an upbeat attitude towards life, beware because those are mostly the people who run for the hills at the first sign of a conflict or challenge in a relationship, for instance. They will be very hard to have relationships with, because by rejecting the parts of themselves that feel negative, they will also often invalidate your feelings when you’re going through a negative situation in life. It is very difficult to communicate with such people because they may be extremely judgmental and constantly put others down for their negative emotions.  However, according to the law of attraction, every experience is a mirror, if they condemn a negative emotion in someone else it’s because they condemn it within themselves… these people are far from loving themselves. In fact they are in the vibration of self-hate, negating their own feelings, until they become emotionally numb, thereby denying their humanness. They can’t get past what would set them free… it’s like the minute the going gets tough, they run. The time when really good work can be done within the relationship is when they leave. They hide from themselves.

A truly authentic person will never boast about being positive because they know emotions are like water and both positive and negative will flow through our consciousness; none can be absolutely free of the negative in a dual reality we incarnate into, and when they do come up they should not be bypassed, superimposed, whitewashed with a positive thought…

When you delve deeper and find the root cause of an issue you will notice that with time you will naturally be a person without much resistance to life’s experiences so you will automatically have an upbeat attitude towards life, it won’t be forced or faked, and you will give yourself and others the permission to feel; instead of avoiding parts of you, you will embrace yourself fully, and that is a great place to be!

So the next time someone advises you to think positive, take it with a pinch of salt…!

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Author: Boi

Hi, I am a storyteller; I tell real stories about real people to fictitious characters!

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