The Misconception about Positive Thinking
Many people tend to believe that in order to be positive, they have to ignore or deny their negative emotions; that it is not alright to have a bad day or to acknowledge that one is in a bad mood or feeling sad or angry or hurt. Instead of acknowledging what they are feeling, they smile and pretend to be happy or they distract themselves with media or substances or work.
The result of engaging in such behaviors is repression. Most of us repress our real feelings to put on a mask in order to accommodate what we think is expected of us. In doing so, we betray ourselves by not being true to ourselves. This can lead to a superficial engagement with life, whereby relationships with one’s self and with others are compromised.
Often these repressed emotions become buried in our subconscious mind and will emerge at the mostly unlikely moments when incidents occur to trigger them off. By repressing our emotions or by not acknowledging them as they are, we may fall in danger of floating through life in an unconscious way and make choices that are unconscious, thereby dishonoring ourselves in the process. It is only by being conscious of what we feel or what we want in life that will lead us to live a conscious and authentic life.
So instead of repressing our negative emotions or beating ourselves up for not feeling constantly upbeat, optimistic or compassionate or perfect, we can learn to recognize our feelings for what they are. We can embrace the sacred spaciousness of our being by honoring our feelings, our thoughts and moods while allowing them the space to pass through us. By acknowledging how we feel, we can observe where these emotions are coming from and gain insights as to what is triggering off the moods. Even if we do not attain any insights at that moment, the very act of allowing these emotions to surface is an act to stand in our truth.
From this space of just being with ourselves, of befriending ourselves as we are, we can then choose a positive thought or choice to deal with our experiences. It is the self-awareness of who we are in each moment, of accepting what we are experiencing, regardless of whether we are feeling gloriously uplifted or overwhelmed or depressed that grounds us to the gift we call life.
Sasha Samy @ 2013
Author of “Transcending Abuse & Betrayal”