We have this habit of expecting ourselves to be “above it all”, meaning that we expect ourselves to be so proficient at focusing positively and fixing our own problems that we are unaffected by our experiences. But to expecting ourselves to be “above it all” is to add torture on top of pain. To resist where we are, and who we are currently is to abandon yourself in the quick sand pit of your own pain.
It is ironic that those of us who fancy ourselves to be “in alignment” would have so much resistance to “not being in alignment”. People, who subscribe to the power of positive thinking, tend to have extreme resistance to negative emotion and negative thoughts. We also have extreme resistance to the “breakdown phase” of transformation. We resist suffering, but resistance on top of suffering equals more suffering. It is impossible it is to focus positively when you have something that you are trying to avoid (especially strong fear or other strong negative emotion). When we are feeling strong negative emotion, we are feeling desperate. You always get that desperate feeling when you are trying to get away from something and go towards something else. And obviously, any time we’re trying to get away from something, we are resisting it and therefore focusing upon in in a subconscious way. Whatever we resist persists. If we would quit resisting it, it would cease to exist. And so, there is only one option, to positively embrace the negative emotion.
The positive embracing of negative emotion is one of the most crucial skills to learn. Your emotions are like clay. You can learn to mold them by virtue of your thoughts. But to try to mold your life into something pleasing when you are unwilling to acknowledge, touch and embrace anything other than positive emotion, is like a sculptor being unwilling to work with the clay as it currently is; in it’s raw and cold form. It is to reject the clay and demand that you will only touch it once it is warm and soft. This will never work because the thing that transforms that raw, cold clay into soft, warm clay is the non-resistant, loving embrace of the sculptor’s hands. Until we are willing to approach our negative emotions with acceptance, compassion and most especially willingness to feel them, we cannot mold the clay of our life into anything different that what it is. There will be no change; our emotions will remain negative in the same way that the sculptor’s clay will remain cold and raw.
You have been taught that negative emotion means you have gone wrong. In fact, one of the things I hate about positive focus communities is that they tend to see negative anything (especially thoughts and emotions) as something bad, shameful, and un-evolved. Do you feel the resistance to negative in that mentality? This is not an evolved state. And honestly, it is what gives positive focus philosophies such a bad name. It makes us seem like “Polyannas”. We only seem like “Polyannas” when we are ignoring, glossing over, and avoiding negative emotion. We only seem like “Polyannas” when we have gone into denial and are currently rejecting and resisting the negative. Negative emotion is part of your guidance system, which means that negative emotions are valid. Negative emotion is a part of life for every person in existence. When we say otherwise, we ostracize each other. We condemn other people (as well as ourselves) to being alone in their pain and being ashamed of their pain. If we really had a comprehension of the way this universe works, we would be encouraging people, when they felt strong negative emotion, to embrace and explore those negative emotions before encouraging them to then focus positively on something that makes them feel better. Many people would argue that it’s a bad idea to focus on negative emotion or thoughts, because focus fuels them and that it’s a better idea to just focus on positive thoughts and things that make you feel good. But I am here to tell you that you can’t focus positively while you are resisting something negative. If you’re resisting something negative, you are resisting focusing on what you are already really focusing on. The resistance itself is fueling that negative thing, on a subconscious if not conscious level. It’s like your fish hook getting caught or snagged on the bottom of the stream you’re paddling down. You have to turn around, unhook the fishhook first and then go on your merry way. And sometimes, it takes longer to get un-snagged than other times.
When you can feel that you are resisting negative emotion (when you are desperate to feel differently), stop running away and just be with yourself and the truth of how you feel and what you’re thinking right here and now. Be with what you’re trying to run away from. Take time to sink into the feeling and really let yourself experience it and question it. Solicit the help of someone else who will aid you to explore what those emotions and sensations are trying to tell you. Use them to gain awareness. And express those emotions instead of suppressing them. Embrace them in any way you can. Without negative feelings, thoughts and experiences, you would never know what happiness and love and freedom really is. You would not have any awareness. The answers cannot come to you; unless you are first asking the questions and the questions nearly always come as the result of experiencing something that feels negative. Let’s all stop being ashamed of our negative emotions and thoughts and experiences. If we can learn to do that, we will no longer be resisting them and thus, they will transform our realities in the way they intend to transform our realities, into something better.