What Positive-thinking is Not

There is a misconception that positive-thinking means that everything in your life is perfect. The truth is that there is no way to avoid the difficulties of life. There is nothing that will prevent you from facing some really painful things. Pain is apart of life. We learn everything about ourselves through painful moments.

Before I was on the Path, I numbed myself to anything painful. I had a deep fear of pain that led me to make bad decisions which brought me the very thing I was fearing, pain. Now, that I am on the Path, I have radical acceptance. I welcome pain and whatever else is necessary for me to go through to learn what I have to learn. I don’t have my hands up to life. Instead, my arms are open wide. I believe that everything that happens in my life is for my benefit.

Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean that I am always happy. Sometimes, I cry. There are other times where I am cursing and screaming. There are days when I get angry. I’m not yet to the point on my path where I can experience everything without a change in my emotion. I am at the point where I feel my emotion. I allow myself to go through whatever I am feeling instead of running away from it. I feel it in my body. What I found is that when I was trying to stop my emotion, I would prolong the pain for years. Now, my emotions may last a day or even a few hours. I process it and it goes away. I don’t feel a heaviness or burden anymore.

Positive-thinking is not about denial. It’s about acceptance. It is knowing and understanding that life is going to be fun sometimes and difficult at others. It’s finding the meaning in the situations that you find yourself in. It’s understanding that life is happening for you and not to you.  If you can make that subtle shift from victim to empowered, you can change everything about your life. It’s not going to change like magic. It will change one choice at a time.

 “Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” -J. Donald Walters

Today, when you experience an emotion, can you not try to stop it? Can you sit with it and feel it in your body? What is the emotion trying to tell you? Why are you angry, sad, or mad? Can you learn about yourself from your reaction? Let me know what happens. Share in comments.