I’m a fan of positive thinking, but in healing positive thinking is just not helpful. At least not always.
Focusing on the positive happenings and outcome in our lives makes us feel good, makes our life easier and helps to create a positive attitude to our life happenings.
We focus on the good outcome, this way we direct our attention at good things, and so our feelings and our mood is going to be positive also.
When you are waiting for the results of your scan test, or your turn at the job interview, or you just hope that the weather is going to be sunny on Saturday because of your garden party, the positive attitude helps you stay well all during the waiting period.
Otherwise you are upset and distracted, this brings you impatience, and this brings you anger. If you are angry, you hurt others easier or you get hurt easier. It’s a downward spiral, it’s better to avoid. In these cases positive thinking makes your life easier and better.
In healing, however, positive thinking is not helpful, but might be even harmful.
You have broken up with your girlfriend! You feel lonely, abandoned and undesirable deep down, but no way to let these to the surface. You know it, feel it that you wouldn’t be able to handle these situations, so you pretend that you don’t have them. They are still there under the surface, causing you emotional pain, constantly nagging you and reminding you what has happened.
When you buddies call you to the bar, you immediately say yes. Brilliant opportunity to “forget” about your ex – towards whom you still have loving emotions.
So you go out with them, you take in many beers as painkiller, and you feel uplifted.
Still there’s a heavy stone on your heart that is just not going away.
You begin to talk about your ex – towards who you still have loving emotions – and tell your friends about her dark side. How awfully she can cook, she is not a good kisser, and anyways, you had become a couple when your date with someone else did not succeed. She was just a secondary option, and for that role she was perfect. You say that you are not unhappy at all, the next one comes very soon, and otherwise this stag-life is just perfectly designed for you.
All during this acting and eye-washing, the stone is still on your heart, and it’s just not going away.
Maybe you go home and fall asleep, maybe you drink until K.O., maybe you try to ease your pain with getting other girls know at the bar.
And you wake up with a horrible headache, maybe with a girl in your bed, with a heavy heart, with loving feelings towards your ex, and with disgust towards yourself.
What changed? No! What hasn’t changed?
Yes! The feelings towards your ex.
The feelings cannot be washed away with the help of outside substances, no friends, no alcohol, no others girls are able to clear the emotional mess up in you.
Inside chaos can be solved with inner work, and let me add here that outside chaos can be cleared up with inner work too.
No matter what kind of substances you try to apply on your aching heart, only dealing with the aching heart helps.
Nooooo! That’s the thing that most people don’t do, for more reasons.
ONE: they don’t know how to nurture themselves emotionally. In case of emotional pain they try to apply something to avoid facing the pain, because they have no clue how to do that.
TWO: they are not ready to do that, because they are still confused. They still want to go back, because they love the other one, but a part of them wants to break away and close the case for ever.
And positive thinking does not help here.
Let’s see what I mean.
Your heart is broken. You think: never mind, it’s gonna be alright. Does this really help? Does this really solve the pain of your heart?
No, you just put a plaster on your open fracture.
Or you think: she wasn’t the love of my life if she could let me go. Does this really help? Temporarily you might feel relief, but the pain will come back, because you haven’t faced it.
You might think: I’m free at last, I can date again, but still you have loving feelings towards your ex, you just deny them. Does it make you feel better? Have you faced your pain? Have you understood why it’s aching? Have you admitted that: she let me go. I’m devastated. I still feel love for her. My heart is in pain. And feel that pain in your heart?
You can put your pain in a positive package, you can reframe it, you can try to find its advantages, the pain will not go away as long as you don’t see it in the eye.
You can wrap up your pain in a positive package, but it’s hiding your emotional mess. It will come to the surface in uglier ways, and in unexpected moments, when you are triggered – you find a picture of your ex, you see her on the street, you meet one of her best friends, or your uninformed uncle asks about her.
Positive thinking is focusing on the positive outcome, and in this situation you can focus on the positive outcome for sure. But if you push all emotions away and keep telling: everything’s gonna be alright, it’s not helping, but on the contrary.
When you finally let yourself feel the pain and begin the process of letting go, you will let yourself slip down to the bottom of your emotional hell, where the flames of your pain will burn you.
You release the grip that you have towards the past with your ex. You dare to let go of your ex, you no longer need to, want to be attached to her. You dare to step into your future without her.
In your personal emotional hell, you will be able to focus on the positive outcome, and that’s a good thing. This is the first sign of healing, and also from the bottom of your hell, the only way is up!
When you are deep down, you are able to admit your true feelings: I’m suffering, it hurts that this relationship wasn’t a success, my heart is broken, I feel devastated and torn, and ____________.
This is hard to do, but when it’s done, you are able to climb back, and be positive. But when you are doing the healing work – which is letting go of your pain – positive attitude is not helping, but holding you back.
You cannot be positive while facing and admitting your painful emotions, because if you do so, you are focusing on being positive, and not on the emotions you have.
Let’s just agree that life is not only about positive things, and the negative happenings bring the big life lessons. When a huge emotional life lesson is knocking on the door, we can answer it and face it, or we can ignore it, and focus on the fact that we didn’t open it, so we can stay positive. This life lesson will come back, and next time it will bang on the door, and after that it will smash the door into pieces.