Have you ever picked up a self-help book in dire need of a change? Or maybe, like me, you have read countless “10 ways to become happier” lists. Maybe you’ve also watched numerous YouTube videos on how to stay positive or how to just not feel the way you’re feeling. After all, positivity is the key, right? We click on the little Instagram icon on our phone screens and scroll through the endless posts of people preaching positivity and showcasing the beautiful outcome of their lives, due to this change in mindset. I agree 100% that becoming a much positive person can truly cause drastic changes in our lives. What we don’t see, however, is how those people got there. We don’t see the struggles that the authors of these books had throughout their lives to become that best-seller. We don’t see the months, or even years of working on self-love and self-esteem that, that fitness guru had to work on to become or look the way they do. We don’t see the depression or anxiety that, that business icon had to go through, to finally come out on top. I mean, surely you don’t think they came screaming out of the womb like that, right?
While all of these lists, books, videos etc. are amazing, they will quickly become a vast topic on what not to do. If you don’t utilize them correctly, it’s easy to quickly get sucked in, and at first, everything may seem fine. You’ll read a book and start putting the practices into the use of your own daily life. You might start using affirmations and practicing some self-care tips. Just when you start feeling good about yourself, those unwanted emotions start seeping through the cracks again. You think to yourself, “I am doing everything right. I am following the book and I am trying my hardest to stay positive every day. I am smiling and I am trying to not let Rick get to me when he ignores my texts. So why do I still feel this way?”
Then the vicious cycle begins. We become hard on ourselves and the moment an unwanted thought pops into our mind, we shush it away like a buzzing bee in our ear. Only this time, that bee is literally a part of you and it isn’t as easy as just swatting it away with your hands. There will be moments, days even, where you simply can’t control the mind chatter. It will seep between every crevice of your brain and then eventually you will start feeling it in other parts of your body too. Then, because you remember that book or thing that, that one person said, you will feel the need to paste an invisible Band-Aid over the feelings that are a result of those thoughts.
You see, when you are having a thought that seems to be negative, it isn’t truly negative at all. In fact, everything in the universe starts off as neutral. We as humans then give it a label, an emotion, a perception, and interpretation. This is precisely why I prefer using the term “unwanted” rather than “negative.” What we don’t realize, is that these thoughts are actually a good thing. I like to view them as our mind’s way of bringing us back to that point in our lives where those feelings stemmed from in the first place. Think about it. They didn’t just arrive from thin air. There is always some kind of past trauma or event that engrains a belief within our subconscious minds that lingers with us throughout our lives. There is a root cause to all of our wounds, and so, how will we ever heal if we don’t accept that they’re there in the first place?
The first step is always acceptation. Then we must forgive, not only others but ourselves too. Because let’s face it, we can be pretty hard on ourselves and thus became our worst nightmare by continually bombarding ourselves with questions like, “Why am I like this? Why can’t I just be better?” Many people will tell you that your unwanted thoughts are simply something that you cannot have or else you are doomed. Or worse, they say things like “Just stop thinking about it. Just be happy.” They must think we are robots but, here’s the truth:
IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.
Unless you are an ascended master or a spiritual saint (even they didn’t start off like that), you won’t always feel positive, and that’s okay! You have every right to feel sad, upset, angry, etc., over something that has caused you so much distress. When these unwanted thoughts come into your mind, the best way to heal in the long run is to sit with it. Feel it. Embrace it. Cry if you have to. Scream in your pillow. Instead of putting yourself down with questions of lack, instead ask your higher self, “Why am I feeling like this? What has happened in my life to have caused me to feel like this? How should I go about dealing with it? Why am I reacting like this?” After all, we all subconsciously don’t truly want to deal with those things. Who wants to relive moments that we may have ultimately suppressed? No one but, it is essential to our self-love and healing process. Keep that in mind, it is a process.
There is no quick fix. No overnight process to eliminate all of the built-up emotions inside of you. It took years to build up, it won’t go away that quickly. Luckily for us, it won’t take years to remove either. So you see, simply trying to be positive all of the time, without getting to the root cause, is sure to be a set up for a letdown. Because you aren’t truly being positive, you’re just planting the seeds and never watering them. What does that sprout? Nothing but some seeds under the dirt and that’s not very useful. Release what you have pasted over with that invisible Band-Aid and then those books etc. might become more beneficial to you. Thinking positive and having happy thoughts should never feel like a chore. When it gets to that point, you know you are doing something wrong.
Now I am not saying you should stay in these thoughts. Of course not. We are all striving to be better. I am just saying it’s okay, as long as you are utilizing your emotions as your own personal guidance, rather than your own worst enemy. Doesn’t that seem much easier?