I am a fan of affirmations.
Am I alone, however, in finding the constant pressure to be positive, harness the law of attraction, and in general try to manipulate my emotional state oppressive?
Since when is being positive a cure-all? Last I checked, when something shitty happens the response I have in that moment doesn't define me as a person (positive or negative)
I find a creeping counter-culture within my closest circle of true friends. In hiding, we still preface negative statements of honest emotional state with "I'm going to hell for saying this..." or "I know I should not feel this way..." or "It sucks that I feel this way..."
And I want to share this counter-culture...and demolish the inner and outer judgment walls being paraded around as superior.
It is not a superior state of mind or heart to inflict or enforce a positive spin on every shitty thing.
Nor is it superior or inferior to wallow in a negativity spiral.
Neither is better or worse.
A lot of meditation and a lot of heightened self-awareness have brought me to a realization worth sharing.
Some positive thinking exercises are worthwhile, don't get me wrong. But it is equally delicious to indulge in a fantasy of negativity, to follow the train of thought to all the worst possible conclusions. Why else is the world so in love with the entertainment in books, film, tv, binge watching or imagining a fantastic series of explosive and terrible life choices unfold?
My teacher and guide on a spiritual path, Michael Barnett, has helped me recognise the possibility in the universe of transcending the judgment, and the duality of right and wrong, better and worse, and so on. Many gifts came through to me during meditations and time spent both in Germany and in seminars here in Santa Fe sharing space and resonating with his incredible cosmic connective energy. (Perhaps I will write more about those as it feels right, for now a lot of it is still so raw and personal, and writing about it doesn't feel right for me just yet.)
I am a fan of Jeff Foster, who is also a speaker, spiritual teacher, someone I have not met, yet has taught me through his facebook posts, and youtube videos. I found him through friends also connected with Michael, and Jeff invites us to embrace the full spectrum of emotion in our lives.
If we manage to keep some perspective in the midst of the emotional roller-coaster, positive or negative, then we can begin to evolve.
So yes, we can begin by being aware of the tendencies, habits, knee-jerk responses. We can observe whether we trend toward doomsday scenarios, and whether those serve us well. We can learn to dance in and out of moods, rather than be enslaved by them unconsciously.
And I will make a renewed effort to cease my judgment of my own emotions...and those close to me.
This whole topic might also be part of why I loved the movie Inside Out so much, because all of our emotions serve functions worth validating, and if we can embrace each other through the process, and accept the full complex cornucopia of our human existence, maybe we can grow beyond our known limits.