Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dealing with negativity

Hopefully everyone has gotten the new year off to a positive start and is gearing up for the best year you’ve experience so far. I thought I might share some information that might make doing just that a little easier, if you’re up for the challenge.

If you have people in your life that you dislike, it could be that what you dislike about someone else actually reflects something you dislike about yourself. I’ve come across this idea a couple of times and have actually seen it to be true in my life. However, it might be beneficial to fine tune this idea a bit.

If someone does something that elicits a “negative” emotion in you (anger, frustration, impatience, resentment, anxiety, etc.) that emotion is a signal for something you have not appropriately dealt with yet. I have found this to be true in my life and have also noticed that it becomes a recurring event until it has been dealt with properly. Over time it becomes obvious that there is something deeper at work that is trying to demand your attention.

So, if you are like me and are interested in being the best person you can be ;), it’s important for you to pay attention to these signals, which are expressed as thoughts and emotions. When something someone says or does triggers something you don’t like in yourself (i.e. a negative emotion), pay attention. There is something that needs to be dealt with there. Entire books have been written on the subject of how to deal with these emotions when they do arise, but one of the central proponents is to realize that your response is your choice. This is hard to come to grips with since we have developed well trained responses to certain stimuli, which often involves placing blame, but it is true.

So, when you encounter a situation that elicits one of these trained responses from you, such as anger, “choose” to respond differently. If, for example, your initial reaction is to defend yourself against a false accusation, stop and be with that feeling. Is it caused by injured pride or the need to never be in the wrong about something? Then, let it go rather than react. This gets back to an issue touched on in the book The Lost Art of Compassion involving graciously losing an argument. To a certain extent this involves a little bit of pride swallowing and I’ve noticed that pride is one of those things that does not taste all that good going down (it’s an acquired taste).

However, if you are able to do this when your emotions flare, when the same trigger is encountered again it will have less of an affect on you. You are, in effect, changing your perspective on the issue and releasing the power it has over you. You are retraining yourself not to be negatively impacted by something someone else does or says.

It may help to ask yourself why something upsets you. It may also help to remind yourself that everyone is doing what they think is right at any given moment. It may help to try to see the issue from the other person’s perspective. It may help to realize that everything will be just fine regardless of the inconveniences encountered. It may help to remember that each little issue that prompts a response from us is a learning opportunity, and there will be plenty more if we don’t get it right this time (be grateful when they occur).

The bottom line is that we are all divine beings in our own rights whether we realize it yet or not. If we can realize it in ourselves first, it’s easier to see it in others.

Enjoy the new year to its fullest and do your best to make the most out of everyday, even if it brings some minor inconveniences or hard lessons. We’ll all be better off for it.
Love and peace,


Anonymous said...

another approach, or more specific & detailed to what you said, is I actively look for ways that I do the same "behaviors" or attitudes etc. that I find to be, I call my step father controlling, then I marry and find to my horror that I am compulsively controlling. ditto with criticizing, ridiculing, being able to dish it out but not take it. etc etc etc. Looking for the precise essence of the unwelcomed behavior from the other & finding it in ourself is oh so humbling!!!! There have been many times when I have said, "now THIS is something I know I don't do" only to> was just THAT unconscious. Sometimes it has even been years later that I finally saw that unwanted "behavior/attitude" in myself.

The NEXT step is to forgive...forgive YOURSELF. then, it follows to forgive the other, automatically, the "button" of intolerance for "how they be" that drives you nuts goes away.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting quote I felt appropriate for here:

Your emotion, your indicator of vibration, is indicating the ratio between your currently focused desire and any other belief or thought that you hold about same.

When you feel negative emotion, anger about something, or fear... the name of the emotion does not matter, it always means that there is a desire within you that, in this moment, you are contradicting with some other thought.

Your emotions are always about your relationship with your own desire, and nothing else.

Excerpted from an Abraham workshop in El Paso, TX on Saturday, February 17th, 2001