There is literally tons of information regarding positive thinking and manifesting the life you want. While I certainly believe that what I allow myself to think is important, I am a bit confused about how positive thoughts work to help me get the things I want in life.
I have to admit, for the past several months, I have felt lost in the shuffle of life. Well….Maybe not lost but certainly misdirected. Like many, I sort of know where I want to go but I am not quite sure how to get there.
While reading a FB post about positive thinking, I had a huge ah ha moment. I realized that most of what I think and consequently how I feel about life in general is negative. If what we think really is how we manage life, it’s only God’s grace that anything positive has ever happened to me. Needless to say, God has extended a lot of grace because my life is exceptional.
After reading the post, I decided to start paying attention to my thoughts. I didn’t evaluate the content but began to notice the types of thoughts that I was having. I hate to admit it but most of what I was thinking was judgmental and for the most part very critical in nature. In my defense, I wasn’t using my critique as a means to position myself as superior or put anybody down. It is just my way of making sense of the world. If I categorized things as right or wrong, good or bad, I could make a decision and move forward. Things are either good or bad. They are right or wrong. I either agree or disagree, right? Wrong!
When you use your own experiences as the foundation of what is right or wrong, you miss the opportunity to grow. It doesn’t allow the space needed to just be in the moment or enjoy a conversation, where the other person is heard and their point of view appreciated. When everything has to be labeled, the great treasures hidden in the moment are easily missed. Not to mention the fact that it is exhausting to live that way. Not just for you but for those who you are in close relationships with.
I have since learned that the labeling is counterproductive and essentially a means of control. It literally starts a struggle to change people and circumstances so that life looks the way you think it should. For me, the struggle would often manifest as overwhelming fear that things would never be the way I hoped they would. My fears related to my family and career were the worst. Even though, my children and husband are wonderful and my career is – well its getting better- I carried this feeling that my dreams were out of reach. If I am completely honest, I felt like my desires were too lofty.
A feeling of dread would be there when I awakened in the mornings and follow me throughout the day. The thoughts were accompanied by waves of anxiety that sometimes woke me up in terror. I didn’t make the connection between my controlling thought pattern and the fear that my life wouldn’t be what I instinctively knew it could be.
I have read tons of “law of attraction” and “present moment” type books so I practice centering type techniques from time to time. If you buy into the style of teaching, you know that what you think is crucial. Only, it hadn’t dawned on me that the issue is the way I think instead of what I think. Rather than police my thought, which was completely frustrating, I decided to take a more positive approach. When I would find myself labeling, even my thoughts, I would declare that I have no judgment. Without deciding if the subject matter was good or bad, I would simply notice what I was giving my attention to and allow it to be. Understanding that negative thinking attracts negative outcomes, I would give myself permission to let the thought go or replace it with a positive one.
While it is important to monitor our thoughts, I believe that restructuring the thought processes is equally important. How we think is as significant as what we think. I have decided to withhold judgment regarding whether a thing is right or wrong. After all, that can only be decided when we have the complete picture which, as human beings, we do not have. If I am honest, situations that I thought were awful turned out to be some of my greatest blessings.
Letting go of the need to make my opinion known has been the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. I am more relaxed and I trust that whatever happens, whether good or bad, will ultimately work to my benefit. I have redirected my energy towards creating a life of peace and abundance. Now, waves of loving energy and optimism instead of anxiety and fear fill my being. I have literally opened myself to manifesting the abundance that I longed for. My heart and mind are free to enjoy the unlimited possibilities of the universe.
I pray that sharing my ah ha moment will lead someone to an ah ha of their own!