the presence of polarities

A common theme in my life lately has been positive/negative thought and the power that our way of thinking has over us and our lives.

They are polarities: ways of thinking and feeling that oppose each other and actually repel the other. I’ve been going back and forth about this concept for the past couple of days.

As near as I can tell, one of the problems we have with this concept is what positive thinking really is and how to apply it. When we want our lives to improve in some way, positive thinking would include affirmations such as “I am healthy and whole.” However, if one’s intent is to cure a disease or physical imperfection, for example, and as time goes on and a person is not cured, the focus becomes centered on the fact that nothing has happened, the disease is still there (or gotten worse), the physical imperfection persists, and the struggle to stay “positive” begins. Connected with this process is the fear and feeling of failure.

Other schools of positive thought instruct us to “see” the outcome we desire, act and believe as if it has already happened. Some people I think misunderstand the acting part. Let’s say I wanted to be a millionaire, so I put a picture up of a million dollars or items that represent it and stare at it day after day. I believe that I have a million dollars in my bank account. I might even create a fake bank account on my computer. The acting part gets tricky. I think that a lot of people run into trouble with this one because they make the mistake of how millionaires behave. Nearly everyone who is a millionaire did it through hard work, innovation, and NOT spending their money – in other words, being frugal. I have witnessed people spending their money foolishly because they believed that is the way millionaires behave and they just “knew” that their money was on its way. Well, it wasn’t and now they are stuck with a huge amount of debt and still struggling to think positively.

As an eternal presence, I have an agenda and that agenda is to grow, become fully integrated and alive, and be who I truly am. My eternal presence does not have a particular way that I become, only that I do. All circumstances contribute to my becoming, whether I deem them “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong,” “positive” or “negative.”

None of this is “right” or “wrong.” I think there is great benefit to affirmations, positive thought, and proactive behavior. The integration of these methods in my life requires some attention and examination of their power and their limitations. Over the next couple of days, I am going to explore how our thinking makes us feel, how gratitude plays a part, and how the mind works with its conscious and subconscious parts.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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10 Responses to “the presence of polarities”

  1. jeffstroud Says:


    This seems to be a very fair observation of the process to create positive change in our lives. The thing is many go through this experience without proper guidance, support, encouragement, even language.

    I think your path here is a wondrous clear minded conscious journey to allow your and others mistakes to teach you. Well done.

    Positive thinking is all well and good, acting if, is too, yet if one does not see the signs, listen to their heart, they end up in the same boat, and now they are disenchanted and confused. I know because I have been there, and I have seen it happen!

    I commend you on your journey, way to go!

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      good morning, Jeff! Yep, I have been down this path in various ways and encountered “successes” and “failures.” All of them helped me grow and become more of who I truly am. Each time, I learn. I follow the advice as you do to listen to my heart and that is what drives me. My mind and my thoughts are my tools to steer me.

  2. holessence Says:

    “My eternal presence does not have a particular way that I become, only that I do.”

    This sentence, in particular, waved at me and jumped off the page into my eyes. This is precisely what many people miss.

    Thank you, Barbara. I so appreciate the wisdom you share in your blog.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Laurie — as a practical matter, I would rather “become” and grow using methods that feel good and make me happy – even if I need to struggle through them. I am working choosing methods that make my heart sing and give me peace.

  3. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    It is interesting you mention, “making your heart sing and bring you peace.”
    My daughter Amanda showed up today unexpected and boy did I sing and have peace. It was as if a big “Polar Bear” had changed the polarity, energy of the moment. She had her usual million dollar smile, positive attitude, and love for life. We walked the dog and then went to WalMart for a little bit. I honestly think she did get this from me, and in much of my life I can say that I dismissed past issues and was also like this.
    It seems that I have misplaced this part of myself and become a bit hardened to aspects of my life that are not as positive. As I am in business the 80/20 rule is used a lot and I want to learn how to switch it around, as 20 percent of my issues are negative and cause issues, while 80% of the time I am positive,uplifting, constructive and healing.

    Thanks for the energy!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Kim – you are definitely positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. Who else would have a blog with the titel “Butterflies Galore”? Our children often inheret our ways of being in the world and at some point, they choose to adopt them as their own. You will see a lot of you reflected in Amanda and when you do, own it back. Did you hear that? I said, OWN IT BACK! Everytime you see something in your daughter that you love, admire, and makes you feel good, own it as yours because you would not be able to recognize it if it wasn’t already a part of you.

  4. sandiwhite Says:

    Barbara, I appreciate this post for being forthright and honest. I, too, have seen some horrific blunders made made when people mistake wishful thinking for positive thinking. By all means, set a goal and work towards it. But, for Heaven’s Sake, retain some common sense and responsibility for your actions. The Market has given me some hard bounces in the last few weeks, but has not changed my life or way of living. The best way to have money is to save it, living within your means may not be the most gracious way of life but on the other hand it can let you sleep at night. The City of Alpharetta, Ga.happens to be the Bank Failure Capitol of the Nation. Banks popped up like mushrooms and disappeared just as fast. There are unfinished 2.5 million mansions sitting around every where, with the roofs leaking, the appliances and copper stripped out, and even the bank ownership now failed. This is the result of wishful thinking, not hard-nose common sense. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather pay for anything up front and put the change in my piggy bank than charge my groceries and hope things get better.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandy — saving money and having a savings account, putting 10% of income aside for retirement, and using credit only when absolutely necessary seem to be lost in our gotta-have-it-now society and the conspicuous consumption attitude. I was walking through a department store the other day and at least half of the items I saw were nonessential. How many different sets of glassware does a person need? Here in the DC area, we are less impacted by the economy (we have this government that keeps inventing stuff for people to do), but still have many foreclosures and abandoned buildings (especially office buildings). In keeping with my commitment to positive thinking, though, I am focusing on what IS working and behaving, believing, and thinking in terms of my own financial responsibility. I am thinking of creating an online course — “Common Sense 101” — and will be relying upon you to help me with the lesson plans.

  5. sandiwhite Says:

    Hi, Barbara, I have this beautiful day off from work. I am spending it in my garden trying to retrieve something from the weeds the monsoons have left me with. Strangely enough, it is the most calming and relaxing thing I’ve done in the last two weeks. The weeds, so far a trailer load, will go over the fence to the CHicken Ladies to frolic with and then some weeks from now will be returned to the garden as compost. The beans, onions and tomatoes whose lives I’m trying to save will grace my table and some of course, will go to market. Win-Win.

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