Posts Tagged ‘bad’

the presence of polarities

June 6, 2010

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

The perception of presence

April 16, 2010

Don’t take anything personally.

This is the second agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements.

And he doesn’t just mean anything . . . he means everything.

When a person let’s go of taking everything (or anything) personally, they essentially let go of our sometimes snarky nature of being judgmental towards ourselves and others. We are trained at a very early age to please others to get our needs met, to receive affirmation, to know that we are accepted and loved. When someone praised us, we felt good. We had done a good job. We could consider ourselves good.

But when we did something that another person considered “bad,” we would not receive praise, but rather be reprimanded, rewards would be withheld, and we felt bad. Some of us even considered ourselves as being bad.

The key, Ruiz says, is to realize that another person’s judgment of you or your actions as “good” or “bad” is all about them and their perceptions. None of it is about you. Perception is just as much a presence in you as it is in others. You and I also perceive and judge our world from our personal perspectives.

When someone does something we like and it makes us feel good, we compliment them. We would like for them to do more of those things that we approve of and make us feel good. When we do this we have just given power and control over our feelings to them. Ditto for feeling bad about what other people do and say.

Just for one day, be mindful of the presence of perception in yourself and others. Be aware of what you feel when another says or does anything. Watch that little judgmental angel rise to the occasion and begin to label another’s actions or words. Pay attention to how that judgment makes you feel. Then change your perception. Pretend you are someone else who might think what that person did or said was good. Watch your feelings change as you change your perception.

“ . . . for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet, William Shakespeare

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass