In a world full of dangers being positive is an act of courage.
Be willingly to choose a positive attitude towards our everyday challenges is a key component to understand what true happiness means.
In this article we will review how important is to make conscious decisions to stay positive and how to deal with negativity, apathy and hopelessness.
Being Positive is a Choice
It may sound obvious but is not. The perspective from which we experience life is conditioned by external forces, emotional awareness, thought patterns, educational level, cultural values and finally from our internal truth.
The last one, being the most important one, normally is the weakest or the less conscious, because is easier to let ourselves be swayed by all the external conditioning that we have received over the course of the years. Then the capacity to intentionally change from our “programming” over a new way requires incredible inner strength, veracity and time to create new behavioral patterns.
But even with all this, we always have the choice to think and live with optimism and positivity. As everything else, it will require practice, constant practice.
When two people are facing the same situation, each one of them will have very different perspectives over it, even if there is a collective experience, the perspective remains subjective or individual.
So the first thing to understand is that your experience is unique and the way you live it is also unique because first of all, it will never be repeated again. You may try to repeat it with the same conditions over and over again, but you will experience your own changes, so in that matter, the observer of the experience is always changing, therefore there is only one real experience for everything and it always happens in the present moment.
Thanks to this we experience something called “learning process or adaptation”. The more we repeat an experience, we get more used to it, we learn more efficient ways to do it and deeper levels of understanding and experiencing it. In the end our experiences become memory, which becomes knowledge that we may use to change the results of any experience and in time we may say that the sum of all of it is viewed as wisdom.
The more aware we become to our own behavioral patterns and get better at observing patterns around us, we get better at understanding our world around us too. The exercise of observation is by far the best learning tool at our hand.
The Observer and The Judge
To be a good observer one must always remain free and neutral but the way we are constructed as human beings makes this very difficult, because our instinct responds to experiences with very basic and real emotions that make all the difference in our everyday choices. Either we like something or we reject it.
Liking is reinforced by pleassure, sense of oneness and joy. Rejecting is reinforced by fear, anger and apathy. So in some moment The Observer transform into a Judge. The judge will decide whether something is acceptable and repeatable or not. Because the Judge is a mental abstraction composed not only in our instinctive behaviors but also in our rationality, it will unify concepts like “values” into our core and act in coherence.
When the Judge is strongly conditioned it is very difficult to ask from him to act differently. So we must appeal to the observer which has the capacity to stay neutral and intentionally change the Judge behaviors. Because the Judge has been constructed over strong values, we will be confronted and is exactly at this point in which we will require courage to rebel against the Judge and the values behind him.
Negativity, Apathy and Hopelessness
Negativity and pessimism are a disease that intoxicates the Judge when there have been too many experiences that reinforce them, but they can also be a choice. They are the first enemy to defeat, acting like big bullies telling that something is not possible, that you are not good enough, that you don’t have enough value or that you don’t deserve good and happiness.
They are the harbingers of apathetic behaviors and we must act with strength against them so they don’t reinforce such attitudes. If not, those emotions and mental states will easily manipulate you with guilt and make you fall in the pit of hopelessness where you will just wait for the day of your death without any light in your soul.
How to deal with negativity
There are 5 mental and emotional attitudes that will help anyone to deal with negativity and transform their life experience into a positive one.
- Acceptability: The capacity to observe any experience as it is and remain untouched. It gives you the distance to understand and act from your inner truth and not conditioned by the effects of the experience.
- Gratitude: It helps you reinforce the positive parts of your life and identify to the experiences that caused them, helping you to change your mood and emotional disposition to other experiences.
- Self-Compassion: The true meaning of compassion is born from within and we must be able to give it to ourselves before to anyone else. Treating yourself with kindness, open hearted love will calm any negative emotion and protect you from self-destructive behaviors.
- Presence: When being present you give to yourself the chance to let go the past and see that today is a new day with new opportunities. Be here now and the door of peace will open for you.
- Equanimity: Nothing is so bad and nothing is so good, or said differently, things could be worse or better. By cultivating the notion that extremes are subjective to our perspective, we may remain centered and less affected by negative emotions or blinded by positive ones.
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