The Problem with Positivity Painting

I had a phone session with my spiritual counselor yesterday and it brought a lot to my awareness. I have been working on being self-aware of my limiting and negative beliefs for about 5 years now, but I continually learn and am reminded of old patterns. I was talking to her about the extremely judgemental thoughts I have been experiencing lately and how frustrated I was getting in constantly having them come up around myself, my boyfriend, and others in my life. She asked me what I do to correct the judgement once I notice the though. I told her that as soon as I am aware of a thought, I immediately come up with the positive opposite of it and begin repeating that to myself. I have been doing that for a while now to no avail, and she was finally able to shed light on why this shift to positive statements didn’t seem to work. She told me that in doing that, by creating an opposite positive statement for my negative one, I was in fact, just creating another judgement instead of honouring the truth. When we try to deny how we truly feel about something, and just replace it with a positive statement, we are not allowing how we really feel to be acknowledged. When we ignore our feelings, they are not given permission to move on. They are forced to remain stuck within us until they are acknowledged. They will fight, claw and rumble around inside of us and show up over and over again until we recognize them, acknowledge them, and accept them. It is only after we have done this that we will be able to look at them differently and begin seeing things in a positive light.

I’ll give you an example here: Say you are stuck in traffic, and you are attempting to be a positive person and arrive at your destination un-phased by being late, and being stuck in the car without any control over the situation. If in fact, you are ticked, and angry and a bit frustrated, but instead of acknowledging this you choose to just slap a bit of positivity paint over your feelings and tell yourself that it’s no big deal, there is a very good chance those feelings of anger and frustration are going to surface at a later time. Maybe not that day, but they will probably come back up eventually, especially if you do this type of positive painting often.

When we do this, when we push how we really feel down, and attempt to replace it with something that may be positive, but not necessarily true at the time, no matter how much we want it to be, we are denying parts of ourselves that are important. If we pretend something is positive for us, when in fact it isn’t, it’s not going to be positive anyway. But if we are brave, and we acknowledge the fact that we aren’t happy being stuck in the car, that we are nervous about being late, and that we are anxious, our feelings have somewhere to go after that. Then we may be able to look at the situation differently and come up with something that is less emotional and a bit calmer. Maybe we are mad, but it’s not life or death. Maybe we are anxious, but we’re going to be ok anyway. If we can be completely truthful with our feelings, we will feel honoured and truthful with ourselves and will be able to move through judgement and closer to peace and calm.

This new awareness for me is going to allow me to look at my judgemental thoughts and send love and support into my relationships. I am going to be able to let go of the belief that just because my boyfriend and I have different ideas of how to spend free time, or how to plan things, that doesn’t mean our relationship is going to be difficult. I can acknowledge my worries, and then focus on what is true. And the truth is that we have a loving, supportive, honest relationship which is the most important thing.