For most of us, negative thinking is usually in the lead. We all do it to ourselves. You know, the times when:
1. Your mind is filled with worse case scenarios and is driving you crazy.
2. Cleaning the bathroom seems more appealing than meditation.
3. Your mind is engaged in self-flagellation (beating you up with style).
Positive thoughts and negative thoughts are the two sides of the Coin Of Thinking. More often than not, the inner critic issues a barrage of negative thoughts, despite conscious efforts to think positively.
Because your mind is designed to compare, there is a fine line between a critique and a criticism. Thus, your unconscious mind will often guise its negative thoughts as constructive commentary. For example: “If only you did it this way or that,” or, “If you had learned that lesson last time,” or, “If you were a good person,” or, “If you were thin, beautiful, rich, intelligent, wise,” or, “You should have said/done/worn/eaten…” The list goes on and on.
Negative thinking in the extreme gives rise to self-hatred, contempt, despair, insecurity, self-doubt and even depression.
But extreme positive thinking can also give rise to unpleasant states, such as arrogance, righteousness, conceit, excessive pride and even grandiosity.
What is important to understand is that none of these thoughts are indictments about you, making you better or worse. Few are taught that thoughts are not statements about who you are. Rather, they both arise unbidden like gusts of wind through the trees, balancing the flow of thought from positive to negative and back again.
Understanding this paradoxical reality builds flexibility of mind, allowing you to flow with the inevitable stream of change. And, much to human dismay, change rests in the dance between positive and negative. But if you can perceive it as a dance, it can no longer be a war between the two.
As you develop this flexibility of mind, you will discover a distance arising between your thoughts and your sense of self. This distance shifts your relationship to thinking itself – recognizing it as a function of the mind and not the essence of who you are.
When you think your thoughts reflect who you are, the fight between positive and negative begins. But when you perceive this flow back and forth as a dance, you can put your perception of a war between the two to an end.
Give it a try. Let your thoughts flow through your mind like a breeze through the trees and relax into the space between them. It is here you will find inner peace and the stillness that allow all the magnificent movements of your both beautiful and ugly life to unfold.