I consciously use the law of attraction, I use affirmations, I expect divine surprises and blessings to appear in my life. In my mind, however, there is a limit to the effects of positive thinking. I’ve written about this before (see my post entitled Negative Thoughts at http://kristinrobertson.com/negative-thoughts.htm) but it deserves another discussion.
What I don’t recommend is using positive thinking to repress emotions, or to blame oneself for adversity.
Let’s look at these statements separately.
First, positive thinking and affirmations cannot turn around a situation about which you have unexpressed emotions. Appropriately expressing emotions is the first and most important step to "getting over" a hurt, a slight or any emotionally-charged memory. Countless research studies indicate that repressing emotions is bad for our health, bad for our relationships and bad for our spiritual growth. Expressing emotions in an appropriate way is essential. We must "feel it to heal it", and that means writing/journaling about the situation or talking it out with a loving listener. Only after we have expressed our emotions about a situation are we ready to use affirmations and attract our desire to us.
I was struck this week by reading about how Louise Hays, as described in her book entitled "You Can Heal Your Life", healed herself of cancer. She first sought out psychotherapy to clear some resentment she had been holding about her difficult childhood. Here’s what she says (page 221), "With the help of a good therapist, I expressed all the old, bottled-up anger by beating pillows and howling with rage. This made me feel cleaner." Only then was she able to unleash the power of her self-accepting affirmations. Converting emotions and feelings to words is therapeutic in itself. When we express feelings in words, we transfer memories out of our emotional brain (a relatively primitive but powerful brain system) and into our analytical brain, which processes language and higher cognitive thinking skills. Once we express our feelings in words, we can sense patterns, construct story lines and start to make sense of our emotions.
Secondly, a tunnel vision approach to the law of attraction can cause us to blame ourselves for illnesses and other "negative" life events. As I’ve explained before, I believe that there are aspects of our lives that are beyond the control of positive thoughts. We incarnate with sacred contracts, we are influenced by the intentions of others or bump up against other people’s sacred contracts. These life pillars are learning opportunities for us - we can choose how we react to them, which sets up the law of attraction.
Children who are born with birth defects or serious health issues are prime examples of my point. I cannot believe that negative thoughts of the parents can create serious health issues for a new born child. Rather, that child came into the world with challenges, perhaps previously agreed to or perhaps a result of karma. Blaming either the child or the parents for the situation is counter-productive.Blaming cancer patients for the negative thoughts that might have caused the cancer is likewise counterproductive.
A friend of mine experienced a devastating business loss. She told me that no amount of positive thinking or affirmations helped in her situation. I can understand why - if a business endeavor is flawed from the start, it will probably fail. However, my friend chose a positive reaction to the loss - she learned from it, started over and found a line of work that has been more rewarding to her. Sometimes we need to fail to learn the lesson we need to learn.
The law of attraction is powerful, but it has limits.
What are your thoughts?