Author picture

Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work…….

 

 

 

Mindfulness lets us see through the stories we are believing, know that they are stories, and know that there is another way…..

 

Dear Friends,

 

Has anyone ever told you to “just think positive”, or “only focus on the good” like the problem is that you just can’t see the good? Well, I am all for shifting perspective and seeing the abundance that surrounds us everyday simply because our brains are wired to look for threat ie. the negative. However, do we skip over feeling bad, ignore our pain and plug on in a tunnel of positive thinking and smiles?  If you’ve tried that, you will know that it can work temporarily but not necessarily in the long run. Alas, what we resist does tend to persist.

I have found that those people who reach a place of real peace and contentment in their lives have often gone through tremendous hardship and pain. And those who are most interested in exploring what makes us happy, have also figured out they must be equally interested in exploring the dark corners of our own personal messy mosh pits: 

 

 

However, there is a difference in attitude towards pain. Mindfulness helps us accept it, be with it and also take appropriate action if necessary. 

Many people who are suffering wonder “Will I ever bounce back?, “Will I ever be ok?”, and “Peace seems so far away.” 

I think about people like Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the unshakable Edith Eva Eger (click to find out more) or Viktor Frankl who survived Nazi death camps, and many, many more for whom happiness, peace, health and security was out of their hands for years. But their attitude wasn’t. The difference was that they continued to see moments of beauty, kind guards, humanity, even in the worst possible conditions. More importantly, they took their past experiences and like a slingshot, didn’t waste a minute in catapaulting it into goodness when they were able to.

 

To see the goodness we need to see what’s not good.

To feel peace, we need to feel what it’s like to not feel peace.

To experience a whole human life, we need to experience the whole spectrum. If we’re only playing the middle keys of the piano, our song is limited.

Do I encourage pain and suffering? Hell, no. 

But if that has been part of your experience, it’s ok. 

It’s never too late.

 

Sometimes those who have experienced the depths of trauma and despair are the ones to come back faster, with an intensity that propels them into the heights of joy, beauty, and forgiveness of the human experience. This is emotional agility, a key factor in navigating a good life.

Don’t resist the bad parts. Just remember they are only parts of a whole. Hang in there.

Don’t despair. Time is not a factor. 

Nelson Mandela changed the world at 78.

Seek help, reach out, or simply find some compassion for yourself.  

Here is a great practice on self-compassion from Tara Brach that might help: https://youtu.be/QftzsExzgsw

Change your world today. Accept all that is, the good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s not your job to change the past. It’s your job to accept the present to affect the future.

To a life complete with ups and downs,

 

Madeleine

 

” You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work…….”

  1. Thanks..always had trouble with the just smiling, everything is great response…it hasn’t felt authentic…loved the Buddha quote..need that reminder

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Madeleine's Most Recent Posts

For When You Feel Stuck and Worried…. Again!

First of all, this is what I do when I feel stuck, or blocked. Yup, that’s about it. Ok, now let’s dive in….. Good morning everyone,  I am down in Vancouver on a road trip to see the World Cup Rugby Sevens. Yes, it seems unlikely for me, considering none

Read More »

Anger is Valuable, Hate is Hate: Know the Difference

Anytime you feel uneasy, you can’t breathe, you are tight and anxious, worried… breathe into your belly and get curious.. what emotion am I feeling?  This IS the healing. Lately, I have been working with many people around the energy of anger, usually either to safely feel and release suppressed,

Read More »

The Great Contraction

You might say… why am I talking about contraction when I teach all about expansion? The simple answer is: you can’t have one without the other, and both are equally important.  Like a jellyfish, you can’t know expansion without contraction. This is life itself, the pulsating throb of the heart

Read More »

The Dark Night of the Soul

When I awoke this morning the sun was streaming in my window at our small cabin. Outside, the leaves were gently falling from the giant chestnut tree, wave were lapping at the shore and I could see a slight breeze was blowing.  This time of year is magical for me.

Read More »

Subscribe For Peaceful Insights

Top Posts

Want To Know The Truth About Anxiety?

Madeleine’s Archived Posts