I strive to crank out positive thinking and positive energy as much as the next person. Everything happens for a reason. Here we grow again! I will survive.
What if while you’re exclaiming one of those cheerful sentiments, you’re absolutely furious with yourself for even having to deal with such a matter in the first place? What if you think you should know better by now? What if you think things would be better if you had just tried harder? What if you’re judging yourself up, down, and side-ways?
Let’s set positive thinking aside today and shift the focus to being easier on ourselves and each other. No matter what. Compassion.
Positive thinking is a set of words. Love is a feeling. Love is a state of consciousness.
In the face of challenges, expressing unconditional love for yourself and others is the ultimate form of positive energy.
Two questions arise out of that statement. What gets in the way of unconditional love? How do we feel it and express it more often?
Answer #1: What prevents us from expressing unconditional love is the part of ourselves that buys into the illusions of the physical world. In short, the good ol’ ego.
Our ego isn’t the real us, but it is part of us. Our ego is the busy part of us that is entrenched in our physical world’s collective belief system (the “dream” as its been called) that to feel good about oneself and others, “good” things must be happening. Acceptance and love hinges on what we do and what we have. Therefore, let’s get crackin’! We alone aren’t enough. If we’re going to be accepted and loved, we need to host another dinner party soon, damn it.
Lord knows that the voice of the ego can even pop into the heads of the most positive people at any point. When you get out of bed in the morning, it might be standing there at the foot of your bed with its arms crossed looking completely unimpressed. “Well, look who’s finally up.” You have a shower…you get dressed…and then you might hear another editorial comment come you way….”If you were 15 pounds thinner and got some new clothes, you would turn some heads again…and hey, it’s about your hair….you need new highlights if anyone is going to think you’re attractive and interesting…just saying.“ As you get into your car, you might hear that voice again… “You still driving this piece of crap? At this point in your life you really should have a much nicer car.” As you go about your busy day your ego chimes in once and while…“I can’t believe you forgot to copy yourself on that email…when will you ever get your act together?” “I know you don’t want to, but you have to go out for lunch. Everybody else is going! It won’t be a good look if you don’t go.” “I can’t believe you made that lame joke to your boss just now – why do you always mess up when it counts?” “You’re leaving? To go to yoga? Hey, doing those weird poses isn’t going to get you ahead in life!”
Being hard on yourself. Doing stuff only because you think you should. People pleasing. Trying to measure up. Thinking you don’t have enough. Not feeling that you are enough just the way you are.
Let’s be honest, even if you’re a positive thinker, negative self-talk makes you bitchy.
Expressing love isn’t about eradicating our ego. To have an ego is a natural part of the human experience and to push it away makes it stronger and to judge it isn’t an act of unconditional love. Our job is to love all parts of us (yes, even the ego) and then be discerning about what voice to believe.
Which brings us to answer of the second question…
Answer #2: To feel and express unconditional love is a constant act of consciousness. Remember who you really are.
Our true nature is love. When we come into this world we’re present, excited, and playful beings. Even when a baby is screaming it’s head off, it’s a primal reaction (rather than emotional). No one ever looks at a crying baby and says, “That baby is being so bitchy today!” Babies captivate practically everyone on the planet, but have you ever wondered why? Yes, they’re cute, but that’s not entirely it Have you ever wondered why almost everyone on the planet loves being around babies? It’s the same reason people love having pets – they don’t give you attitude! It goes a bit more beyond that, but that sums it up – we just can’t get enough of the peaceful and joyful state that exists without any judgements, expectations, or attachments.
You might be skeptical right now. You might be thinking, “Of course it’s easy for babies to be joyful and peaceful because they don’t have to go to work! I’d be joyful and peaceful if I didn’t have any responsibilities and my day consisted of eating, pooping, and drooling!” Yes, it does come easy to babies as much time hasn’t passed since their birth and so the illusions of society haven’t gotten at them and the voice of their ego hasn’t led them away from their true nature yet.
When you’re a busy adult, exuding that same joyful and peaceful state is an act of awareness. Can you have your job and your responsibilities and face all the challenges that come at you in your adult life, and see the ego for what it is and know that despite the illusions of the physical world, we are here to express love for ourselves by being mindful that everything that unfolds is an opportunity to remember who we really are.
We’re not here to be positive. Being positive is like a bonus round on a game-show. Our one purpose is to express love in this physical realm in the midst of all the worldly dramas. We’re here to observe and take part in events and situations that give us and others opportunities to remember who we really are! With that known, we see the perfection in everything. Trusting that perfection, knowing that we come from love, being exactly who we really are and expressing love unconditionally are the only true obligations we have to fulfill in this life.
Positive thinking is wonderful, but when challenges come our way, I’m more interested in how we feel about ourselves and others. Can we choose compassion each time? Can we reclaim our true nature and seize the moment to express unconditional love? If you have an upbeat slogan or cheerful sentiment to go along with that, all the better.
Big Unconditional Love,