POSITIVE OUTLOOK: What You Seek, You Shall Find
There are many things that we know in this big beautiful life. We understand things, we learn from our experiences. When what we know is working for us, we have no reason to question it. One of the things that I thought I knew I realized I didn’t actually know at all. I didn’t really know it until I learned it again through a personal revelation.
The way we look at things is what shapes our experience. Simple, right? We know this. Wayne Dyer put it perfectly when he said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Well, I have found that sometimes we do not even realize we need to change the way we are looking at things. Many times, we just go through the experience without even questioning how we are looking at the situation. We are reactionary in nature, and it was not until I was so tired of feeling upset about a particular subject, that I realized, “Hey wait a minute. I don’t have to feel like this.” While I could not change the actual situation that was causing me to be upset, I absolutely could change the way I looked at it! Despite what reactions those external stimuli were signaling in me up until that point, I could decide to change how I saw the stimuli. Again, this seems pretty elementary. We already know this. Or do we?
When we are in a moment, it is easy to be swept up in the automatic responses we feel. It takes a conscious effort to look for the positive in things. When my situation presented itself, I knew that I should change the way I looked at it, but I simply could not. It almost made me more frustrated to try to look at what very clearly angered me, and try to not be angered by it! And that’s when I figured it out. It is not about changing the thought about the particular subject. It is changing the feeling associated with the thought. The situation is what it is, and we can’t deny that we have preferences and opinions about things. However, if we make a conscious effort to look for something positive, while at the same time acknowledging the thoughts and feeling we are experiencing, we almost give ourselves permission to feel something else. It may sound a little crazy, but try it!
When you are having a negative response to something, validate your feelings about the subject, and then switch gears. Find something positive you can do in response to the situation; find a way to still feel good despite the situation. For me, once I actually did this and witnessed a change in how I was feeling in the midst of the same issue, I understood what I already intellectually knew. Admittedly, I still did not like the situation, but I found things within it that I could enjoy, and from that point on I went about handling myself in the situation very differently. Once I started looking for the positive, I began to feel positive. It works!
Again, it’s not about trying to turn something that you view as negative into suddenly being positive. It is about finding something else within it that does feel positive, and focusing on that. With practice, this gets easier and easier. Validate your feelings, even if they are negative, and then use your thoughts to generate a better feeling. Look for the positive, and you will find it!
Denise Scarbro holds a BA in Psychology from North Central College and has been studying the work of various teachers; such as, Abraham-Hicks, Debbie Ford, Byron Katie, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and many more, since 2006. Denise writes regular entries for her blog, Peel The Onion, and is currently working on her first book. Denise lives in a suburb of Chicago with her two children and several family pets.
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