Remembering the Good Things
The thing about the human mind is that it always defaults to the negative. When I first realized that, I breathed a sigh of relief. OK, so it’s not just me. I’m not a “negative person,” per se, “I’m just human,” I thought. That understanding still didn’t solve the problem. But it did give me insight.
I pondered, “If the human mind always goes back to stinking thinking,” How can I ever uplift myself on a regular basis? This level of inquiry started for me when I was in my twenties. I was very sick at the time. In fact, I was facing death and I felt scared. Because I didn’t see any alternative, if I wanted to heal, I began to submerge myself in “the positive.”
I bought every self-help tape I could find in the hopes of uplifting myself into a more positive state. The problem was that all this positive self-talk seemed to have a short shelf-life. It worked. I would feel much more positive and confident after being guided on positive-thinking inner journeys, but the old negative thoughts always wanted to once again rear their ugly head.
1. Repetition is the Key
Then I remembered something that Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker, advised. He said, “Of course positive thinking doesn’t last, but neither does taking a shower. You have to bathe daily and in the same way, you have to reinforce positive thoughts.” His wisdom stuck with me. It made sense. I had to keep reinforcing happy, healing thoughts if I wanted them to stick.
Repeating positive statements proved to be very beneficial but still I wondered how can we change ourselves fundamentally to be happier and more peaceful? I realized that in order to create lasting change in any area of our lives, the shift has to occur at a subconscious level. It’s not enough to want something consciously.
2. Tap Into the Power of the Subconscious
So how do you and I access the power of the subconscious mind? Imagery and self-hypnosis are wonderful ways to connect to the inner mind and make change much easier and automatic. We can access the subconscious mind with the imagination. Sandy is a client who was unhappy with her marriage. She came to me to lose weight but her conversation always went back to how stressed out she felt with her husband. I asked her if she wanted to stay in the marriage. “Absolutely,” she declared without missing a beat.
“OK,” I told her, “Then you’re going to have to change how you see him.” She thought that would be nearly impossible. She asked for extra time in her sessions because she was in so much pain over her interactions with her husband and wanted to talk about her feelings.
My heart went out to her, but I realized that there would be no benefit to commiserating with her. If she wanted to stay and turn her marriage around, she had to remember the good things.
I know how hard that can be when you’re mind is so focused on what’s “true.” Typically, however, when we focus on finding truth, we are only seeing things from a very small perspective.
Of course, Sandy had tried to think of the “good things” on her own before she had come to see me. But when you’re only using the conscious, limited part of the mind, it’s often hard to get out of the box of negative thinking. Our negative thoughts seem so logical and justified. And typically when we tell others our stories of woe, they also agree that we’re in a tough dilemma.
While the agreement from others may be comforting, it will do nothing to help you move forward. I guided Sandy within, using a powerful form of self-hypnosis. She began to see her husband with new eyes. She gained insight into how her reactions to him were actually more painful to herself than anything he was doing.
3. Create a New Beginning
She rehearsed being calm, kind, detached and loving around him, no matter what he was doing or saying. She imagined herself confident and happy.
I gave her a cd to reinforce these positive changes. Practicing, in her mind, on a daily basis, remembering the good things about her husband, made her feel much more open, loving and receptive to him. She no longer had to force “positive thinking.” No more white knuckling it. New, positive thoughts flooded her mind.
She delighted in anticipating fun, happy and romantic times together. You can’t force positive thoughts anymore than you can force yourself to fall asleep. But you can plant the seeds of positive thinking in your own subconscious mind by remembering the good things.
Create compelling mental movies of all the good in life you desire coming your way. Close your eyes and enjoy the fantasy. Breathe in goodness, love and laughter. Dare to picture yourself happy. With repetition, these new positive images of yourself will become imbedded into your inner mind, guiding you towards all that your heart desires.
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