PREVIOUS: NT (#2)
SITE: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking (balancing perspectives)
Negative Thinking (NT)
Re. Personal RELATIONSHIPS
NT (S-H) prevents us from believing that we:
● can ever deserve love, validation, respect, peace, joy….
● even know what love is, even tho we have indeed loved (children, animals, mates, activities, careers, locations, certain foods / arts …)
● will be liked (much less loved) by healthy ‘normal’ people
● can’t leave bad relationships because it would condemn us to being completely alone (forever)
● have the right to healthy, loving connections (family, friends, lovers…)
● have anything positive to offer others (personality, skills, experience..)
● have the right to look for & interact with accomplished people & other peers whom we could enjoy & benefit from
SEE “The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets” (based on CDs)
Re. OUR BODY
UNTRUE – At one extreme are the ACoAs who are hypochondriacs — a disorder that makes a person believe that symptoms, real or imagined, are signs of a serious illness, even when medical science can prove otherwise. It’s being preoccupied with your health, misinterpreting symptoms which makes them seem far worse than they really are. Illness becomes a part of the hypochondriac’s identity, causing relationships & work problems. It occurs in men and women equally.
This relentless unrealistic NT about our body is a substitute (defense) for not feeling the huge backlog of hidden painful emotions we’ve had bury to survive. And long-term, it harms our immune system (Psycho-Neuro-Immunology).
TRUE – On the other hand, many ACoAs suffer from real physical problems, for several reasons:
• being under constant emotional, mental & spiritual stress as kids, plus physical/sexual abuse, which later creates medical conditions
• hereditary factors in alcoholic families: birth traumas, childhood ailments, mental illness, bad teeth & gums, depression, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, ADD, SAD, EDS, severe food allergies (wheat, sugar…) various auto-immune deficiencies & other chemical imbalances
• as teens & adults – years of addictions, self-abuse & neglect
➼ Whether inherited or self-inflicted – it is imperative that we do not use NT toward our bodies. We must never, ever, curse our cells or wounded parts! If we stay fearful, worried, projecting the worst, OR rage at our organs, limbs, nervous system… the body absorbs that negative energy & may take longer to heal or maybe not at all. (Cartoons re. responses to Physical vs Mental illness)
HEALTHY EXP: Jody had a motor-bike accident which damaged the muscle just above her left knee. Along with Feldenkeris & Brain Gym, she spent time doing Positive Inner Dialogue. She pictured the injury and talked tenderly to her leg – “I love you & am so sorry you’re hurt. I can see the cells repairing themselves using the healing energy I’m sending you. You’re important to me & I need you. I want you to be strong again… ” While the muscle took longer to heal, the limp cleared up right away & all of the damage was eventually repaired.
• This is a more subtle form of NT – thinking & saying bad things about objects, places, events…. anything not alive. Many people think it’s perfectly ok to call things insulting names : ‘Damn that stupid chair! I stub my toe on it every time!’ or ‘My car is such a piece of shit. It’s always breaking down.’
● What’s wrong with that? They don’t have feelings, so what’s the big deal? Well, it’s more of the same – projecting our WIC’s early experiences onto outside objects AND putting out more negative energy, which then gets reinforced by others. Reciprocal negative attraction explains why some people keep moving in the wrong direction, ie. away from ease, comfort & safety in their life.
Reality Check • Since the chair is inanimate, stubbing your toe will have something to do with the placement of the chair and/or the way you move thru space. Nancy Friday, in her autobiography tells of constantly getting black & blue from bumping into things. In therapy she came to see she was unconsciously doing that as a substitute for dealing with her repressed rage at her mother, & punishing herself for having that emotion.
• The car may be old & breaking down, but it’s not the fault of the car. Maybe of the manufacturer, or yours – for not taking better care of it – or it just needs to be replaced & you’re mad & ashamed because you can’t afford to!
So, since ACoAs tend to get things backwards, in order to be emotionally & mentally clean we need to face all the ways we:
— disown our emotions (fear, anger, hopelessness, disappointment….) and then label other people, places & things as bad
— ignore actual observations of harmful events, & then redirect them on to ourselves or on to innocuous situations
When someone is blatantly negative it’s pretty obvious, but people can also be a lot more subtle about expressing it, so others may not even realize how often we’re thinking that way.
TROUBLE letting go of negative thinking/talking (why?)
● it’s strongly imprinted in our brain from years of ‘practice’
● it would require S & I from the family, which is never easy
● denial: we have a hard time noticing how often we talk like that
● we get something out of it (Post: Negative Benefits)
● we don’t see the value in thinking/speaking positively, believing it’s for wimps, pollyannas or dummies (who don’t know what’s real!)
● we think it would be denying / our pain & suffering
● no one would know how bad we had it growing up ……
● we use it to punish ourselves for being imperfect
● it gives us a sense of false ‘control’
NEXT: “Being Negative (Part 4)