• Marcia Woodfield

Staying Positive

Staying positive and keeping a positive perspective through difficult times can be an important practice to keep us from getting too disconnected and out of flow with the Universe. Negative feelings can overwhelm us or bring us down in a way that takes us out of alignment. Pretending that everything is ok when it's not and attempting to push through it without reflecting on the negative feelings that are coming up can also take us out of alignment. Even our positive feelings sometimes need reflection if they pull us away from our own sense of ourselves, or if we rely too heavily on how someone else makes us feel in order to stay positive. It's not that it's "bad", and sometimes kind, reassuring words about who we are can be much needed reminders when we're heading down a rabbit hole of negativity. Ultimately, we want to know and feel secure in our own self worth, self power, and self love.

There is a grand flow of the Universe that is ours to trust in...even when we feel disappointed, discouraged, unloved, angry, sad or forgotten. Many of us have had very difficult things happen in our lives that just threw us off completely from being able to remember that the universe has our back, that it is supporting us even in hard times. Because of the circumstances, we weren't able to hold on to that perspective. So now there may be some work for us to do to bring ourselves back to knowing what is true about ourselves. It isn't ours to take on all alone, we need other people and community can play an important role in our healthy functioning. But we are the ones that get to decide that we want it to be different and decide to nurture our own self understanding so we can stay connected to that universal flow and maintain a positive perspective.

What is the difference between staying positive in challenging times and pretending that everything is ok when it isn't? Staying positive doesn't have to mean we don't feel our feelings. If we are not feeling particularly positive about something, we don't have to pretend to feel otherwise, but we also don't have to be bound to those feelings either. Sometimes we feel very attached to how we feel, even our negative feelings. Wanting to hold tight to a particular feeling is usually our ego wanting to take a front seat. Our feelings can be useful in showing us places that we've been avoiding or that need our attention to clear out. They might be an opportunity to release something toxic that's keeping us stuck. They can also be a guide to clarity, but we don't always have to take action on them. And sometimes they show us a clear action to take. If we end up taking a thoughtless action based on our feelings, it can oftentimes mean that someone else gets hurt in the process. Even when that happens, we are hurt too because we stay stuck in defending our actions and feelings and it can feel even harder to get free of what's holding them in place. When our feelings are overwhelming, we don't always know what to do with them. We don't have to pretend we're not having them but we can always look for a perspective on them. That might mean taking some breaths and just sitting with it for a bit, seeing if we can find any truth in it. It might mean talking with a friend to hear their perspective if our own is hard to come by. Or we might just need to be listened to for a little while as we figure it out for ourselves.

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves when we are looking to find perspective about a particular feeling, negative or positive:

- Have I felt this feeling before?

- Is this feeling about the present moment?

- How is this feeling useful?

- How is it not useful?

- What is the perspective I want to have about this feeling?

Bringing awareness to our feelings and emotions is not always comfortable or easy. It can take some deciding and redeciding to keep looking at those places that we put aside for a reason. Spending time doing that, while tuning in to the Universal energy that is around and within us can give us a supporting perspective to start from and go back to when we need it.

Take some time this week to notice when negative feelings come up and try just sitting with them, not judging them, and see what might be behind them. Are they telling you something needs to be done? Or are they showing you something that needs attention? Whatever you are feeling, know that the Universe is loving you and supporting you to find your path to awareness and understanding and you are well on your way to knowing your full self through that connection.

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