The Danger of Repression
by Madisyn Taylor (Daily OM)
When negative thoughts arise it is best to address them rather than pushing them down where they will surface again.
For the last several years, there has been a lot of focus on the power of positive thinking. Many people have come to misinterpret this wisdom to mean that it is not okay to have a bad mood or a negative thought or feeling. This can lend a kind of superficiality to their relationship with life and relationships with other people. It can also lead them to feel that if a negative thought or feeling comes up, in themselves or someone else, they must immediately block it out. When they do this, they are engaging in the act of repressing a part of themselves that needs to seen, heard, and processed.
When we repress parts of ourselves, they don’t go away so much as they get buried deep within us, and they often come out when we least expect it. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to be fully human, honoring all the thoughts, feelings, and moods that pass through us on a given day, we create a more conscious relationship with ourselves. Instead of blocking out thoughts and feelings that we label as negative, we can simply observe them and then let them go. They only get stuck when we react to them negatively, pushing them down and out of sight where they get lodged in our unconscious minds. A healthier solution might be to develop a practice of following any negative thought we may have with a positive thought. This works well because positive thoughts are many times more powerful than negative thoughts.
Rather than setting our minds up in such a way that we become fearful of the contents of our own consciousness, blocking out anything that is less than 100 percent positive, we might resolve to develop a friendlier attitude toward ourselves, trusting in our inherent goodness. When we recognize our true inner worth, a few dark clouds passing through our minds will not intimidate us. We will see them for what they are–small, dark figures passing through an expansive sky of well-being and truth.
Of course, it is easy to dictate what is right and what is wrong; what to do and what not to do; but we must be mindful of our own thoughts and actions. It is a wonderful experience to help other people, but I also believe we have to be cognizant of applying our teachings in our own daily lives. After so many years of habitual thinking, I still catch myself reverting back to the same negative thought patterns. Since I am aware of this now, I am able to quickly dismiss them or change them into positive thoughts. I am a disciplined person, and I am improving my life every day. I am coming to expect this of you…
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2).
When we are not our best selves, we can view people, things, and situations in a negative way. If we want to transform our lives, we have to renew our minds. When we change our way of thinking, we can discern what is true and righteous.
Your whole life revolves around what is going on inside of you. What you are thinking, what you are believing, what you are feeling, what you are intending, what or who you are connecting with spiritually, and what you are physically putting into your body. Your inner world is attracting your outer world. The path to power begins with awareness. Only when you become ‘aware’ of what needs to be changed within yourself can you make changes in your life. As always, positive changes bring positive results.
Have you ever stared steadily into another person’s eyes for just a few minutes but what seemed like an eternity? Eyes can be piercing and intimidating to others. The eyes are the greatest connection to the flesh’s soul. They can be fierce, intense, and passionate. The eyes are clear indicators of what we are thinking and feeling. They express love, sadness, happiness, lust, strength, violence, etc. Gaze into the eyes of a person, and you will see through to the depths of their being. The eyes can tell a lot…