Out-dated, negative beliefs not only distort reality, but also often suggest that what is morally, sometimes criminally offensive is actually debatable.
Of course, we have different opinions, belong to different backgrounds, and so on. But the truth is, positive and negative are opposites. When one is present, the other is absent. As for the old adage that there is good in everything ... Maybe, but the two cannot co-exist.
That's why it's high time to take responsibility for our own thinking, particularly when it's self-centred and fear-driven, hailing from the monster within. This does, however, mean letting go of past, limiting beliefs, even those not perceived as negative, and changing the way we think about some matters; a non-starter for many.
Letting go of limiting beliefs often means seeing negative thinking for what it is: delusional, childish thought that runs the show; i.e., staying in a job that makes you miserable; putting up with an unsatisfactory relationship etc. When we do, limited thinking becomes a way of life. We tell ourselves that it's really not that bad; it's life. And sometimes, as a desperate measure, we blame others.
In the case of tragedy, loss or illness, we might feel that infinite negativity is justified, because the situation is beyond our control. Frankly, I'm not qualified to expound on tragedy, ill-health or disability, but I'm well-positioned to say that able-bodied adults can decide how they cope with given situations, either negatively or positively.
And if we want to, we can get to the bottom of matters. That's the next step to letting go of limited thinking. Asking why we have these particular negative thoughts and excavating an answer can be the difference between staying stuck or moving forward.
The subject of deliberately remaining child-free got so far under my skin that I decided to base my first novel, The Barrenness, on it. What was the big deal? It was a personal lifestyle choice, that's all. Still, I worried and feared being alone in old age. Hence, I attracted rude people who confirmed my fears and beliefs. Others thought the notion taboo, and some insisted that I was being untrue to myself, no matter what I said. Babies became my soulmates, and still are: they love me; I love them, too.
Soon I learned it had to do with culture, family of origin, childhood, and so on. Deep beliefs, cultivated long before I was born, were at the centre of my mind's eye. Then I read somewhere about doing a family values tree of sorts, and saw clearly that one of the highest values in my family is having children.
That, together with Southern convention, fairy tales and global beliefs, determined my thinking, my experiences.
What was I to do? I had to reprogramme my thought processes: another step to getting rid of limited thinking. In the end, I adopted the theme 'finding happiness in your own space, with or without children' ... and obsessed over it.
This did the trick. I rarely look back, but when I do, I remind myself of the new reality. The old one no longer serves me, if it ever did.
As for changing the way we think about some matters it's even harder, particularly if we are talking fundamentals.
During my research, I've read a range of books, and found at least one totally inconsistent with my values and beliefs; The Teachings of Abraham. Actually, I couldn't read it. I quit. But, determined to leave negativity behind, I kept researching.
Author Pam Grout talks about resistance in her best-selling book E-Squared. We often struggle, both internally and externally, when trying to change a major belief, particularly if it's a global one. She illustrates this with her present concept of God compared to what she grew up believing.
Personally, I disagree with some of what she says, but that's not important. What is important is that major change sometimes means challenging old beliefs and accepting new ones that lead to positive change. Much like thinking, only you can do this from the inside out.
Fair enough. But what about some practical tips? Here are three:
1) The law of attraction is no secret and never has been. What comes around goes around; you reap what you sow, etc. The more I thought about the child matter, either positively or negatively, the more attention it attracted. This is why worry is a let-down.
2) Prayer, on the other hand, is gratifying. Other forms of supplication, such as meditation and affirmation are as well, so I'm told. I haven't mastered them yet. In any case, clearing the mind and connecting with the higher self and thus, God, is effective for calming and centring. The Genie Within offers an excellent chapter on how to attain the best state of mind when appealing.
3) To see the results of prayer, faith is necessary. In my case, faith in God. Some call this an infinite intelligence, while others call it an energy field. The point is that there is more to life than meets the eye. The key, however, is to really believe in whatever you believe.
Once, at airport security in the Philippines, I was asked to open my carry-on bag, which was not even locked. Try as I might, I couldn't open it. Eventually, men with guns were standing around me, watching.
At first, I panicked, but when I relaxed and prayed under my breath, it popped open without any further prodding.
I know, I know ... The jammed lock unstuck, right? Yes it did, but how? An act of faith? The power of the subconscious mind? Positive thinking? You decide.
Meanwhile, I'm busy packing the monster's baggage and making room for my personal genie. It's time to get with the new programme.
Do join me. You'll be glad you did.