Positive thinking says that if we believe we’re amazing, we’ll be just that – amazing, and that we will be able to create great things. This kind of thinking often only creates a hangover. The kind of hangover you have when you’ve polished off a couple of bottle of wines. In thinking so high, so positive, we can awaken a kind of corresponding low. The part of our experience that has been denied (the shadow) speaks up, and loudly. We’re then left oscillating from ‘amazing’ to ‘awful’, and around again. It’s a painful way of trying to find balance.

Positive thinking looks like self-love but it can be more like machoism. Machoism is about finding pleasure in pain. Setting up big visions causes pain because when they don’t happen, or they don’t happen in the way we want, we’re back in the ‘not good enough’ or unworthy space. It’s something that happens unconsciously. We don’t usually decide to consciously inflict pain on ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s something in positive thinking. If we believe we’re worthless, it’s bound to affect our ability to create anything, as we will believe it’s all worthless and therefore pointless.

Then there’s balance, that place between the highs and lows. Genuine self-love is this balanced place.

This kind of self-love

Doesn’t:
1) Set ourselves up with big visions, or believe there is only one way.
2) Demand that we are perfect.
3) Demand we love ourselves 100%.

Does:
1) Have dreams but is also able to hold visions that give space to all outcomes
2) Practice pragmatism. To be pragmatic means to understand there will be hurdles and challenges. We may give up or have to ‘fail’ many times before we get where we want.
3) Practice patience. Patience is the kind of love that watches a child fall again and again, and remains completely present to them, almost without waiting for them to stand again.
4) Accept that we don’t always love everything about ourselves. There’s a place for honestly seeing our blocks and limitations and not loving them all.

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