Dr. William K. Larkin
We can learn from positive emotion or we can learn from negative emotion, but we WILL be given the chance to learn from one or the other.
You may even know some who seem to learn from neither one.
I choose to learn from positive emotion. It’s a powerful way to build the “emotional architecture” of my brain in an UpSpiral.
I never pretend to be happy,
I don’t have to.
I never pretend to have positive emotions.
They’re just there.
I don’t have to convince myself that there can be a positive outcome to a negative situation.
I know there always is, and over and over and over again, like the agility of a perfect Olympic dismount, it lands me on my feet.
Here’s the decision we have to make.
I OWN my world and my emotional reaction to it. I will build a muscle of peace so strong that I can flex that muscle on call, by my own choice.
I have decided to use any small negative event as a cue to go to peace. And I pulse it: peace, peace, peace, peace, peace.
Rooted in a decision not be controlled by conditions outside of me, I practice this until my positive neuropathways are stronger than my negative ones.
It is not that I repress my negativity. That is not the problem here. It is not that I deny it. It is that I choose to do a different thing with negativity when it happens.
I choose to go to peace, peace, peace, peace, and the emotional muscle of going to it with immediacy.
I can get to peace as quickly as I can get to anger and anxiety if I practice it.
For me, it is exactly the same as meditation. I learn that I can LET GO of the negative and have a different response.
I’m not denying. I’m choosing differently.
It is the cumulative little things that get on top of us. It is the cumulative little things adding up, one after another, that become the many straws that break the camel’s back.
And it is all because our negative emotions are undisciplined, and our positive emotions are flabby and weak.
There has to be an early decision to live a style of life where the conditions “out there” are not going to have as much control as the muscles of good emotions on the inside of us.
But they have to be grown, developed, and exercised.
Don’t deny negative experiences, but instead make a decision for emotional facility and true emotional agility. Use a negative event as a cue to practice FEELING a positive feeling, growing it, flexing it, strengthening it.
What possible good do you think it does you to get irritated and frustrated, and even hopeless, over “the little things?”
How do you want to feel?
How many positive emotions and for how long and how much do you want to feel them during your day?
How about practicing a different emotion all day long?
Take for example gratitude.
What if you intentionally practiced feeling gratitude all day long for 3 days?
Then try out hope for three days, just practice feeling hope.
You can choose what you feel, and you will find that what you feel defines who you are more than anything else about you.
How you feel will affect how you think, how you behave, and how you interact with life.