“The philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful; it means being dishonest. It means seeing a certain thing and yet denying what you have seen; it means deceiving yourself and others.” -Osho
Of the many traps we can fall into on our journey towards better emotional resilience, positive thinking is a clever mirage that can lead us even further into the dark.
A common topic these days is the power of manifestation and the law of attraction. "Think rich and become rich" is the promise, and if that doesn't work for you, well you must still have some limiting negative thoughts. For 1% of the population, things might pan out this way and it may seem like the positive thoughts were the cause of the good fortune. Sometimes someone may actually wish for something and receive it, but 99% of the time, our wishes will not be fulfilled by the sheer power of positive thoughts, and this outcome will have nothing to do with whether the thoughts they had were majority positive or negative.
Positive thinking attempts to erase the negative, when both sides are needed for balance and wholeness. Positivity goes against awareness and asks that you choose what it is you want to see and what you don't want to see, rather than surrender and accept what is. It will only repress your awareness and cause an imbalance. At a certain point these repressed emotions will come out, there's no way around them. By smiling when you feel angry or laughing when you feel sad, you're being insincere to yourself and others.
When you feel an emotion, whether you deem it to be good or bad, you must bring it into your awareness and see it fully for it to pass through. By choosing to not see emotions when they are present, they will stick around waiting for a time to be released, and it will never be the "right" time. There's nothing honorable or stoic about faking our way to appearing outwardly like happier people when on the inside we still haven't dealt with the cause of our unhappiness. To live a life full of authenticity means to ride the ups and the downs, not holding any attachment or deriving any sense of identity from either the peaks or the valleys.
There are also those who have a negative philosophy, though they often don't talk about it like the positive thinkers do because there's not as big of an audience for that kind of talk. Negative thinking is just as much as of a limiting belief as positive thinking. In fact, a negative world view is often what causes the clinging to the positive in the first place. They are two sides of the same coin and both views miss the big picture.
Don't limit your awareness by choosing a side, instead choose the full experience. Life has so much more to offer beyond our futile attempts at deciding which thoughts, actions or events are positive and which are negative. There is a place beyond these dualities that exists only in your full awareness to the present moment and all that it has to offer. It's in this acceptance of the full spectrum of everything life has to offer that we can experience the wonder that is being. ☯