Colonial fireplace (early 1700's), High Falls, NY
Do you think there is some use for things like affirmations, positive self-talk, and focusing on positive things in the moment (especially if you can’t sense yourself at that moment) when you are in a highly negative state, if using it gets you into a positive one and you aren’t identified with it?
I ask this in light of the fact that some negative states, such as the emotion of depression, are highly damaging.
Here we come to the question, what can be of use in the moment, if one is very negative?
I suppose chanting positive things can have a certain palliative effect; and no harm done, if this is all that can be achieved. But there is a dilemma in the question. On the one hand, there is the proposition here that one can’t sense one’s self—unlikely, since sensation is usually heightened in negative states, just in a rather horrid way—and on the other hand, you suggest that somehow one isn’t becoming identified with the way one is dealing with it—already, a considerable inner feat.
I don’t quite buy it.
Generally speaking, I think the kind of energy or action you propose here is weak. It’s largely mechanical; and in my own experience, although every effort to go against destructive negativity is good (and we must do the best we can, weak or not) there is a need to come into relationship with a higher energy if any real effort against negativity is to be possible. Only then, with the help of that inner and sacred action, can a real effort arise.
We don’t know when that will come; but as we align ourselves with angelic energies, they support us more and more, even if we find ourselves bereft and doubt our ability.
Recently, after returning from China, I found myself completely drained; it was without a doubt some of the worst jet lag I have ever had, and it took nearly two weeks to feel better. I was depressed and disconnected from both the energy and my inner work; all I could do was note the intermittent reminders that come in the form of Grace, to show me that I wasn’t completely lost; and all the time the depressive factors that wanted me to believe I had come to the end of some kind of metaphysical rope were active.
I had to bootstrap myself, not by telling myself positive things, but mostly by ignoring the negative ones. This is a bad time of year for inner energy on this half of the planet, anyway; and one has to tough such things out. Indifference to the bad turns out, I think, to be more powerful than affirmation of the good; the key is not to buy into the downward spiral. If one holds where one is, help will come.
I think the point is that coming into relationship with a higher energy is what’s really needed when the negativity arises. Not just a verbal dialog.
Be there in relation to a Force. Then it doesn’t matter so much, what happens.
—Jeanne de Salzmann