Exterminate Infestations of Negative Thoughts

Our negative thoughts can feel as if they are reality-based.

Our negative thoughts often feel as if they are reality-based.

Negative thoughts are like termites that chew up and spit out our happiness. Many of us are frequently overwhelmed by such worrisome, anxious, fearful, and hateful thoughts. These thoughts gnaw at the fabric of our life, yet we’re often oblivious to basic knowledge that can eradicate this intrusive infestation.

These thoughts often seem reality-based. Certainly, it’s easy to believe the content of these thoughts. They seem to capture objectively the nature and extent of our plight. When they overpopulate our mind, they can produce an ugly reality, a self-defeating acting out of our negative outlook and worst fears. We must understand, though, that they represent a subjective impression rather than any deeper truth about us or our life.

Before getting to the liberating knowledge, let’s look at a list of common negative thoughts. (This list is bleak and grim, and we can insert a little levity by reading this section as experimental poetry noir.) I’ve separated this list into three categories that are explained further on:

A. Negative thoughts associated with inner passivity: No one understands me or knows what I feel; I’ll never make it; I can’t get started; I’m so weak, helpless, and out of control; I can’t get things together; I can’t finish anything; I don’t think I can go on; I feel like I’m alone against the world; I know I have a serious disease; I’ll never be healthy and happy again; What’s the point of trying?  [Read more...]

The Three Amigos of Woe

Three menaces to health, happiness, and prosperity

The Three Amigos of Woe are not as well known as their compatriots in suffering, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—conquest, war, famine, and death. Yet the three amigos are just as big a danger to health, happiness, and prosperity.

Each of the three amigos—the beggar, the slave, and the orphan—represents a negative, painful state of mind. For most of us, our psyche is contaminated with at least one of these miseries, and many of us are burdened with a trace or more of all three.

The beggar represents those of us who, however bountiful our life may be, suffer with an inner emptiness. It feels as if something vitally important is missing in our life. Even a person’s regular purchase of lottery tickets can be an expression of this mentality. The feeling is, “If only I were rich (or if only I had this or that) I would be happy.” On the surface, beggars are eager to devour or to acquire something, whatever that something may be. Deeper down, they’re on the scent of deprivation.

The beggar mentality is a product of our lingering emotional attachment to feelings of deprivation and refusal. We’re still the little kid who once screamed in angry frustration when he didn’t get something he very much wanted. [Read more...]