Try this right now: gently rub your palms together in a soothing manner, as before, while also closing your eyes and envisioning something that makes you incredibly happy. Your body is feeling a pleasing sensation and your mind having a pleasing experience. Your body and mind are in sync.
Now change it up: pinch your earlobe as hard as you can, while also closing your eyes and envisioning something that makes you incredibly happy. What happened this time? Your body is feeling a painful sensation but your mind is having a pleasing experience. Your body and mind are not in sync.
Please Try This Even If You Know What Will Happen
Try it in reverse: gently rub your palms together in a soothing manner, as before, while now closing your eyes and envisioning something that makes you very unhappy. What happened this time? Your body is feeling a pleasing sensation but your mind is having a painful experience. Your body and mind are, once again, not in sync.
In the first change up, your body felt pain while your mind experienced pleasure. Since pain and pleasure don’t go together, which was “correct” – your body or your mind? And in the second change up, your body felt pleasure while your mind experienced pain. Which, in the second instance, was “correct” – your body or your mind?
It’s Correct to Feel Pain When Something is Painful
In each instance, your body was “correct” to feel what it felt. Pinching your earlobe is painful, while gently rubbing your palms together is pleasant. Likewise, in each instance, your mind was “correct” to experience what it experienced. Envisioning something happy is pleasant, while envisioning some unhappy is painful.
Since pleasant things are pleasant and painful things are painful, it is not proper to call a body feeling pain “incorrect.” Nor is it proper to call a mind experiencing pain “incorrect.” And, perhaps more importantly, it is not helpful to do so either.
Positive Thinking is Often an Act of Trying to Fool Yourself
Yet we’ve been taught that both painful feelings and painful experiences are incorrect. We’ve been taught to treat painful feelings and experiences as inaccurate. We’ve been taught to alter both of them, forcibly, as if they’re errors needing reform.
What have you been taught, after all, about painful feelings and painful experiences? You’ve been told both are the result of thinking the wrong thoughts. And you’ve been coached to revise painful feelings and experiences by thinking the right thoughts. Positive thinking and positive affirmations are built upon this premise.
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