With each passing day, I believe more deeply that everything is happening for our highest good. The problem is we can feel mighty low in the moments, days, and months before that becomes apparent.
It’s quite a challenge to remember this optimistic aphorism when feeling lower than a snake’s wiggle, but you can do it. One way is to enlist the help of a friend or relative as a coach. By sharing a positive world view (see other helpful ways of conceptualizing life from “ASK AND IT IS GIVEN” by Esther and Jerry Hicks, along with similar books promoting cognitive behavior therapy and positive psychology) he or she can help you climb out of the despair you may feel as you wend your way through the many faces of grief, or other negative emotions. At first, you may get annoyed when someone even gently suggests that you have felt better and will feel better again, but bear with them. Let them point out how lousy you felt before, maybe even worse than you feel now, and you came out of it.
Everything moves in cycles, including your moods. One day you feel buoyant and the next you’re down in the dumps. It may take hours, days, or weeks for your spirits to lift, but they will. Having someone remind you can hasten the return to peace.
This may sound contradictory, but allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling accelerates its passing. Acknowledging what triggers unwanted feelings enables you to home in on what you do want. The Hicks’ call negative states of mind and rotten experiences “contrast.” They contend bad feelings help you become aware of what you don’t want. If you pay attention to what doesn’t work you can focus on what does.
This isn’t new. Thousands of years ago yogis were practicing setting their intention on something. By zeroing in on what they wanted they were more likely to attain it. In 1969, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon-turned-psychiatrist, wrote a best seller called PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS. Essentially, it pointed out how people who were single-minded in their dedication to a particular goal usually got it. Dr. Maltz’ positive psychology and focus on different ways to cultivate images of success are just as valid today as the yogi’s were millennia ago. (See Affirmations and Litany of Love)
As daunting and unbelievable as it sounds when you are feeling depressed, grief-stricken, furious, or any other negative emotion: You get to choose what you want to feel. Perhaps, in the throes of a crankocidal mood you won’t be able to access or own the thought that all this is happening for your highest good; but, with practice, you’ll come to believe it. You may have to wait until your mood lifts, but each time you acknowledge how resilient you are you reinforce it. By reinforcing your adaptability you come to appreciate your own personal evolution. Eventually, this becomes second nature; so, when faced with a crisis or bad mood, you almost unconsciously turn yourself around.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang