When you speak about your negative thoughts, does that give them more power?
In emotional healing, it’s not necessarily speaking your negative thoughts and feelings that can create a problem, it is in the way you speak about them that can give them power.
Consider this imaginary scenario with me.
Imagine your negative thoughts as a person in the room with you. Give your thoughts a personality and name—a form of some kind—whatever it takes to make them seem like something other than you for a moment.
For illustration purposes, I’m going to refer to my set of negative thoughts as Bossie. Now imagine that Bossie is quietly sitting in my office with me reflecting on the way her negative thoughts have been limiting her life.
Pretty soon Bossie’s reflections become angry accusations against people we know. Then they become disparaging remarks about me. She’s livid, and everyone is to blame. Sitting in my office feels like sitting in a dark cloud.
When I question her about it, she tells me, she is just venting to get it out of her system, but what I’m noticing is that she isn’t letting go of anything. In fact, she is getting nastier.
Finally, I suggest that Bossie drop into her heart and speak from there if she wants me to listen to her. Begrudgingly, she sinks down into her heart. Now, she begins to cry as she pours out her heart. Occasionally she has a burst of anger, and I listen compassionately. Now she is speaking her pain and her frustration, but it is not directed with venom toward anyone.
She continues to speak, and I continue to listen to her with compassion. If she begins to blame herself or me, I encourage Bossie to go into her heart and speak from there. As she does the blame disappears. The confusion, frustration, sorrow, loss, lack of worth and other such feelings rise to the surface.
I invite Bossie to hold those feelings in her compassion. I encourage her to be truthful about and present to her feelings—from her heart. In time, deeper truths emerge, and she has greater understanding about herself.
Eventually, all that is left is heart-felt compassion for her and anyone involved in her life.
When is a negative thought harmful and powerful?
So, is it harmful to speak about negative thoughts? If you are blaming yourself or another, your negative thoughts and feelings are hurting you. If you feel worse after expressing yourself, you have probably done more harm than good.
And suppressing negative thoughts only internalizes, allowing them to fester inside your mind, heart and body. So you do need to release them, but that can be done without harming yourself or another.
If you are honest with yourself, speak from your experience (not about what makes someone else bad), and most importantly—speak from your heart—you can turn pain into healing.
Negative thoughts are typically based in painful memories. Those memories can be associated with other people who actually harmed you, or at the very least, your young mind perceived you were being harmed. That’s why we tend to blame others for our pain.
As you work spiritually on your emotional healing, you might find yourself choosing to take 100% responsibility for your life. When you do that, as you remember these painful moments, you might find yourself turning the blame inward on you—blaming yourself for the painful things you have experienced.
Thinking and feeling negative thoughts about you or others only builds greater resentment and regrets—the stuff behind many chronic illness. It is perfectly appropriate to feel angry or sorrowful. But, it becomes dangerous when you feed them as though you were putting logs on a fire.
As you speak, if you feel yourself going from angry to enraged or from sorrowful to despondent, you may very well be feeding the negative thoughts and feelings, which takes you further away from healing.
In this case, you are probably caught in a cycle of blame. Blaming keeps you stuck in the negativity and stops healing from occurring. If you feel worse, you are feeding them and giving them more power.
How do you move from blame to true emotional healing?
If you truly want the painful, negative thoughts and feelings to end, you need to honor and hold them rather than feed them. Energetically, this means meeting the negative thoughts and feelings with compassion.
You become the compassionate receiver as well as the one expressing the pain you have been experiencing. Meeting the pain is something you can do silently or expressed out-loud.
Participants who have taken my Sound Healing course frequently use sounding to express pent-up emotional pain, so that is can be expressed and released in a container of compassion.
Any creative modality can serve you in this way, whether your create a safe container in which to express through dance, visual art, scribbling, writing, sounding, singing or drama. A good work-out can also help you release negative thoughts and feelings stored in your emotions and in your body.
Meditation can also serve you in releasing pain. The silence holds it all in compassion. So as you move into the silence, allowing your mind to quiet down, eventually all those tumultuous feelings quiet down too, until all that remains is peace.
Just remember to open your heart in compassion before you begin expressing, so that the pain you are expressing is met with love.
The more you move away from blaming anyone, and honor the painful thoughts and feelings as your teachers, the more quickly you will experience peace and make new choices that support your freedom.
The key to expressing negative thoughts is to recognize your feelings and be honest about them—while holding them in compassion—without blaming yourself or anyone else.
I invite you to try out your own scenario. See if you can give your negative thoughts a personality. What would that personality be saying? Can you encourage this negative part of you to speak and express from the heart, while you listen to in compassion? What happens as you allow those negative thoughts and feelings to be heard and recognized in the presence of your compassion?
If you need some help with a practice that helps you feel your compassion and hold your negative thoughts and feelings, Mohanji shares a beautiful meditation called The Power of Purity. This is one of my husband’s favorite meditations.
You can also use The Holding meditation that I have personally found to be very powerful in honoring, loving and releasing painful feelings. It’s available for free at my Sacred Feminine Awakening website.
In your emotional healing, if you have never tried acknowledging your negative thoughts and emotions while holding them in compassion, I highly recommend it. I’ve seen dramatic shifts take place in healing practices that hold them, without feeding them.