How do I "face" inner negativity?

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Spectrum
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How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by Spectrum » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi.

I have heard that sometimes, the way to overcome my own inner negativity is to "face" it. As far as I understand, by facing my own grudges and negative beliefs, it should be possible to dissolve them. I have not been able to figure out how to actually do this.

When I feel an emotion that feels painful to me (such as anger, or the feeling that I am unworthy and not good enough), I often try to step outside the feeling, as Tolle suggests, and observe it.

When I do this, I usually find that after a little while, the negative feeling goes away. But I don't feel like I have overcome anything. The feeling slithers away and goes dormant, but the underlying negative belief remains undiminished and lies in wait, return to return later, as strong as ever.

Now, I gather than in order to be fully "present" with an emotion, I need to fully accept it. I realize that I am trying to "accept" my unpleasant-feeling emotions with the agenda of making them go away. I suppose this is not true acceptance. That may be why it doesn't "work". But I feel powerless to change that. I mean, I want to be happy, and thus I have the agenda of wanting to get rid of painful feelings. I cannot see how can I ever change this agenda.

What am I doing wrong? Can someone give advice? Thanks. :)

magicbutterfly
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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by magicbutterfly » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:16 pm

Sometimes when I catch myself feeling sorry for myself or having unhappy thoughts or emotions, I try to find something in front of me, such as a flower on the side of the road or my hand and notice it fully and realize how beautiful it is and how I am grateful for being able to be a witness to its beauty. For that moment I stop thinking about myself and my "story" and am truly happy. Then I try to find the next thing in front of me such as a pattern on the pavement that is interesting. At night when it's dark and I start having dark thoughts, I focus on my breath and watch it going in and out. The thoughts come and go but I know they are just thoughts and I now have control over them - I can follow them or I can choose something else to focus on. Good luck.
"As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease." Ekhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by kiki » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:27 am

Now, I gather than in order to be fully "present" with an emotion, I need to fully accept it. I realize that I am trying to "accept" my unpleasant-feeling emotions with the agenda of making them go away. I suppose this is not true acceptance.
That's right. Any kind of agenda is just a set of conditions for doing something, an expectation, a means to an end.

Acceptance and surrender is facing what is arising without agenda, without expectation, without hope for something different. You face it because by its very presence it's part of what is. Have no judgment about it whatsoever.
That may be why it doesn't "work". But I feel powerless to change that. I mean, I want to be happy, and thus I have the agenda of wanting to get rid of painful feelings. I cannot see how can I ever change this agenda.
When something painful is present then feel it; get into the visceral feeling of it and avoid replaying the story that underlies it. The storyline takes a backseat to the actual feeling of the pain. If the story is indulged it creates a feedback loop that keeps both in place. Since that pain is creating an emotional response felt in the body then they are more "real", in a sense, than the story. It's like giving full permission for pain to be present. That way you are giving room for its energy to play out without interference so that it will expend itself. Replaying the story and believing it only serves to keep the pain alive. So, feel, accept, and surrender to the pain without agenda. The willingness to do that means that if the pain persists then so be it. But one thing is certain, all pain is simply another experience, and no experience lasts forever.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---

Spectrum
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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by Spectrum » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:04 pm

kiki wrote:
That may be why it doesn't "work". But I feel powerless to change that. I mean, I want to be happy, and thus I have the agenda of wanting to get rid of painful feelings. I cannot see how can I ever change this agenda.
When something painful is present then feel it; get into the visceral feeling of it and avoid replaying the story that underlies it. The storyline takes a backseat to the actual feeling of the pain. If the story is indulged it creates a feedback loop that keeps both in place. Since that pain is creating an emotional response felt in the body then they are more "real", in a sense, than the story. It's like giving full permission for pain to be present. That way you are giving room for its energy to play out without interference so that it will expend itself. Replaying the story and believing it only serves to keep the pain alive. So, feel, accept, and surrender to the pain without agenda. The willingness to do that means that if the pain persists then so be it. But one thing is certain, all pain is simply another experience, and no experience lasts forever.
Thanks for the advice.

I am going to need more help here. I cannot do it. I simply can't feel this "visceral" feeling that you are talking about. I have fear and anger and frustration and whatnot, but they are all in my head. I can barely feel anything in my body at all.

I cannot separate the thought from the feeling. As far as I can tell, the thought IS the feeling. When I stop focusing on the thought, the feeling evaporates and leaves just a feeling of nothingness, emptiness. This causes me further distress, because I have the thought that I must be doing something wrong, that I am incompetent. :( And the painful thoughts tend to return as soon as I am not focusing.

I can't figure out how to go about this. I try to feel the feelings in my body, but I just don't feel anything.

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by rideforever » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:27 pm

I can suggest 3 things that might help you :

- feel the emptiness when it arrives ... you will see that it is quite meaningful ... most likely all the anger is hiding inside it

- do a guided meditation ... yoga nidra or something ... which will calm you down so you can be more in touch with your self ... I have a really good one which leads you to scan your body bit by bit ... thumb, first finger, second finger, ...., palm of your hand, back of your hand, forearm ... etc... go around your whole body ... it's very good ... made by ipsalutantra

- listen to Tara Brach she is very calming puts you back in touch : http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tara+brach
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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by jimmyrich » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:53 am

[quote="Spectrum"]Hi.

I have heard that sometimes, the way to overcome my own inner negativity is to "face" it. As far as I understand, by facing my own grudges and negative beliefs, it should be possible to dissolve them. I have not been able to figure out how to actually do this.
>>> Various forms of therapy can teach you how to both "face" and then VENT or safely express negative feelings/thoughts AFTER WHICH they might "dissolve".

re: When I feel an emotion that feels painful to me (such as anger, or the feeling that I am unworthy and not good enough), I often try to step outside the feeling, as Tolle suggests, and observe it.
>> In this "stepping outside" process, you may unwittingly be repressing or denying the feeling and it's purpose or expression. I Observe my feelings just as they are and in doing so, I become my Real Self apart from the feeling WITHOUT suppressing or denying the feeling/emotion.

re: When I do this, I usually find that after a little while, the negative feeling goes away. But I don't feel like I have overcome anything. The feeling slithers away and goes dormant, but the underlying negative belief remains undiminished and lies in wait, return to return later, as strong as ever.
>> It returns because it was not allowed to express or vent it's energy when it showed up so it can be triggered anytime again later on. IMO, you are subtlety using ET's teachings to suppress and deny your feelings.

re: Now, I gather than in order to be fully "present" with an emotion, I need to fully accept it. I realize that I am trying to "accept" my unpleasant-feeling emotions with the agenda of making them go away. I suppose this is not true acceptance. That may be why it doesn't "work".
>>> Yes, because you are unwittingly REPRESSING and BOTTLING UP these powerful feelings that need some kind of expression or venting.

RE: But I feel powerless to change that. I mean, I want to be happy, and thus I have the agenda of wanting to get rid of painful feelings. I cannot see how can I ever change this agenda.
>>> In therapy, I learned that we can not change much about our self until we are SERIOUSLY DEDICATED to doing it and willing to go to any lengths to overcome our issues and difficulties. YOU HAVE TO REALLY WANT TO CHANGE! Another thing I learned was that, even with the best information and advice, we can FAKE IT and corrupt the teachings into just another form of denial and avoidance.

re: What am I doing wrong? Can someone give advice? Thanks. :)
>>> You are not committed enough to making a change in your self or your life!

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by RCharles » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:46 am

What you are trying to do is to let go of a thought. It takes practice, just like any other skill. Each time the thought comes, say to yourself, "I decided not to invest my energy in thinking about that." Then watch the thought leave and other thoughts take its place, or maybe a moment of quiet takes its place. The thought will come back, and you can say again, "Not investing in that, let it go." Eventually, you'll get better at letting that and other thoughts go without having to talk to yourself so much about letting thoughts go, and you'll see that all thoughts are just the busy chatter of the mind, constantly coming and going like traffic on a highway. Nothing to be concerned about and no reason to get hooked into particular thoughts. When you get good at this practice, which does happen over time, you'll feel a certain freedom, knowing that "you" are not the slave of your own mind. Then you can be truly present and enjoy life as it is. :-)

Chuck
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

Spectrum
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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by Spectrum » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:52 pm

RCharles wrote:What you are trying to do is to let go of a thought. It takes practice, just like any other skill. Each time the thought comes, say to yourself, "I decided not to invest my energy in thinking about that." Then watch the thought leave and other thoughts take its place, or maybe a moment of quiet takes its place. The thought will come back, and you can say again, "Not investing in that, let it go."
But this is the opposite of what everyone else in the thread is saying! :(

Tons of people have been telling me I need to go into the feeling and give it my full attention. Now you are telling me that I need to not think about it.

I know you're trying to help, and I appreciate that, but when I get contradictory advice it just makes me feel even more helpless. :(

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by Spectrum » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:56 pm

jimmyrich wrote:In therapy, I learned that we can not change much about our self until we are SERIOUSLY DEDICATED to doing it and willing to go to any lengths to overcome our issues and difficulties. YOU HAVE TO REALLY WANT TO CHANGE! Another thing I learned was that, even with the best information and advice, we can FAKE IT and corrupt the teachings into just another form of denial and avoidance.

...

You are not committed enough to making a change in your self or your life!
This makes me feel even more powerless. How am I ever supposed to do anything about this? I want to be happy more than anything. It takes up virtually all my thinking.

If it's true that I am not committed enough, then how can I ever change my commitment? :(

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by tod » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:40 am

Spectrum wrote: I know you're trying to help, and I appreciate that, but when I get contradictory advice it just makes me feel even more helpless. :(
This makes me feel even more powerless.
Do you see that it is what you have thought about the last 2 posts that make you feel this way? Nothing to do with the posts in themselves. It is what you have thought about them that is the deciding factor in how you feel about them. IOW, watch what you have been thinking immediately beforehand in order to see why you are emoting a certain way at any particular time.

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by theslymoose » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:51 pm

I have read all of the posts in this section and I have to say that I am in the same situation as you right now spectrum. The most useful advice I've found is to find a way to vent those powerful, painful, insane feelings.

With me it seems the more I want change the more painful and more lost I become. I sort of fluctuate between Really being motivated to change to sort giving up. Hope this helps some.

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by tod » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:26 am

theslymoose wrote:I have read all of the posts in this section and I have to say that I am in the same situation as you right now spectrum. The most useful advice I've found is to find a way to vent those powerful, painful, insane feelings.

With me it seems the more I want change the more painful and more lost I become. I sort of fluctuate between Really being motivated to change to sort giving up. Hope this helps some.
TSM, by all means take some very vigourous exercise but this is no substitute for intense inquiry which it appears Spectrum is undertaking. Just note his threads and the number of questions he asks. Being is a position where you know the situation, or the answer, is not being right where the :?: is.

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Re: How do I "face" inner negativity?

Post by DavidB » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:51 am

Thoughts arise from past experiences, habitual patterns associated with emotions, beliefs and ideas that we tells ourselves about the world, ourselves and other people.

When a stressful thought emerges, we simply ask ourselves one simply question.

Is this true? Is what the thought is saying true? Yes/No

How does it make me feel when I believe this thought, and how would I feel if I no longer believed this thought?

Stressful thoughts and emotions arise to alert us and let us know that we might need to do some inner inquiry into what we may or may not be believing to be true. We find our own truth in the wisdom that arises.

Emotions can become negative, painful and cause suffering, when we mistakenly mislabel them.

Anxiety for example is commonly mislabeled as terror, when in reality it is something far more akin to excitement. This is just the mind telling us something that isn't true and for whatever reason, we believed it to be true and it has gone unchallenged. Anxiety in context then may be not only felt in it's fullest but welcomed and enjoyed, as it floods the body with excitement and the aliveness courses through our senses. A bit like the aliveness we feel when we do something exciting like a roller coaster.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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