Negative emotion as a precursor to real change

Real change happens in the trenches, where the war is actually being fought.

Real change takes one on a journey of leaving behind the old completely and embracing the new ‘completely.’

Real change always begins with destruction and ends up at integration. 

Gurdjieff, that wise rascal, a teacher of teachers held that all negative emotion is artificial and self induced as a result of various conflicting expectations, illusory ideas and attachments. He also held that one needs to necessarily move through the negative levels in order to discard it and use it to create a more integrated Center of being. This is because from an emotional perspective, negative emotions are stronger, carry greater momentum and are easily suggestible…meaning that it is more contagious amongst the human population. Simply put, there is more negative emotion out there that we likely understand and our collective denial of it, will not help us feel connected to Nature and to each other. 

To begin to release the negative emotions and create a space for real change, one must first look at the sources, the springs from where the black water is spouting. Sources are both internal and external and while we may not have much control over the external, we sure can do something about the internal. The major internal sources are the tonality of our internal dialogue, the images and memories that float in our mind and the image we hold about our bodies. Cumulatively, at one extreme, you have someone who utterly resents and hates himself. On the other extreme, you have someone who has spurts of negativity and guilt and an inferiority complex. In the first case. Changing the external environment does not help because the negativity is absolute and has been deeply internalised. In the second case,  a change in external environment will likely reduce the triggers and eventual frustration being caused.

One great way to deal with all negativity is to stimulate th feeling of accomplishment. For instance, going on a 30 day challenge to perform a difficult task daily. For me, presently, it is writing 30 blog posts in 30 days and walking after dinner for 30 days straight. What this strategy also does well is removes your attention from the negative, from th voice inside that is feeling beaten and hurt, and onto the task at hand. Become a process oriented person. Tie your accomplishments with a ribbon to a greater meaning and this kinship will drive you towards your desired state. 

More on negative emotion and it’s artificial-ness in part 2 of this piece.

For now, what is your 30 day challenge? 

Stay healthy,

Avi

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