When things ‘look’ bad : some thoughts on perception and mindfulness!

Head stream

I am thinking about perception today.  What it is that makes some of us see sunshine and rainbows while others heads are full of clouds and storms even when the sun is shining.   I seem to have a state of mind in which things can become negative.  I am no fan of false ‘positivity’.  I actually think it can be very damaging to be told you need to look on the positive side of a very damaging, abusive or heart breaking situation and yet there is usually some kind of silver lining if you are not totally inundated by negative experiences and abuse which, after all, is where so many of us find ourselves at the start of a hard healing journey.

If friends or emotional support or a good validation are absent it can become even harder.  In my own case I have seen a very entrenched suicidal depression lighten over the past few years as my connections with positive, connected and validating people have grown, still at times I also battle inner forces and perceptions that focus on decay and the dark side, particularly when I am alone in my home.  It can seem as though decay surrounds me, that I am not ‘keeping on top of things’ as others do.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to have things looking good and I am also aware at times that I do get pulled into addictive bad habits which is when a positive inner parent needs to step in to nurture and take care of my wounded inner child in more loving ways.

Wounded child is not a great place to spend heaps of my time if love isn’t being given in some ways to make things better, and so often that love has to come from inside me in terms of my self talk.   But its a fine line between imposing positive self talk and being able to be with what is arising when it is painful and difficult while giving it space without allowing the ‘bad’ to dominate my consciousness.   These days I spend less time in these states and encourage myself to see if there is some kind of positive solution, something I can do to ease the loneliness and pain or the negative thoughts when they can begin to dominate especially those thoughts are being driven my other thoughts that are perfectionistic in nature.  And I guess at base this is practicing a kind of mindfulness around my inner thought processes while tapping into a more loving, nurturing witness being inside that can raise rather than lower my vibration.

I notice the critical negative thoughts seem to be triggered for me when I return home to my house alone after being out.   The inner critic is so powerful at these times that I nearly lose consciousness of the ‘good’.  I guess becoming aware of this pattern is the most important thing for me, for once I can see and name it : that is the first step towards making a change.

I was thinking today of how helpless and passive and hopeless I used to feel in my life.  I truly felt I had no power. It was such a terrible place to live and when I see it in others my heart aches for there are people out there in situations where their power has been stolen and there is not a lot of support.  I can’t afford to have a Pollyanna view of these situations of real suffering such as the plight of refugees on Manus Island.  Seeing these kinds of situations can put my own into perspective. The lonely tough days can be hard but there is usually something I can do and some way to comfort myself.  Today I reminded myself that the things that sometimes look ‘bad’, are not really.  A bit of mess or broken things lying around is not ‘bad’ : the feeling that it is all comes out of my conditioning.  Mindfulness reminds me of a different perspective, one that can build me up rather than tear me down inside.

4 thoughts on “When things ‘look’ bad : some thoughts on perception and mindfulness!

  1. I agree and feel the same. I finally had a therapist tell me I didn’t need to practice daily affirmations when I didn’t believe or feel them. Instead, I needed to sit with the bad feelings and acknowledge them rather than try to push them away, ignore them, or self medicate them away. That was such a relief! And I think that strategy has been so helpful in my healing process. It somehow makes it easier to move on to positive thoughts/actions. Thanks for posting ❤

  2. This was lovely to read. It gave me some perspective as well. With my DBT therapist (my OT) I’m working on core mindfulness skills, which I’m finding are slowly but surely making me more present. More mindful of my inner world and feelings, as well as the external. Mindfulness is actually such a powerful force. ❤

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