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“Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.” ~~M. Esther Harding
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ~~Mahatma Gandhi
“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~~Anais Nin
Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.
Statement #2 in action aids in reducing uncertainty. For those who are not quite sure of embracing a New Life, sobriety and recovery need not be feared; one cannot “catch” sobriety from someone else. However, living life free from alcohol or drugs is a healthy and freedom-inducing approach to life with unending benefits.
Yet, without conscious awareness, negativity can feel contagious. Have you ever been involved in a conversation in which seemingly unending complaining was taking place? How did you feel afterward? Did you walk away feeling uplifted or did you walk away feeling drained? Statement #2 is key to reducing negativity.
Beginning where we are, daily conscious awareness creates a portal for progress. Statement #2 encourages the reduction, not elimination of negativity. It is unrealistic to live life without some sort of conflict; this is where consciousness and growth occur. Nonetheless, it is possible to reduce amounts of negativity and feel a greater of balance.
Here are 4 ways which can aid in reducing negativity:
- Pay attention: Notice your self-talk. When do you encourage yourself and when do you fall into the habit of criticizing?
- Put some distance between any negative self-talk and you: You were not born criticizing your thighs, relationships or actions. Somewhere, somehow you internalized some negative outside influences.
- Interrupt any negative self-talk: You can physically put your hand up…remember talk to the hand? Interrupting the negativity empowers you while revoking the power negative self-talk has held over you.
- Restore your rightful self: Become your own ally and best friend. Affirm your strengths and abilities. Everyone possesses a multitude of skills and unlimited potential. Exercise and flex your encouragement muscle daily.
Hi 4C Women,
My mom complained a lot at one time in her life. I tried expressing how this hurt others and damaged relationships with those who loved her. She listened, agreed and minutes later was complaining as though we never had a discussion. When I first read Statement #2, I realized that my mom’s thoughts had become a habit. There was no real awareness and I knew that if I was to stop the generational complaining, I needed to create a lot of awareness of my own thoughts and words. Statement #2 was a wonderful tool to do just that and, in addition, I also began to understand that my complaining had a lot to do with my internal criticism. WFS taught me to build my self-esteem, kick the “inner critic” off my shoulder as it whispered old, untruthful, negative messages and invest my time in affirming my worth. This was a slow process yet I am so grateful for being willing to change and heal from the negativity habit!
In our meetings, we are guided to provide support and encouragement, not advice or judgment. I began to realize that I use to give a lot of advice and unspoken judgment without understanding that most times people really just want to be heard, encouraged and uplifted. I was not much of an active listener and this was a habit as well. As I finally broke that negative habit, I questioned why I could do this active listening compassionately with others, yet not myself? Negativity did destroy me, my relationships, my self-esteem. I also learned that negative thoughts are part of human nature, as Karen said, we are working toward reducing negativity because conflict is a part of living. In order for me to recognize the difference between outright negativity and something I observed as injustice that I felt needed my voice, I started pausing, observing and deciding which it was. Was I complaining or observing an injustice? How did I approach this observation? Was it with a possible solution or just venting? Did it require a solution or just the need to be heard that feelings were hurt, harm was being done? I also learned that if the latter was the case, I found my voice without expectations. I have shared this often. We need to be our own best friend, protect ourselves from other people’s criticism or negativity. For me, the most important part of finding my voice is that I have let the person know the hurt or harm they have done and while they may not get it or even care, they know I am aware and that it is unacceptable to me. Negativity for me today has such a different meaning thanks to Statement #2.
Bonded in reducing negativity, creating awareness, finding our voice and knowing our worth,
a 4C woman