A Question of Attitude

Posted on by Sen.



The difference between a person who stays a prisoner to the negative momentum in the mind, and a person who moves towards freedom from it, lies in the attitude – the former is always buying into the negativity of the mind, while the latter is never defending negativity at any moment. Attitude is a matter of choice and you can change your attitude towards negativity at any point, no matter what your circumstances, no matter what your genetics, no matter what your perceived limitations. People who defend negativity cannot be free of it, it just doesn’t work that way – you can’t defend negativity and move towards freedom from it at the same time.

You have to make choice – are you willing to commit to the process of freedom from the negative momentum in the mind or would you rather sit doubting the possibility of freedom? Without this commitment you will find it really difficult to ride through the phase of allowing the negative momentum in your mind to ebb away, and allowing the release of the suppressed negative energy of the past, the detox phase as I call it.

The attitude of defending negativity

I can’t emphasize how important it is to have this commitment towards not defending negativity at any cost. If you defend negativity you are directly fueling its presence in your mind. See if you can find any of these patterns of thought in you, which reflect that you may be defending the negativity in your mind.

– Something negative happened in the past and you keep using it as an identity by fixating on it. May be you went through abuse or had a dysfunctional upbringing, and your mind has created a negative ego identity, which you keep refueling by focusing on it.

– You keep thinking that other people have it better than you, that life has been unfair to you. You hold a bitterness towards life in general.

– You find ways to prove that it’s not possible for you to be free of the pull of your mind’s negativity. You prefer joining forums where you can discuss how difficult it is to be free of negativity.

– You keep associating with some labels of mental illness or disorder and hence you keep looking at yourself as an ill person. It’s ridiculous to see how freely labels of mental illnesses are being given to completely normal people (who may just have some momentum of negativity in their mind), mostly to get them hooked on medications and a lifetime of therapy. A lot of therapists have no qualms in giving out labels of mental illness, even to young kids, to win patients. These labels become “lifetime identities” for many people..

– You are always focused on a mindset of struggle and effort, rather than be aligned with inspired or joyful action. You make a struggle out of everything.

– You are constantly looking for evidence to prove that nothing is going right

– You always want people to see you as a someone who needs support rather than see you as someone who is independent and self-sustained

– You don’t trust life, you would rather trust your mind’s fears

These are just some very common behaviors inherent to people who are unconsciously defending their negativity.

There is no cure for a negative attitude

Life is always moving towards growth, it’s always a forward movement. If you are holding on to a negative attitude, you are not in alignment with your life-stream’s movement towards growth – suffering cannot be helped when one has this attitude of holding on to the past patterns of resistance/negativity, and defending them. It’s doesn’t matter where you are born, what you are born as or what your circumstances are, it’s just an initial platform from which growth can start. Life is unending growth, there is no final destination, this journey is about constant growth and the journey is all there is – you can either be aligned with this journey and thus have a smooth experience, or you can be constantly rooted in resistance and have a miserable experience. Life wants to take different expressions so that it can explore it’s own potential to grow through different circumstances – whatever be your challenge at the moment, it’s a platform for growth.

It’s naïve if you think that there are some people who have no challenges or that they have been endowed with better resources to handle their challenges – everyone has challenges at every point in their life, and their challenges are aligned with their unique capacity, don’t compare your challenges with that of others, don’t think that someone has it easier than you – always remember that life is an endless journey of growth, no-one has it “done”, and we all have our individual journey as streams of consciousness, it has been going on for several lifetimes and will continue going on eternally. If you are asking what’s the point of growth if there is no destination to reach? Well, there are destinations that you reach at every phase, but the growth continues to the next level from that phase, and thus it goes on eternally – the point of this journey is that life enjoys this expression of movement, nothing more nothing less.

One of my favorite movies is “Scent of a Woman” Starring Al Pacino, where he is a blind Lieutenant Colonel retired from the army, there is a memorable scene in this movie where he delivers a resounding speech in front of a gathering of students, and he says this – “There was a time I could see, and I have seen, boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit, there is no prosthetic for that”. What he calls “amputated spirit” is basically what the spirit of negative attitude is, and there is no cure for that – no matter what you learn, no matter how many therapists you visit, no matter how many meditations you indulge in, no matter how many insights you get, nothing will ever make any difference if you have a negative attitude. There really is no cure for a negative attitude, because it can’t allow any cure to come in.

It doesn’t matter what your attitude was in the past, you have the choice to make a change right now. Nothing is stopping you from changing your attitude, not your past, not your genetics, not your circumstances, not the people around you – it’s a choice you can consciously make at any point when you are willing to. You can’t ever hope to be free of negativity if your attitude is one of defending it, no matter what your excuse may be. If you are aware of negativity in you, that means you have a choice to stay identified with it or to let go of fueling it. The negativity, of course, has a past momentum, and it won’t vanish in a day, but your attitude of not defending it will ensure that you no longer give fuel to it and hence it will die away from your inner space soon enough.




12 Comments

  1. Belles

    All but one of the examples you listed feels like it was torn from my life. This is a problem. I sometimes feel the negativity is so overwhelming that I dont know where to begin, but thank you for giving me a place to start. Right now.

  2. abet

    Sen i try really hard to not be identified with the negativity in my mind. but then it is like the pull is so strong that I get drawn in into trying to figure out how to stop the negative thoughts and why its happening etc. which I know in the end is just giving it more fuel.

    What can I do to stop the mind from pulling me in

    1. BS

      I have the same problem as abet.

    2. Sen Post author

      Abet, it takes time for gaining a stability in the space of being where you don’t feel pulled around by the mind, this time is required to allow the momentum of the mind to come down. It’s okay to be pulled in by the mind now and then, but when awareness comes in just allow yourself to stay in a space of allowing rather than trying hard to figure it out. It takes time to gain stability in this space. Also, you need to stop trying too hard to not identify with the negativity, the very fact that you are trying hard means that you inherently believe it – so basically you need to just develop more trust in the flow of your life-stream, and this will ensure that you don’t buy in to all the fears of uncertainty thrown in by the mind.

  3. bucketmouse

    Sen when i try and be positive, i just feel like i’m kidding myself. I dont know how to stop having a negative attitude. Negativity is ruining my life

    1. Sen Post author

      Don’t “try” to be positive, just bring awareness to the negative momentum in your mind by observing it (what I call relaxed awareness). When you sense that you are able to stay aware of your mind’s negativity, without being lost in it, it means you are stable in your space of awareness. In this place of stability you will see that you are no longer pulled in by the negativity of the mind, and hence have the capacity to start letting go of fueling it.

  4. Amod

    Many thanks for your guidance..

  5. Stella

    Sen,
    What`s the difference between having a positive attitude-( ie not defending a negative attitude) compared to positive affirmations. You write that its pointless to make positive affirmations eg, say to yourself ,I will be positive today, everything is cool, I am worthy and so on- instead just allow the negativity to rise and let in be, within the space of being- this bit I get. But I don`t understand how saying “don`t defend a negative attitude” is any different from consciously sort of forcing yourself to be positive, which is a positive affirmation?
    Sorry I am not explaining myself very well- this week I have relaxed into being, and am aware of many fears …. I try to let them be, am I defending a negative attitude. It would be easier, but ultimately the fears and gloom will never go, if I just distracted myself. Just letting the fears be in the space of being is really hard, to such an extent I feel in a kind of daze at times to really agitated at others. Am I being negative?
    In advance, huge thanks, I think I was guided here . I do not want to be negative, as we all do, I wish for peace.

    1. Sen Post author

      Stella, positive affirmations basically means that you keep repeating some positive thought in your mind, or you keep repeating a positive thought as “rote” or a chant by verbalizing it. The question is, if you really believe in a positive why would you want to keep affirming it? Is it not true that we only keep affirming something we don’t really believe in, or that we find hard to believe? If you really believed something, why would you want to keep affirming it everyday? A positive attitude on the other hand is a state of being, it’s not about repeating some positive thoughts in the mind, or in your words. When you gain understanding of life, when you gain understanding of negativity, when you gain understanding of your mind, you automatically become confident because you are no longer shooting in the dark – you have a clarity. This clarity allows you to see through the negativity and hence brings you to a place of freedom – and thus cultivates, naturally, a positive cycle/attitude in your being.

      What you are doing, by allowing the negativity to arise without suppressing it, is a positive thing and this allowing will cause the momentum of negativity to be released soon enough. The peace that you wish for will come in naturally as this momentum ebbs away, the peace you can say is like the sun which is covered by the clouds of negativity and as you allow this release the sun starts shining more brightly. So just continue staying in this place of allowing, and you will soon sense this inner wholeness/peace coming into the foreground.

  6. Stella

    Just in addition to previous comment:
    My fears for the future seem so real to me, that I have sort of given up even trying, I know what you said to me (and thank-you for that), but it seems like my mind`s pull is so entrenched. I am making excuses you may say, and you may well be right- but it is so difficult. I am being negative, so I am attracting a negative reality- but I`m scared, I`m lost and the courage is not there. I don`t know how to get into a positive cycle- yes little things do give pleasure, but they are not going to get me far in the material world- and that is constantly what comes back to me-” your`e wasting your life, you need money” etc.
    Also how do I stop myself being uber protective of myself? I am not easy with most people, I don`t know why. Maybe I am being too hard on myself. I am trying to be as honest as I can here.
    I have had a shrink telling me there is nothing really wrong with me, you say I do not have a lot of negativity, so why do I feel so lost, scared, in a limbo. Yes I know I miss -, but I think all my life I have felt scared, probably not true, but those are the only bits I remember. What would I like- some kind of “moment” like Sri Ramana Maharshi, and to live in a kind of Nirvana. Thats what. Iam tired of trying.

  7. Vrajesh

    sen,

    i am a little confused on the “attitude” i always think there is something wrong with me mentally and keep trying to look for something on the internet etc etc. I have had things in the past that still come up from time to time but the thing is what if you are feeling depressed, have no motivation, really confused, not feeling emotions, having dark thoughts etc etc, i understand them as just thoughts and a phase and let them arise without resistance; the question is the attitude of becoming free? what if your mind constantly thinks there is something wrong with you? or wait for the moment of clarity or insight(which i know causes more suffering) . do i also just let that arise and say to myself “i will accept however i am”?

    It hurts inside when i actually think or believe there is something wrong with me, or maybe i am like this now because of traumas or “events” in the past. How do i become free of that? or for the better how do i let the healing begin? is there a pointer?

    1. Alexander

      That’s the case with my mind as well, it thinks that something is wrong with me even though I logically know there isn’t. Guess it has to do with high negative momentum.. In the process of release now we’ll see how it plays out…

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