I have been following the comments submitted by readers and would like to use this issue of the Stonyhill Newsletter/Blog to answer some of the important questions that have been raised.
Margaret asks………How does a person start to grow after being stuck for many years…..how do you move forward?
Anonymous wrote…….How do you communicate or relate to those that are not as far along the path without getting drained or dragged down?
Bill wrote…..what can I do to try and save my marriage and my family? I fear my wife is threatening to leave me and my kids barely talk to me.
What makes these questions important is that each of these readers are focused on their own growth……how to change themselves. They are not interested in changing some one else.
As a counselor in private practice, it was common to have clients come into therapy convinced that their happiness depended on getting others to change….not themselves. They would often begin therapy by saying “they” wanted to change, but it was never long before the focus of our sessions would shift over to what “others” were doing that “made them” unhappy.
I would quietly remind them that we have no power to change others. We only have the power to change ourselves. This was often a decisive moment in their therapy. The clients who were able keep the focus of therapy on themselves; their own feelings and behaviors, would eventually begin to grow in self-awareness. Those who listened to their primitive ego believed that it was “others” that needed to change, “not them”. It was never long before they came to the conclusion that therapy was not something they wanted or needed.
Three Basic Universal Laws Can Change The Way You Think
There are three basic universal laws or realities in life that must be understood and embraced if we want to change the way we think…..and changing the way we think is the key to emotional happiness and developing the ability to enjoy healthy relationships with others.
The first universal law, that we just talked about above, can be stated very simply. You do not have the omnipotent power to force others to change so you can be happy. If your goal in life is to change others, you are going to find yourself living a very frustrated, stressful, and unhappy life. All you can do is nag the other person and be critical of them until they either a) angrily agree to change just so you will stop hounding them, or b) what’s more likely, they will simply walk away when they have had enough of your critical harassment and nagging. In either case they will be telling you clearly they have no real intention of changing.
It is helpful to remember that the person who chooses to say “no” to you, either directly, or by simply ignoring you, is the person with all the power! The only thing the “no” person has to do to win the power struggle you create when you insist they change is simply ignore you. In other words, they win without doing anything.
The bottom line…… when you attempt to force another person to change so “you” can be happy, you will very quickly experience what it means to be powerless…….and you will quickly earn the reputation of being an opinionated, critical, know it all nag. Definitely not a good place to be if your goal is to be happy.
Universal Law #2: You can never successfully violate the law of attraction. The law of attraction is the universal law that reminds us that we will always attract to us what we think about……or stated simply….. “we become what we think about”. For example…..
- -if you want to become a brain surgeon, you will need to think a lot about brain surgery.
- -If you want to become a car mechanic, you will need to spend a lot of time thinking about cars.
- -If you want to become the unhappy, opinionated, critical, know it all nag that we talked about when we violate reality #1 above, it’s easy……. just think a lot about what needs to change in others in order for “you” to be happy.
If you spend a lot of time thinking about how annoying the behavior of someone close to you can be, you will soon begin to see that annoying behavior, not only in that particular person, but in everyone around you.
In other words, the more you think about the annoying behavior, the more you will begin attracting those kind of annoying people into your life. That is the law of attraction in action! Again….not a good thing to do if your goal is to be happy.
Remember, the law of attraction is a universal law. It can never be altered or changed. You will become what you think about and you will attract into your life what ever you choose to think about. More than any other factor, your thoughts, past and present, conscious or unconscious, are responsible for creating the life you are currently living and they will continue to be responsible for the life you create in the future.
Universal Law #3: When you understand the law of attraction you can use it to become the person you would like others to be. If you want to attract cheerful, happy, creative, positive people into your life, all you have to do is become the person you would like to attract.
Primitive ego psychology teaches us that the primitive ego of our unconscious inner-child is almost always negatively focused on what it “doesn’t” want in our lives.
- It doesn’t want to be poor.
- It doesn’t want to be unhappy.
- It doesn’t want to be unsuccessful.
- It doesn’t want to have to deal with annoying people.
- It doesn’t want to be over weight.
- It doesn’t want to be unhealthy.
- It doesn’t want to be criticized.
Remember, if all we think about are those things that we “don’t” want, those are going to be the very things that the law of attraction brings into our lives….no exceptions!
Until we understand and tame the negative thoughts of our unconscious inner-child’s primitive ego…..through an intentional growth in our self-awareness……we will continue to live life unconsciously attracting into our lives the very people and things that we don’t want. It’s no wonder so many people are unhappy. It’s no wonder that mood altering medicines are a multi-billion dollar industry.
The Law of Attraction Loves Positive Self-Affirmations
So how do we become the person we would like to attract into our lives.
Easy! Simply use the power of positive self-affirmations to energize the law of attraction. When you create a list of positive self-affirmations and then learn to repeat them out loud several times a day, the law of attraction will automatically begin to attract them into your life. It is important that your positive affirmations always be stated in the present tense, not the future. In other words, I am rather than I want or I will.
For example your positive affirmations might sound like……
- “I am a wealthy person”,
- “I attract wealth to myself effortlessly”,
- “I am a happy person”,
- “I am a patient person”,
- “I have everything in my life I need to be happy”,
- “I am a successful person”,
- “I am a person who affirms others and sees the best in those around me”………..etc. etc.
You can never have enough positive affirmations so don’t be afraid to keep adding them to your list as you think of them. Positive affirmations never focus on those things that our primitive ego “doesn’t want”…..they convert primitive ego negatives into positive self-statements.
Some people suggest that you should recite your list out loud when you get out of bed in the morning, and as many times a day as possible. The last reading of the list should always be just before going to bed each evening. Positive affirmations are very powerful because they shift the focus of our thoughts onto what we want, who we are, who we would like to become…..a fully conscious, now oriented, positive focus that powerfully energizes the law of attraction.
Never Put Yourself Down
It is very difficult to have a positive self-esteem when the majority of your thoughts tend to be focused on what you “don’t” like about yourself! Every time you catch yourself using negative primitive ego thoughts or behaviors that violate your positive self-affirmations….be careful not to put yourself down. I refer to them as old knee-jerk habits that are nothing more than reflections of who we used to be. Just pay attention when they happen. They are not only normal, they are an important part of learning to becoming self-aware. Without them our growth would be very slow and difficult.
Paying attention every time a knee-jerk happens, and then simply reaffirming our positive self-affirmations and moving on, is how change happens. Learning requires repetition. Over time, you will begin to more easily notice when your primitive ego tries to send negative thoughts, words, behaviors or negative energy into world. Again…….be careful not to dwell on either the knee-jerks or on what you don’t like about yourself because that is exactly the negative energy that the law of attraction will begin to attract into your life.
Over time, you will begin to become the positive person you want to become because the old negative energy that comes from negative thoughts will no longer make sense to you. Eventually they will be as uncomfortable for you as fingernails on a black board. When that happens, your life…..the life you are consciously creating…….will begin to change as effortlessly as a snake shedding its old skin so it can continue to grow.
Positive Self-Affirmations Are Not A Pollyanna Denial Of Reality
Maintaining a positive focus and using positive self-affirmations is not a pollyanna avoidance of reality. It is simply a way of consciously choosing the thoughts that you are going to spend time thinking about……because you know that your thoughts wlll determine the life that you are going create. The law of attraction is a universal law. You can’t change it. You can’t avoid it. The only question is whether you want conscious positive thoughts, or unconscious negative thoughts creating your future.
Let me wrap up today’s thoughts by addressing specifically what I am sure is going through the minds of many readers…….what do you do right “now” with the spouse or significant other or friend who is making you so unhappy? Simple answer? Go back to the universal laws or realities we talked about above and read them again.
What many people discover, when they learn to fully embrace the three universal realities we have talked about today, is that their partner had been driving them crazy primarily because “they” had been obsessively focused and continually thinking about their partner’s behaviors that were driving them crazy. Guess what they had been attracting into their lives!
Bottom line…….if the behaviors of your partner are driving you crazy, become the person you would like “them” to be. Over time you will not only become that person, you will begin attracting those kind of persons into your life. When “you” have become the person you would like “them” to be, the decisions and choices you might need to make regarding those difficult people in your life will become more clear. You might have to move on, but never make that choice until you have done you own work.……..and when that time comes, don’t be surprised if their behavior is still present but you find that it doesn’t bother you any more.
Primitive Ego Psychology teaches us that growth in self-awareness is the most important skill that any of us can develop if we truly want to be happy and enjoy being with other people.
See you in a few days…….we are heading for Anchorage in the morning.
The Stonyhill Newsletter / Blog and the videos related to each Newsletter are designed to teach the insights and everyday wisdom contained in Primitive Ego Psychology. For more technical, in-depth articles on Primitive Ego Psychology and Primitive Ego Theory go to the Stonyhill website at www.stonyhill.com/articles.htm