Letting go of positive thoughts

It is really tempting to hold onto positive thoughts and feelings. But if we cling to good thoughts and resist bad thoughts, our mind is in conflict.

Letting go of positive thoughts
Photo by Tamara Bellis / Unsplash

It is really tempting to hold onto positive thoughts and feelings. I just had the best week I have had in a really long time! I was energetic, motivated, and laughing uncontrollably all the time. I was getting things ticked off my to-do list and finding time to relax and unwind. My life felt perfect and I wanted to hold onto that feeling for as long as possible.

But there is a problem when we try to cling to good thoughts and feelings, they can’t stick around forever. We know this. Life has ups and downs.

When we cling to the good times it can actually make the bad times that much worse. We start to resist the bad times because they are in such contrast to the good. If we cling to good thoughts and resist bad thoughts, our mind is in conflict. It is trying to force something that isn’t, and replace it with what it thinks it wants.

But if we become more curious about our state of mind at any given moment, rather than having expectations and trying to force those expectations onto ourselves, we will see that our state of mind is constantly changing and that is how it is meant to be. The bad thoughts and feelings won’t be there forever either, but you can actually prolong their existence by resisting them and trying to escape them. Instead, we can practice feeling them, processing them, and moving forward.

Choosing to let go of positive thoughts does not mean you can’t feel happiness fully in the moment. It's important to be present and experience positivity when it is there. Then, once it naturally dissipates, as it always will, let it go so it can then come back to you once again.

The good thing about being an observer of your thoughts is that you notice the good thoughts are fleeting, but so are the bad thoughts. So long as you don’t identify with the thoughts or try to hold onto or resist them. They will constantly be changing and so continues the ups and downs of life.

The ocean in your mind

Just like the ocean, sometimes there are big crashing waves, and sometimes there are calm waters. The ocean is always changing, constantly flowing, moving up and down, and back and forth.

When the waters are calm, if we go out into the water and relax, eventually the waters will become more turbulent. But instead of getting out of the water, we try to ignore the signs and close our eyes clinging to the idea that the water is still calm, that we want it to be calm and therefore it should continue to be, soon we’ll be tossed and turned down under the waves.

What if instead, we tried sitting on the shore rather than heading into the water every time it looked calm. Sit on the sand and look at the calm waters with gratitude and appreciation. Then watch as the waves start to crash down with curiosity, and stay calm in the knowledge that they will soon settle back into calm waters once again.

You don’t have to get involved in the thoughts (positive or negative) you can sit back and observe as your experience is ever-changing.