Picture a book of psychology. Something with a catchy title, maybe a smiling man in a white coat on the cover. Now imagine it sailing across the room and hitting the wall, maybe with a sound of frustration or a muttered curse to accompany it. This was my wife’s reaction to the small library of literature she read on the subject of positive thinking during her years of depression.
So what was the issue? Not a lack of understanding, Hope was more than smart enough to understand the ideas in those books—and she genuinely wanted the more positive mindset those books were trying to offer her. The problem was that none of those books seemed to realize that she physically and mentally couldn’t just switch from thinking positive thoughts to negative ones. The solutions they recommended all seemed to boil down to a “just do it” approach to mental health that simply wasn’t possible for someone who was already severely depressed.
In her case, the Healing Codes eventually helped more than anything, and I would recommend Trilogy for anyone suffering similarly, since it basically does the same thing plus more, and does them better than the Healing Codes ever did. But there are other ways to guard against negativity in your life that I want to talk about today.
One of the most significant is guarding against other people. I’m sure we all have some experience of being around a profoundly negative person. Someone who just leaves us feeling drained or discouraged after spending time around them. Even though I’m sure the vast majority of them don’t intend that sort of effect on anyone, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take some measures to protect ourselves from that influence. In fact, it can often be the best thing for everyone!
I had a friend like that once and made the mistake of trying to distance myself from him discretely. I guess I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The trouble is, he noticed pretty quickly when I started coming up with excuses to stay away from him, and eventually, he asked me about it. Turns out, that was the best thing that could have happened for all of us. I should have started that way. When I came clean about how his negativity affected me, it forced him to take a look at himself—today he’s like a whole different person.
All this is much more significant than just feeling a little more optimistic here and there. It’s an issue of health, too. There’s a theory called the “stress barrel” which is pretty much universally accepted by doctors and psychologists. Essentially, it goes that each person has a metaphorical barrel that holds all the stress that accumulates each day. Some people had larger barrels than others, but everyone has their limit. As long as you stay under that limit, it won’t affect you too much. But once your barrel starts to overflow, it will affect you physically as well as emotionally, and you’ll break at your weakest link.
Those are the stakes. Not only for ourselves, but for everyone around us. Though some people are blessed with a natural optimism, and others have wounds that may need to heal before they can move forward, it is not simply a matter of what comes naturally, or what material you are born with. Given the right tools, you can cultivate your outlook to be something that will nourish you for the rest of your life. But it doesn’t happen on its own. I’d start with Trilogy, and Memory Engineering, if you haven’t already. Memory Engineering in particular has a whole first section dedicated to helping your internal state become more positive before going on to change anything. It didn’t work nearly as well before I put that in, and I know it can help all of you.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!