03 April 2008

Chapter Five: The Pain-Body ~ Letting Go of Negativity

In Chapter Five of A New Earth, we explore how negative emotions and old memories – if not faced and seen for what they are in the moment – become fuel for the pain-body.

"It may be shocking when you realize for the first time that there is something within you (the pain-body) that periodically seeks emotional negativity, seeks unhappiness. You need even more awareness to see it in yourself than to recognize it in another person" (p. 145).

One of the things I have tried very hard to eliminate from my life is negativity. Negativity is nothing but toxic energy. This toxic energy can come in the form of toxic people, or energy vampires whose only job is to suck and drain the life out of you; or toxic situations. When I find myself in one of these toxic environments, be it with people or circumstances, if I cannot turn the situation around, then I merely excuse myself and remove myself.

If someone offered you a bottle of poison to drink, would you? Yet, you deliberately ingest someone else’s negativity or toxicity. This is the same as ingesting poison. The next time you are in the presence of a toxic person or an energy vampire, remember the bottle of poison analogy, and don’t allow their toxins to enter into your soul.

A negative emotion is any "emotion that is toxic to the body and interferes with its balance and harmonious functioning. Fear, anxiety, anger, bearing a grudge, sadness, hatred or intense dislike, jealousy, envy—all disrupt the energy flow through the body, affect the heart, the immune system, digestion, production of hormones, and so on" (p. 136).

Then, there are those of us who do not need the negative people or situations, because we can be negative all by ourselves. We manufacture our own negative thoughts and continuously feed on them. The bottle of poison is still appropriate here, yet we are self-inflicting the poison. We have very little control of what thoughts enter our heads. But we have definite control of what thoughts remain there.

The next time you notice that you are in the grip of a negative emotion, become still and pay attention to the way your body feels. See if you can locate the negative emotion in your body. Perhaps your heart is beating fast, your jaw is tense or your belly is tight. By being present with your body, you can allow the negative emotion to dissipate instead of reacting to it.

"You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent" (p.112).

This week, pay close attention to negative thoughts, feelings or actions and any background unhappiness, including resentment, discontent, nervousness or being "fed up." Become alert to your negativity and repeat silently: "At this moment, I am creating suffering for myself."

Questions to Ponder:
“Who are the toxic people in my life?”
“Who are the nutritious people in my life?”
“Who do I choose to spend more time with?”

Stay positive on purpose!


Dr.Carley Clan said...

Hi Carolyn,

I know I have never written before to you....I am however on your list to get your e-mails from your blog. My name is Lisa and I am a psyhologist (just finished my PH.D) and I can't tell you enough how this has hit me. As I was reading it, well, to be honest..... it sounded as if i had written it! We are completely on the same page as far as toxic people, situation, and feelings go. After reading your last entry I will purchase that book. I have seen and heard about it everywhere, but it is strange when God wants us to be apart of something he will find a way (like me reading what you have written and the quotes) to make me apart of the Oprah world thing and reading that book. Up until your blog entry I was not going to read that book, now I can't wait!

My husband and I had to deal with a major toxic situation from an in law. More than just the average stuff you hear. My stance on 'toxic' is the same as yours. I 'disengage' because my health and well being is much to important to be swept up in negativity. Now my husband and I are waiting for this person to 'grow up' and stop the toxic energy.
I just wanted to say I am so happy reading your blog, I am going to purchase that book today.

By the way there is another great book about 'Toxic People' by Lillian Glass. I don't know if you had read it but it is a fast and wonderful read.

Have a wonderful toxic free day!

Carolyn D. Townes, SFO said...

Lisa, thank you so much for being a part of the community and for your comments. Very powerful!

I marvel when I realize how much in common most of us are, though we tend to focus on our differences.

Congrats to completing your doctorate. From just what you have written, I know that you will do some awesome work in your part of the world. And I thank you in advance for that!


Ella Moss said...

Hi, Carolyn!
It was very nice meeting you at meetup!
I love your blog! And I am thinking about joining spiritual book meetup:)
Would you like to exchange links?
If so, post your url on my site: