Why Humans Need Negativity to Learn

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It seems that the reaction of a response to a stimulus is still an effective way to make changes in character or behavior in a person. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard how people have been told by a doctor that they are heading for a health crisis and they need to change their eating habits and start exercising. A negative hit to create a change in behavior. I see it everywhere, except with some of the negativity, people just think the world is against them. They do not equate what is going on with anything positive. They do not have the conscious awareness that they need to change to see change in their world. The point is in order to have what you’ve never had, you have to become someone you’ve never been.

The duality of our inner and outer world has many benefits if only we could see where we are heading. If we had the foresight to change course and begin making small changes in how we live, there would be an outward swing of that inner pendulum and we would see it in all aspects of our lives.

We see it in people who start to move more and can only walk a minute or so at a time. They learn to walk a few seconds more each day until they can walk for longer and longer periods at a brisker and brisker pace.

This is also true in a spiritual sense. So many people feel alone, abandoned and isolated because they believe their own thoughts. If they started to reject those thoughts in favor of other more positive thoughts, the negative starts to drift away like a fog in the wind.

Negativity is never meant to be a permanent thing. It is a stimulant to choose change. What we choose is part of our freedom to do so. If we continue to choose the negative, that is what we get more of. If we choose to reject negativity in all its forms, more positive happenings occur to us and our immediate world.

It seems that when we are complacent, there is not much impetus to do anything much. When we are in a painful position, we are prodded to change, to take some form of action, if only to reject negativity and welcome the new dawn of more positive thinking. Reminds me of that book called “The Power of Positive Thinking”, written in the last century.

There are many anecdotal stories of people who have been hit over the head with something negative hard enough that they have seen it as a wake-up call. Making change is never easy but living with negativity and its consequences is much harder. If you see your life as more negative, start rejecting those thoughts and start changing one behavior at a time and make small changes every day. You too, may end up standing in a new day of a beautiful sunrise.

Why we Need to Live in the Present

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The present is where the action is right now. This is where all those neutrinos and quarks that quantum physicists talk about pop in and out of the reality. They are what can change a random possibility into a probability. Probabilities of the kind that support our growth and smooth out the bumps in life are what we all really want. We want to mend all those old fences so the pigs don’t get into our beautifully tended garden, eating everything in site and smashing the rest.

How do we know where those pigs are lurking! The signs are all around us. Their footprints are found in our thoughts, in the people around us, in what we see, hear and smell. There is nothing except the Eterneal Stillness of the Universe that is free of those piggy footprints. If we see one small hint in our reality and we constructively work to eliminate it, it will dramatically affect all our future moments.

Let me give you an example. In our community we had a very well known homeless man who slept on the streets and in little sheltered spots in the neighborhood. Try as we might we could not bet him into an indoor space. This went on for years. He was mentally ill but harmless and everyone would give him food and money. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, he was presented with a large hot turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

We watched him deteriorate, despite all our efforts to help him. Eventually we were able to get him into an indoor space where he had a bath for the first time in years. He had the mats cut out of his hair and he slept in a real bed. It was at that time that he realized how much he had missed all of the things that were being offered to him over the years.

Everyone involved with this individual were trying to help him but his illness and some past tragedy prevented him from acceptiong the help and from trusting us. Now, because of his decision to make a change in the way he lived, despite his fear, which is no small change, his whole life is different now. He is in a warm place, he has a bed to sleep in and three nutritious meals every day.

Each of us has the power to make tiny changes in the way our lives unfold. By making those micro-changes, the pigs will not be able to get into the garden in the same way anymore. It doesn’t mean they are necessarily gone, they are just lurking on the other side of the fence, waiting for the opportunity to break through. By rejecting certain types of thoughts, eating more appropriately, staying away from places where negativity reigns and choosing wisely, every moment after that will be different. And, by continuing to choose all aspects of your life more appropriately, the fence gets stronger and stronger. Soon, the pigs will never get into the garden again and will go somewhere elso looking for food.

Changes don’t have to be huge. It could be as simple as refusing to self-criticize as much. By drawing your awareness to when you do it, you make a decision to do it less and less until you aren’t doing it anymore.

Pick one small thing you want to change and do your best to recognize every time you do it, then stop doing it. Being present in the present is key. What you did a minute or five minutes ago doesn’t matter. What you are doing now, is what is important. Now is where you are creating every moment of your future. If you want it to be better, start now to make it better. You can do this because it is the present.