I love Ekhart Tolle’s description of negativity. He describes it as ‘resistance to what is’. It describes a state of being in denial of an event or experience(s) and not allowing that event or experience to flow through or a turning our consciousness away from it.
Us Brits, we love a bit of negativity! It seems ingrained into our culture. I live near Royal Tunbridge Wells, a rather well to do town in South East England, which has this comical saying – Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells. To quote www.disgustedoftunbridgewells.co.uk:
Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells was the nom de plume of a prolific writer of letters to the “Thunderer” – the London Times – during the first half of the 20th century. His alias became almost as widely known as the title of the Fleet Street newspaper itself, and was synonymous with diatribe. He delivered scathing attacks on organisations and individuals that came to his ultra-critical attention.
Yep, us Brits have been known to have a large appetite for complaining, it must be all the rain.
However, enjoyable as this complaining way of life might be for some, what outcome does negativity get us?
I am a bit of an expert on the matter. I don’t mind saying that I used to be well practised at negativity. I come from a high performance background, so I was very used to getting feedback on my performance. In a genuine attempt to get the best out of me I would be regularly subjected to feedback on where I needed to improve. “Must pull knees up more strongly” one ballet exam remarked. “Clever but careless” my Primary Teacher said. I very rarely got the sense was ever enough, so I started to look for my own faults so I could rectify what was clearly a failing within me. This approach gave me certainty and purpose, but most importantly it was a strategy to get me more of what I really wanted, which was actually acceptance and love.
For others, negativity is a way to connect – it gives them something to talk about with others or a way of one up-manship. Its akin to Saying “Look how much better I am than that”. It’s also a way to take attention away from our own perceived failings, because negative people are nearly always equally as harsh on themselves.
Each time we complain and are negative it reinforces a neural pathway, gives us more evidence to support our resisting beliefs and gives us a biochemical hit. Such biochemistry is pretty addictive, so we look to repeat it when that particular hormone hit drops low. Also, it is what we know – so it feels normal to us, we see no need to be any different.
That biochemistry is also telling our body how to behave. The only outcome I can possibly imagine comes from negativity is the command to the body to “shut down, the end is nigh”. This is felt or experienced in different locations according to the reason for the negativity and with what it is in relation to. For example, resisting what you see has in my experience resulted in sight loss, resisting what you hear I have noticed creates hearing loss and not wanting to digest particular ideas I have seen show up as gut issues.
There is also another element to this equation. If negativity takes something away, then you are also not doing the counterpart – you are not creating the positive things that would support you.
We live in a creationary world. This means, we literally create our world through our conscious, and far more importantly, unconscious thinking. Most of it we don’t know about, because we never stop to listen, but its ticking along there in the background doing its thing creating our body, our behaviour, our physical environment and our circumstances.
So if you are in the habit of negative thinking not only are you systematically destroying your life, you aren’t creating anything new to replace it with. This is really very significant indeed because we create our wealth, we create our environment, we create our healthy physical bodies and we create our relationships.
I know of people that have had experiences that are so difficult for them to process (and they have therefore resisted) that they literally can’t get out of the house, or even get out of bed. They react to unseen stimuli, which makes their body freeze or steals away all their energy, and they have no idea why. Through the Mind Detox Method and other techniques we have started to unravel the thoughts and emotions behind these behavioural patterns to start to unlock what is going on in their mind, so their body and life can return to balance. Each tiny step towards letting go of that resistance opens up the natural flow of life and provides an opportunity to move forwards and creation again to take place as homeostasis returns.
I know from my own experience, this is an exceptionally brave journey to take. To do so is to let go of all you know and you have to embrace a new way of being with no idea or guarantee of the outcome. What is particularly brave is when things are at their worst, and this is usually where we have resisted them to a point we now simply have to take action, we are usually in a situation that we are terrified whatever we change to could be worse than what we have now, and we simply can’t cope with anything worse so we feel even more vulnerable and helpless.
Where does stuck-ness come from?
In my experiences the negativity comes from a significant trauma to the individual, one that has threatened their sense of self and been in deep contrast to what they know. This can be a one off shock experience such as witnessing an argument or physical violence in a normally happy home, a sudden loss of love, a physical trauma such as severe illness through to prolonged neglect or bullying. If there is not enough support at the point at which the trauma happens and no chance to process it, the body and mind must resist it, so it remains trapped – most often in the unconscious mind. Whilst it is trapped it creates the biochemistry that shapes our life and our behaviour producing symptoms such as loss of sight, hearing, digestive, and breathing, issues, slow wound healing, poor cell regeneration, low/no-immunity, inability to do what is necessary to bring in income, relationship issues and family breakdowns.
It is the role of another blog post to look at what exactly needs to happen in order to turn negativity and resistance around, but simply put it requires the opportunity to do what is necessary to bring things back to balance and let the body and mind come back to normal. This might be a physical intervention such as chiropractic or massage, talking therapy like Mind Detox to address emotional issues or spiritual support like Reiki healing or religious practice.
Whatever the trauma, it is my experience that it is possible to recover. My own ongoing journey shows me this, because I have come a long way from someone that hadn’t the energy to get a job and slept through most of my lectures at University to someone that is busy and active and has a fond love and appreciation for life!
If you, or someone you know is experiencing a lot of negativity – please show them this article. It is my experience that our health conditions can be so misunderstood as our bodies failing us, when in reality they are doing what they must to survive. It is after all, our true nature to grow and balance and health is our birthright.
Becci Harvey is a Mind Detox practitioner, Master Reiki Teacher and Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator. From her base in Mark Cross, East Sussex she helps hundreds of people locally and all over the world overcome their life, emotional and health challenges to fulfil their potential.
To find out more, or find out what up and coming courses are available you can visit Becci’s professional profile here.