Annoyed with Positive Thinking

I’m a believer in the power of positive thinking, I know I feel better and my life seems better when I look on the bright side of things, but what I don’t understand is what are you supposed to do when something really upsetting happens and you’re, well, upset?  It doesn’t feel right to try to force myself to be positive and look at the bright side in that moment, and honestly sometimes I physically can’t!  Yet what I continuously hear from others is “think positively”, “expect things to work out”, and that only irritates me further.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to believe in this line of thinking, law of attraction and all of that, I just don’t think I fully understand it.  Can you clarify?

Marion, Chicago 

Hi Marion,

I can’t help but giggle a little upon reading your words, not because I’m laughing at you but because I so know what you’re talking about, and what it feels like when you encounter someone who is trying to talk you out of the way you are currently feeling.  You’re right, it kind of just makes you want to slap them upside the head!  (Figure of speech, of course, meant lightly.)

There is something that you may not currently understand about this whole positive thought thing, the understanding of which could change everything.  I love that you noticed that “it doesn’t feel right to try to force myself to be positive”, because that feeling is informing you of something right there – that it’s not yet time to move on from what you’re feeling.  Okay, without getting too wordy I will try to clarify.  Our feelings and emotions are some of our greatest tools, and CWG says “feelings are the language of the soul.”  That is, your soul communicates with you through your feelings, so to try to condemn what you are feeling, no matter what it is, and force it away is denying yourself communication from YOU, communication that could be very helpful to what you’re currently experiencing in life.  Not to mention it’s impossible because “what you resist persists”, and if you attempt to push those feelings away, you can bet your bottom that they will just keep coming back.  So it’s always in your best interest to acknowledge and validate what you’re feeling, and look to see what it’s pointing to.  Are you sad?  What does that tell you about what you want?  Does something feel “off”?  What needs to be adjusted to feel “on” again?

Regarding the law of attraction and positive thought movement, the piece that many miss is that it’s not wrong or bad to feel down, negative, upset, etc.; accept that that is going to happen in life.  Even the greatest of masters and enlightened ones out there feel those “negative” emotions still, but the difference is they also recognize they are gifts, tools, and use them for the purpose in which they were intended.  They allow themselves to feel what they are feeling, and decide what it means.  But they don’t stay there.  That’s perhaps the most important part: feel what you’re feeling, but don’t stay there, be willing to “move up” the emotional scale as soon as you’ve gotten what you need.  If you wallow in your despair, sadness, anger, frustration, etc., the process of creation/law of attraction will bring you more of that.  But if you give it meaning, and choose your next highest thought, word or deed, you will vibrate at a higher level and the process of creation/law of attraction will bring you more of that.  A much better route if you ask me.

So, Marion, strive to give yourself permission to feel however you feel without judgment.  Then, take a deeper look at those feelings, and ask yourself, or your soul, what they are showing you about you, your life, and what you want.  It is very helpful to sit down and journal about this, even write out a dialogue with your soul.  Some of the answers may even surprise you.  Positive thinking, focusing on gratitude and the “good stuff”, is an incredibly wonderful practice to adopt, but you will find the most success with it if you factor in all of the above as well.  Besides, we are all of it, the good and the bad, the positive and the negative…we are wonderfully and beautifully human.


(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching,, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling.  She can be reached at )

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