Working with Negative Impressions
We are constantly taking in impressions all day long through our five senses: sound, smell, sight, taste and touch. As we take in the same impressions repeatedly as part of our daily routines, our brain adapts and places the impressions in a certain category that it instantly recognizes. It is how our brains function and it is for a good reason. If we were constantly taking in impressions as though for the first time, our brains would be flooded with an onslaught of new data to process, making it very difficult and exhausting for us to get through each day.
A result of constantly taking in the same impressions day to day is our reactions to these recurring impressions become automatic. Therefore, in order to consciously take in an impression we have become accustomed to receiving and bypass our automatic response, we must pause and be present to it.
The impressions we take in are positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). We all know how it feels to take in a positive impression such as a beautiful sunset. But, what happens when we take in negative impressions? What exactly happens when someone yells at you, does something hurtful towards you, or you see, read, or hear something that is offensive and disturbing?
You may recall in a previous video, Balancing Your Four Centers, I stated that we have an instinctive, moving, emotional and intellectual center, and that each center possesses a positive and negative side.
Negative impressions feed the negative part of the emotional center and fuel our innate desire to express a negative emotion in response. Over time, an abundance of negative impressions and their subsequent negative emotions can literally make us physically, mentally and psychologically ill.
The question is, “How do we navigate our day to day existence and not allow negative impressions to feed the negative part of the emotional center and elicit negative emotions that only serve to keep us identified and unable to experience the present moment?”
One of the things my teacher said was, “You have the right to not be negative.” This is because we are not born with negative emotions; we acquire them. If we were born with negative emotions, it would be nearly impossible to separate from them.
We may not be able to avoid taking in a negative impression, but we can stop the expression of any negative emotion it elicits inside us.
Try to receive negative impressions objectively versus subjectively.
In other words, try not to identify with the negative impression and take it as a personal offense, but instead, be present to the negative impression. Observe the negative impression for what it is versus identifying with the negative response it evokes. In doing so, you take control of the negative impression as opposed to the negative impression taking control of you.
Furthermore, when you can successfully take in negative impressions objectively, you will see that you are able to transform the energy accompanying the negative impression into fuel you can utilize to be more present.
When you are able to do this with greater frequency, you may realize the sheer abundance of impressions, both positive and negative, you receive each day and begin to consciously choose to allow some impressions to enter while rejecting others. In this way, you become the gatekeeper to your inner world.
By taking in more positive impressions and rejecting unnecessary negative ones, you can literally improve your health and overall enjoyment of life, as you begin to understand that positive impressions feed the soul while negative ones make it more difficult for you to be present.
As you consciously take in impressions, you slowly separate from the ego and begin to experience life from the soul.
I hope this serves you in your desire for personal and spiritual growth.
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