Positive Outcomes

There’s just no getting around the fact that you create your own reality. This spiritual principle can be hard to fully understand – yet once you do, it can be an excellent resource for handling life’s ups and downs with flair, or at least with a level head.

It’s really quite simple, when you feel bad about something that’s happened, you have a choice: you can stay with the bad feelings, or reach past them for something better. Many people use the concept that we create our own reality for the purposes of blame – their idea is that whatever’s wrong in your life has something to do with you attracting or creating it. If it’s good, you get the credit. And if it’s bad, you get the blame.

These concepts are pieces of the puzzle, but they miss the larger picture. It’s not about blame or credit – it’s about energy, about how your mind and emotions work, and how they affect what’s happening to you and what will happen. Your feelings and thoughts are like magnets, and when something bad happens you want to get past the “ick” factor, fast.

Let’s say someone has deliberately embarrassed you in public – maybe at a party, or at a meeting in the office. You are more than embarrassed – you feel really angry, yet unable to act on that emotion. You also feel cornered, exposed and humiliated. What was said was unfair – and untrue! Still, a part of you wonders if somehow, some way, you created it. Now what?

Do this 4-step plan to reach a positive outcome:

1. Face up
First, start where you are. Denial never works, and feelings that are stuffed into closets of your psyche don’t go away – they fester. So acknowledge all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn’t have.

2. Step back
First, if you’re on a spiritual path you’re probably empathic, so in addition to your own emotions, you probably soaked up some of the feelings of the person who confronted you, and of everyone else who was there. So, sort out which are your own emotions, and discard the others.

Then take a moment to consider what you know about the other person. Perhaps what happened to you was really caused by events in that person’s life that are unrelated to you – a divorce, or maybe financial or family problems. That doesn’t justify what they did, but perhaps it will make it easier to get past the situation.

Also, check to see if there are any habits of thought – or prior experiences – that could be making your reactions bigger than they would otherwise be, or perhaps even a bit more intense than what might be appropriate, given what actually happened.

3. You choose
Finally, it’s time to choose a different way to feel. The trick to making this work is to select a feeling that’s within reach. If, for example, you’re feeling humiliated, joy is not possible for you at that moment. Humiliation is a helpless feeling, so go for an emotion that has some spunk – such as righteous anger. Not very spiritual, you say? Perhaps not – but those feelings are a step in the right direction, away from the helplessness of humiliation. This is fine, as long as you don’t plan on staying angry or becoming vengeful. You’ll move on from there to better feelings, as you continue choosing a more positive response.

4. Reality shift
Choosing how to feel can help even in the face of tragedy, especially as you learn to make choices without denial – but with a commitment to bringing light into the present moment. Each second is an opportunity to turn and head in the direction of well-being. A shift in your thoughts and in your willingness to see better possibilities allows you to notice alternatives to feeling bad.

Admittedly, the first couple of steps you take in a radically new direction might feel like turning a cruiseship on a dime, but if you can stay focused on your own emotional well-being – even for one full minute at a time – your direction will have shifted, and outcomes will begin to change. Stay with it, and miracles will occur!

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