My post several months ago, How To Live In A State of Bliss produced many more comments than usual. Many of you disagreed with my statements that it is possible to never have negative emotions if you dissolve the meaning you give the events that produce the emotion.
I’d like to respond to some of your comments as I think a lot of people think that it is important to feel ALL our feelings, even the unpleasant ones, and that it is impossible to take action if we don’t have emotional responses to events.
The negative is not necessary to achieve balance in our lives
I don’t believe our goal should be to only experience positive emotions. If one
does not acknowledge and accept all sides of themselves and all emotions
that they feel, then they will not achieve a sense of balance in their lives.
After spending 20 years reading all the self-help books and partaking in a
couple of the programs you have to offer, I have come to this conclusion. Like
anything good in life, one can get accustomed to it or the “bliss” starts to lose
it’s meaning and significance. That’s one of the main problems [of] most , if
not all, self-help programs and gurus……they’re always trying to find ways to
make the bad go away. There is beauty in the imperfections of human beings
and the “negative” ways in which the mind works. There really is something
to the concept of Ying and Yang. It’s old, it’s simple, and you don’t have get rid
of anything or learn any techniques for being or living. I’m interested in your
response, Morty. –Eric
I would contend that our emotions are primarily the result of the meaning we
give events (some are the result of conditioning), and if we stop giving negative meanings to events, we will stop having negative emotions. If you say trying something new means you probably will fail, you will feel anxiety. Anxiety feels bad. If you realize that trying a new project or even failing has no inherent meaning, you won’t feel anxiety.
What’s wrong with that? What wrong with stopping pretending that the meaning
you gave a meaningless event is true? Yes, we have a built-in capacity for positive
and negative emotions (good for me or bad for me), but that doesn’t mean we need
to feel negative emotions.
Thoughts can’t be hurtful
It’s very challenging to remain impassive in the face of negative comments
and abuse. Thoughts are powerful and hurtful ones, once verbalized, pierce
like an arrow. I’ve spent my life dodging the arrows and stray bullets. It’s
hard not to take things personally and abuse will win unless you take action.
My experience is that if you really do not give meaning to what others say,
their comments are not “hurtful.” Moreover, it actually is not “hard” to not
take things personally when you learn how to stop giving meaning to events.
The Lefkoe Occurring Process actually makes it relatively easy to stop giving
meaning to events.
You don’t need to give meaning to events to take action
Reading this post, and then Lucille’s take on it, leads me to ask about the
physical realities of positive or negative events brought by others into our
lives. For one example, if a stranger on the street comes up and says “you’re
an idiot” well, I don’t have to live with that guy and maybe if I do some self-
reflection he might have been giving his opinion over something I might have
overlooked and desire to change, perhaps something like walking under a
But what about when the other person’s comments are from a person whom
you have deeply ingrained in your life like a wife or serious girlfriend?
What if ignoring that person’s negative comments, such as anger toward
you for something that is strictly within “their” perception rather than
something “you” have done, will lead to negative actions? How to “not take it
personally” and yet still react in a way that creates positive change from such
a situation? — Smoke
You do not need to give meaning to a meaningless situation to be able to take
appropriate action. If you get fired you don’t need to give it the meaning that it is a
disaster to look for a new job.
If someone “treats you badly,” e.g., yells at you, you can choose to not give it
any meaning and still choose to not deal with that person in the future. Or ask
them why they were angry. Or take any other action. In fact, if your thinking
is not clouded by the emotions that result from occurrings, it is easier to take
appropriate action after dissolving your occurrings.
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