Last week’s post sparked a lot of comments and questions.  I wrote on the dangers of trying to be positive when you are feeling negative and I suggested that instead of pretending to be positive you just dissolve your negative occurrings and feelings.

bigstock-Business-People-With-Question--030513Because there has been so much interest in this topic, I decided to devote this week’s post to responding to some of the questions from last week.  My comments below go much deeper into the topic than my original post.


Marie wrote:

“Thank you for the post. Separating the meaning from the event is a very useful and clarifying thing to do. However, I have in my mind something for what I cannot use this method to dissolve the negative feeling. The event: a colleague, who is also a good friend, gave me feedback from a recent work project; he basically says that it should be redone (and his comments make sense).  The meaning I associate with it: I am not able to do my job well enough. I am sad for that, and I am afraid that I will lose this job that I like very much. Would you have a comment on this?”

Here’s my response:

Virtually all negative feelings come from meaning and ALL meaning is made up in our mind. Telling you a job should be redone has no inherent meaning.

It could mean you are not able to do your job well enough. It could mean you do your job very well and this one assignment needs improvement. It could mean the colleague thinks it needs improvement and he is wrong.  You could create many meanings—but what you were told has no inherent meaning. When you really get that idea, the meaning will dissolve along with the sadness.  So will your fear that you will lose your job.

Kevin wrote:

“Sounds like what you are saying is to simply re-frame a negative meaning you ascribe to an event, into a positive meaning so as to experience positive feelings.
My question then, is how do you get around your negative beliefs about a situation, which have been formed from negative experiences from your past; which are now bringing up your negative feelings within this now-occurring situation?”

Here’s my response:

My four-step process for dissolving occurrings is not “simply re-framing a negative meaning into a positive meaning.”  I suggest that you first dissolve the negative meaning.  When you do that the feelings that accompanied the meaning also will dissolve.  Also, in most cases you do not need to create a positive meaning.  You are better off looking at any event clearly, without a positive or negative filter.

Your beliefs are a major influence on the meaning you give events, but beliefs and occurrings are not the same thing.  Your feelings are caused by your occurrings, not your beliefs.  Moreover, it is possible to dissolve meaning without getting rid of the beliefs that caused it.

Frances Cranton wrote:

“Morty thanks for post.  I have found our old programming and beliefs define how we feel about an event. I really try to get to the route of why I feel a certain way and what is within me causing the true upset.”

Here’s my response:

You don’t have to try to figure out why you feel the way you do.  You feel a certain way because of the meaning you have given an event. That is what’s causing your upset.

Follow the four-step process from last week’s post and the meaning will dissolve, along with the upset.

Gary wrote:

“These are good suggestions. But emotions are like an elephant and the conscious mind is like its rider. The conscious mind may be convinced of the logic of a teaching it hears and want to implement it, but the elephant, or subconscious mind, where emotions reside, has been deeply conditioned to react to stimuli in certain ways and is not easily persuaded to change using logic alone. That ‘self’ underneath has its own view of reality and won’t give it up easily. However, I will give this a try and be in touch. Thanks.”

Here’s my response:

I understand your point of view, but hundreds of people (including me) have tried this process and discovered that if you apply the four steps the meaning dissolves easily, along with any feelings caused by the meaning.   It is not our experience that the “self underneath has its own view of reality and won’t give it up easily.”

The process I suggest is not using logic to convince the conscious mind of anything; it is just recognizing that something you thought was inherent in the event is, instead, meaning you added to the event.

Take a look at this short video for more details of how the mind unconsciously and automatically creates meaning and how the Lefkoe Occurring Process dissolves it:

Suzanne Kiraly wrote:

“I think for smaller things it may work to be positive to turn things around. You might ask yourself, how much will this really matter in a week, month or year? And you might be able to easily turn your emotion around. But when you are hit with major bad news like a loved one dying or having a serious health problem, you can’t just put on a happy face and pretend that everything is okay. It takes time to digest the problem and to heal. … The more meaning you give to something the bigger the problem related to it can seem and the harder it can be to dissolve the meaning.”

Here’s my reply:

I’m not talking about trying to put a positive feeling on top of a negative feeling or “pretending that everything is okay.”  I agree; that won’t work. In fact, that was the main point of my post last week.

My experience and the experience of hundreds of others is that there is no such thing as “more meaning” versus less meaning.  Moreover, it doesn’t have to take “time to digest the problem and heal.”

That may be true of techniques you have used in the past. This process, however, can be used as soon as you recognize that you have ascribed meaning to an event.  I contend that it is possible to dissolve any meaning, regardless of the event.  People have told me that they have used this process when informed about serious illness and it worked for them.

Sharon wrote:

“I am confused about the meaning I give something. Suppose the meaning is: people are not doing their jobs and this is correct, and it makes me angry how do I change the meaning? I understand if the meaning is my negative meaning, but what if my meaning is correct and not only my negativity. Can you help me understand that? It is a large problem for me.”

Here’s my reply: 

If people are not doing what they are supposed to do, that is not meaning; it is an event in reality. And there are consequences to many events. But the event has no meaning, in other words, you don’t know anything about anything for sure merely from the fact that an event happened. The fact they aren’t doing their jobs will not produce any feelings. The feelings (in your case, anger) come from the meaning you attribute to the event. What meaning are you giving the event?

Angie wrote:

“What if the ‘event’ ended in someone you love no longer speaking to you because they’re blaming you for something that occurred? Even if you give the event no meaning, they’re still not speaking to you. How do you not give that meaning?”

Here’s my reply:

You can—and most people do—give meaning to many events all day long.  I don’t contest that.  What I suggest is that all those meanings can be easily dissolved.

Moreover, what do I know for sure about you, the person no longer speaking to you, relationships, the rest of your life, etc. from the fact that someone you love is no longer speaking to you? I don’t know anything for sure.  That’s what I mean by events have no inherent meaning.

Rodrigues wrote:

“I have a friend who is passing thru a very difficult time in her life. Broken relationship, financial problems, weak health… We are very intimate, so she feels free to tell me how she feels. But among other people she is motivated to pretend that every thing is going to be all right, its just a matter of time… in fact we both know that that is not true. Once, a person met her at a coffee break and asked her for a smile… she couldn’t do it, of course!!! Indeed, positive thoughts do not solve the real problem… only covers it.”

Here’s my reply:

I’m not talking about creating positive thoughts to cover negative thoughts.  I agree that doesn’t work.  I’m saying that you can interpret events as disasters or opportunities—in other words, they have no inherent meaning. When you make a clear distinction between an event and the meaning you attribute to it, the meaning will dissolve.  There is no need to pretend everything is okay or try to cover up negative feelings.

Thanks for reading my blog.  Please share below your thoughts and questions on why trying to be positive doesn’t help you … and can actually hurt you, and how you can actually dissolve negative feelings quickly and easily.  Your comments will add value for thousands of readers.  I read them all and respond to as many as I can.

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Copyright © 2013 Morty Lefkoe

Use this information to improve your life

The next time you notice you are experiencing any negative feelings, use the four steps I described in last week’s post to dissolve the occurrings that are causing the feelings.  It really does work.