I’m currently reading a book by Andrea Mathews who I came across recently on Psychology Today. What made me gravitate towards her was the subject matter she dealt with in her articles; authenticity and stripping your soul bare off everything that doesn’t belong to it in order to find your true self. Now I am no fan of the whole self-help industry with all the New Agey undertones that isn’t substantiated by a shred of proof. But this was different, much different. It was in my search for her other works that I came across this book
The Law of Attraction: The Soul’s Answer to Why It Isn’t Working & How It Can
I know what you’re thinking, law of attraction?C’mon! But hold on, it’s not what you think . She does an excellent job of sifting through this niche found in the self-help community where it’s claimed that you can think your way to whatever you desire. It’s awfully misleading,overly simplistic and starry eyed but there is something to that theory, buried deep down all the humbug. This is the premises for this book and I have to be frank when I say that I was completely and utterly floored by the amount of eye opening explanations and the finesse with which she takes a topic such as the psyche that is largely unknown to us and explicates it.
I hope to do a more comprehensive review once I’m done, but I thought to share an excerpt¹ that was completely mind blowing:
Our so-called “negative” thoughts often spring from so-called ” negative” emotions or feelings. Emotions like pain,sorrow,anger and fear. Each of these emotions has value not only for the buried treasures held within it, but also because it brings us to a place of mysterious but often poignant beauty. If we have suffered a tragedy in life, if we really allowed ourselves to feel, we understand the pain and sorrow of that tragedy. If we allowed ourselves to sit with, feel and then soothe those feelings we know that as we just come off of a crying jag, we find more beauty in the color of the grass around us. The sky is bluer and people’s words and actions mean so much more. We know that even as the pain surrounds us, if we can sit with it and allow it its say, we simultaneously feel a deep peace as we are able to walk into the cold,dark caverns of our own being and light a fire there.
We swim the ocean depths when we range the full extent of our feelings. And these depths make it possible for us to see and fully appreciate the wonder of life. Perhaps it will not always be so, but for now, the truth is that nothing else, thus far in our evolutionary experience, has been able to bring us to those depths, like so-called “negative” emotions can. Unlike so-called “positive” emotions,pain,sorrow,fear and anger makes us pay attention. Even if only for a brief time, we begin to ask the right questions. Yet even anger and fear do not have the impact that pain and sorrow do to bring us to new consciousness and even new heights of transcendence. Still, we resist these emotions.
I put sorrow and pain together here because they are slightly different and yet seem to come together in a dance with every grief experience of any kind. Sorrow is that sense that we long for something or someone we have lost or wish we’d had. Pain is that bolder sitting on the chest that doesn’t let go until we stop and breathe it in. Pain is the ache that goes with the longing of sorrow. We fear these two as if they were the bubonic plague.
In fact, many of us are depressed simply because we don’t want to feel pain and sorrow. Now, most depressed people will tell us they do feel pain and sorrow. But very often, they are feeling only the fringes of it. The rest of the time they are feeling the hopelessness and loss of energy that comes from trying not to be overwhelmed by the deeper aspects of that pain and sorrow. That takes a lot of energy, so that finally they get exhausted and can’t seem to get out of bed. The more we deny ourselves the access to the richness of the feeling world, the less we feel alive, the less interest we have in living, the less we want to get up in the morning. And the simple fact is that once we start repressing feelings, we don’t just repress the so-called “negative” ones . We repress all of them. This is work. And it just takes the steam out of our ability to really desire life.
[…] This is the way of fear: It exposes us to our tenderness and that very tenderness becomes our strength because it is in walking compassionately with our vulnerabilities that we learn to put up appropriate boundaries, speak from our protective anger, and adjust with grace to new and strange environments.
¹ The Law of Attraction The Souls Answer to Why It Isn’t Working and How It Can. O, 2011. 38-39,42. Print.