Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

In my last post. Are Negative Emotions “Unspiritual”?   I talked about how we need to go easy on ourselves when we find that we can’t always think positively, especially in light of the fact that we have a mood disorder. I also questioned the idea that the so-called “negative” emotions are always a bad thing, because they can teach us about ourselves and others.  A good analogy is that of physical pain, if we always ignore it then we would never learn not to touch a hot stove!

So pain is designed to tell us when something is wrong.  With bipolar disorder somehow our emotional pain signals have gotten screwed up. This is not our fault, although the outside world tends to judge us harshly for it. When we feel the pressure to “just think positively’ it is very difficult to get people to understand that there are times when we just can’t!

But does that mean that positive thinking doesn’t have a part in our recovery? No, because even if at a particular moment in time where we cannot actually believe something, just being exposed to a positive affirmation often enough can help change our beliefs. I am not saying permanently, because we are going to have mood swings. But maybe that positive thought can help slow our decent and help us get back on our feet again.

That is why I often put affirmations around my house and read them daily. I can make up my own or find quotes that inspire me. This isn’t about trying to make myself believe something, that would be counter-productive because I can’t do that. It is about planting a seed that (hopefully) will grow in my sub-conscious mind.

I want to share with you all one of my favorite inspirational quotes of all time. I am sure many of you are already aware of this one, but I think it bears repeating over and over. Enjoy!

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles *

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

*Note: Many people incorrectly attribute this quote to Nelsen Mandela