Thanks to a friend for this question:
Am I to understand that a person should never feel a sad emotion? Like say if your loved one is dying or in the hospital? If so, I don't agree with that. We are all human and feeling a lower vibration of emotion at times like that is only normal. I wouldn't want to be a zombie who never felt soulful emotions.
I don't think letting your guard down and having a period of mourning or sadness is going to hurt your manifesting skills at all. It hasn't mine! I have been very upset at times, and I still have everything I want and more on the way. I think people can get a little overzealous about positivity sometimes. We still have to be human, and we can't turn our backs on people in time of need just so they won't bring our positivity down.
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With much emphasis these days on embracing all aspects of ourselves, including our shadow side and painful emotions, this question seems relevant indeed.
It is the recommendation of Abraham to feel as happy as we can feel, whatever our current circumstances. And of course, the way we feel happy is by choosing thoughts that feel good when we think them.
It is not the recommendation of Abraham to go around trying to think the happiest thought you've ever thought or anyone else has ever thought, especially in challenging situations. Rather, the idea is to try to view all events in the best-feeling way you can find. As a result of that approach, the situation will stand to improve. When we make the best of things, things get better.
If a loved one is in the hospital and/or dying, your goal would not be to feel cheerful and chipper. But between the despair that many people experience in such circumstances and the opposite end of the spectrum of feeling chipper, there is an enormous range of thoughts/emotions that would feel better than despair.
As an example, let's take a scenario where one's mother has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. (My mom was diagnosed with that in 1985, had surgery, and recovered to live twenty more healthy years.)
Initial thoughts might include: "Oh no, my mom might die! What would I do without her? I'd be so sad that I couldn't cope with life! How can this awful thing happen to her? She was never a smoker -- this just isn't fair!"
Those are thoughts of panic, anger, and despair. The goal would be to move up, a notch or two at a time, to thoughts that feel better.
"Well, thank goodness there's better medical treatment these days than ever before. I'm glad that Mom has a fairly good attitude. They seemed to have caught the problem fairly early. I remember a friend who had a parent who survived this illness, and maybe my mom can, too. She has always been resilient. I'm glad that the doctor is good at explaining her treatment options. The nurses have been so caring and understanding. I'm going to picture a good outcome from her surgery and hold that in my mind to the extent I can."
So, this isn't about NOT having negative thoughts/feelings and certainly not about trying to put on a happy face when feeling turmoil inside (Abraham has referred to that as pasting a happy face sticker over a gas gauge that says "empty.") It's about finding thoughts that feel less bad, and less bad, and less bad and then, as you effect a gradual improvement in your feelings, you'll notice gradual improvement in the situation.
As we shift the way we view a scenario, a scenario will shift in its own unique way. It is universal law. So we have everything to gain and nothing to lose from moving beyond horrible-feeling thoughts.
Nothing good comes from feeling bad. Nothing good ever has come from feeling bad and nothing good ever will come from feeling bad. If we find ourselves reacting to situations with despair or anguish, we don't compound the situation by "beating ourselves up" for those feelings but rather we set about reaching--reaching for better-feeling thoughts. That's the drill. Pay attention to your emotions, and if you find yourself feeling bad, make it top-priority to find thoughts that feel less-bad.
With regard to the part of the question concerning turning our backs on people in their time of need so that they won't bring us down:
I think this is something we have to feel our way through with regard to each individual situation, ever mindful that it does no one any good for us to feel sympathy, regret, or commiseration. Our first allegiance is always best given to our own vibration. But if we can reach out to others WHILE STAYING IN A GOOD-FEELING PLACE, that is a great thing to do. If we can be helpful while feeling a sense of purpose, love, and caring, we can go for it. If, however, another person's plight causes us to lose a sense of our own well-being, we'd do well to change our thoughts about the situation before trying to reach out to them. Otherwise, we have little to offer them long-term and we only increase our own vulnerability.
The best gift we can give anyone is an example of a person who is thriving, and we can thrive only from a place of allowing our own well-being. And we can allow our own well-being only through consistently focusing our thoughts in ways that feel good. If that means, at times, steering clear of other people's drama and trauma, well, so be it. (Whew, it has taken me years to reach the point where I could begin to say something like this, and frankly it feels SO good, SO freeing.)
Sure, we're human. Sure, we have times of painful emotions. Those painful emotions are just like the pain receptors in our hands that tell us when we're touching a hot stove. They give us crucial information. The pain receptors in our hands say, "Change the position of your hand before you are burned!" and the painful emotions likewise say, "Change the way you're viewing this situation before you are burned."
Painful emotions: They're a vital part of our life experience. They're simply messengers, and there's no need to shoot those messengers. But there is a need to heed the messages they bear.
One of Georgia O'Keefe's "Jack in the Pulpit" paintings in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Sometimes I feel like Karen in the Pulpit, as I "preach" about the Abraham principles. Please let me know if I need to dial it down a notch. (Of course, I shall not heed your advice.) :)