Putting My Great Capacity To Lie To Myself To Good Use!
I write this at a time when Jupiter – the planet linked to good luck, broadening of horizons and the positive, is currently making a harmonious aspect to the position of Mercury – the planet of communication and short trips. What does this mean for us all ? That it’s a time for positive thinking or writing about things that will broaden one’s outlook.
I also write this at a time when in my personal chart, Jupiter is doing pretty much the same thing to Mercury although this influence will last a couple of months and not a couple of days like the first example. So isn’t it fitting that I have decided to dedicate this post to positive thinking.
Positive thinking, as it was pointed out by my mother as we sat in a restaurant celebrating my recent birthday, is something that I had been doing less and less of. The trials and tribulations of the last two years which are reflected by Saturn conjunct my moon in Libra have led to a “nothing ever good happens ” type of thinking or, “I never seem to make any progress”. Have I always been this way? I think not. Looking back, I realise how easy it is to head down the slippery path of negative thinking when one enters a challenging life cycle. Something challenging happens and I get wary and start to expect more challenging things to happen and then I get more negative and more wary ad nauseam. Thus I found myself, whom I had always considered to be a positive person, stuck in a negative thinking rut.
Of course I’d my moaning had been challenged by my shrink: “nothing ever happens, really, never?” I would correct myself realising that was not true and I would focus on all the good things that had happened in the day and all the things to be thankful for and that I usually took for granted. But I still wasn’t really taking the lesson on board.
And then as I sat in the restaurant bemoaning the lack of progress between two birthdays the message went in a little more than usual. Perhaps my mother was right. Perhaps I was being overly negative.
In the past I had read the blurb about positive thinking from the followers of the law of attraction. I would think positive for a bit but then nothing would really change so I would give up. Or something not quite as I wished for would happen and I would say: ‘see, it doesn’t work’. Furthermore, part of me wanted to bypass positive thinking as that way I could also bypass the disappointment from getting my hopes dashed.
Some words which did make an impact on me in the way no self-help guru did were from the book “Bounce” by Mathew Syed *. It had been on my wish list for a while and I purchased it at the airport recently when I had three hours to kill and refused to spend money on a trashy novel that would only last the length of the journey. Perhaps it made an impact on me because it was not from a self-help guru but from man who had competed in the Sydney Olympics in table tennis and it was billed as a sports psychology book. Somehow this felt more grounded in reality and therefore more credible to me.
The main message of the book is that it is hard work rather than talent than separates the winners from the rest, in every domain of life. Added to this is the fact they think positively. Syed says:
“That which separates the best from the rest is a capacity to believe things that are not true but which are incredibly effective” ( p144)
The more we believe, the more likely we are to get positive results. He quotes Norman Peale , who wrote the famous “The Power of Positive Thinking”. He says:
“if you expect the best you are given some strange kind of power to create the conditions that produce the desired results” (p154)
All well and good I think as I read, my heart rising with excitement. At the same time I feel my heart holding back a little due to the dreaded fear of disappointment. The question I need answered is how do you deal with not getting what you want despite your positivity.
Syed explains the answer to this through ‘doublethink’. You choose the version of the story which works for you and if the cold hard facts change then you rewrite your story. For example if I don’t get the job I went for then I focus on all the positives of what I did really well in the interview and how I have come even closer to getting an even better job.
He also talks of a visualisation exercise to help with positivity. You visualise a time when you did something well for example doing a great interview, then feel in your body how it felt, then visualise yourself doing that great interview just before you go into a real-life one.
Hmm…..now this is exciting I start to think. You see perhaps one of the reasons why I had been feeling negative was due to what I call my tendency towards delusion. This is seen in the natal chart by a strong link between Mercury and Neptune or Mercury in the 12th house which is the sector of the chart linked to the subconscious and secrets (amongst other things). Wishful thinking about a romantic relationship or unrealistic thinking about a financial situation had certainly contributed to my doom and gloom birthday.
So perhaps this was a way to put my self-delusion to good use? If I use my well-developed ability to lie to myself to create positive things in my life then perhaps that is a win-win. So I have been. I go to town with my talent for fantasy to create myth after positive myth about how great my life is and how everything that happens to me is positive. After all that’s what Syed suggests. It is the strength of the belief that makes all the difference. If we wobble we need to pick ourselves up and get back on the beam.
And has there been a difference in the last six weeks or so since my resolution? Too early to say. Certainly I have gone out on a limb in terms of making some practical changes to my life. Have I kept to my resolution? I have fallen off the beam of positivity a few times however it is at these key moments that I tell myself, ‘this is when I can make the difference between positive and negative thinking”. So when something not so great happens I use my imagination to plant lots of positive affirmations in my head and to pretty much lie to myself about my reality.
And I’m still here, out on the beam, mainly embracing positivity and risking doing things differently in my life. So far, I haven’t fallen off…….
Mathew Syed, ‘Bounce” Harper Collins, 4th edition, 2011, London.