The Negative Power Of Visualization
There is a great deal written about the power of visualization and using it to manifest our dreams. Visualize what you want, tune into the feeling of it being here, and trust that it is on its way. Empower it further with the faith that feels gratitude for it already.
But what is not written about nearly as much, yet which may be even more important, is the negative power of the spontaneous, often unconscious visualizations we indulge in everyday, all day.
Whatever your mood, attitude or emotional state may be in at any given instance, it attunes you to mental visualizations that feed and support it. If you feel sad you see mental visions of yourself in a sorry state. If you feel anxious you see scenes of a future that frightens you. If you feel angry you see mental movies of being taken advantage of, outdone, and abused.
There are two basic problems with these spontaneous, often unconscious visualizations. First, we experience as real the visualization that occupies the space of our consciousness. If you visualize yourself being impoverished in any way, you experience that poor, pathetic condition as real and feel the emotional suffering that goes with that. If you imagine someone outdoing you, you have the experience of being outdone, dominated, misused and feel just as badly about it as if it was really happening.
The second problem with spontaneous visualization is that whatever you visualize programs creation to produce physical conditions to match it. So envisioning yourself losing a client while you are running late for an appointment directs the creative currents of life to bring something like that about. You may not lose this client, but a loss is being created for you.
It takes more than a moment of visualization to manifest a physical condition that matches it, but each moment of visualizing a condition directs the currents of your destiny toward the manifestation of that condition. So you send yourself a little bit off course with each visualization of a condition that you do not want.
How many times a day do you envision yourself in a financial problem, a relationship problem, a health problem, a problem of lack, loss or limitation of any form? How many times a day do you imagine yourself being worse off than you want to be?
You most likely do not know because so much of our thinking goes on unconsciously. You can be sure, though, that to the degree that you experience unhappiness in any form, you are envisioning something you don’t want.
For instance, during my divorce I experienced heartache as a beach trip approached that my soon to be ex-wife was taking with my children and without me. It was going to be the first beach trip the family took without dad. I was raised on the beach and sharing beach time with my children and wife was always a sacred experience for me. Making the kids mud balls, running about the waves, taking them swimming, the romantic moments with my wife in the sea... it all meant so much to me. And it seemed so unfair that we were now having this experience broken up because my wife didn’t want to be married to me anymore. It hurt my heart to see her as so selfish.
I allowed myself to feel this sadness consciously and soon realized that what was hurting me was how I was thinking, what I was visualizing. I was visualizing her being selfish and feeling deeply hurt. I was visualizing myself feeling left behind and forlorn, missing the wonderful beach experience I wanted to have. It was all going on in my head and I didn’t realize that until I paid closer attention to what was going on within me.
Once I saw that I was indulging in negative visualization I could gradually pull my attention out of the negative and begin to consider the life I wanted to create. In other words, I opened my mind to receive a vision of a great life.
No matter how much positive visualization you practice, your efforts are undermined by any unconscious, negative visualization you slip into. Therefore, the most important practice for freeing ourselves from suffering and directing our life into its highest potential is the practice of directing attention within, to look for any visualizing going on within us in the present moment.
When you feel angry with someone it is because you are visualizing that person in a way that makes you feel angry. When you feel defeated it is because you are envisioning yourself in a state of defeat. When you feel inadequate it is because you are visualizing yourself as an inadequate person. When your life feels less significant than someone else’s life it is because you are envisioning your life as inferior compared with that other person’s. It’s all going on in your head. All of your emotional suffering can be traced to a visualization.
When you begin to practice being more aware of your thoughts and feelings the first thing usually discovered is how much thinking and feeling goes on below the threshold of awareness. Working on becoming more conscious is like trying to stay awake when you feel heavily drawn into sleep. It takes will, perseverance and endless determination to make the mind as conscious as you can make it.
But it is worth the effort. Little by little it frees you from suffering in the present and in the future. You free up energy being wasted on negative visioning that you can now direct into positive visioning.
Begin paying closer attention to what you are thinking in the present moment and you will see how much suffering you have been causing yourself, suffering that you used to blame on life, on God or on other people. When your thinking is making you suffer it is what you are doing to yourself with your mind that is the cause. Your mind is a marvelous tool but it becomes a destructive weapon that you use against yourself when it is not under your conscious control.
Work daily on keeping watch on your mind, on keeping your mind free of negative, pain-causing visualization. Cleanse your mind of habitual negative visualization to liberate the positive power of visualization and enjoy a more glorious life of miraculous dreams coming true.
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