One of the most common suggestions I see regarding getting the most out of Law of Attraction, or simply in the pursuit of success is, banish your negative thoughts.  Getting rid of all negative thoughts seems to be a key component of achieving success using most any method. 

One big problem with this approach is, the moment you place your attention on the negative thoughts you want to be rid of, you’ve activated them in your experience.  Your unconscious, the part of you that is your soul, your being, operates on rules that are different from those that govern you conscious thinking mind.  In an attraction-based universe, giving your attention to something is activating it. 

You are a conduit through which energy flows into the manifested world.  Your attention is the guidance system that determines what is activated by the stream of energy that flows from deep within you.  It’s like a garden hose with water flowing through.  The water goes where you point the hose.  In this case, the energy goes, and activates, where you point your attention. 

It is for this reason that focusing your attention on negative thoughts and feelings will simply end up giving you more of something you don’t want. 

It may be helpful to consider what benefit negative thoughts provide.  This may seem counter-intuitive, but the results can be quite beneficial.  Negative thoughts and emotions are simply signals telling you that you are presently focused upon something you don’t prefer, or don’t like.  To change your experience all you need do is change where you’ve focused your attention. 

Beyond their function as signals for things you don’t like, negative thoughts and feelings serve another function.  They support the egoic sense of self.  Egoic, in the sense that author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle talks about it, refers to the conscious mental processes that have been invested with a sense of “self” or “I.”  It’s your identification with the conscious thinking mind’s activities, its conceptualized past and future, that can cause confusion. 

It’s a little like identifying with the garden hose in the analogy above.  Most people are so identified with the thoughts they think, the ideas they have of who they are, the roles they play that they make the mistake of believing the content of the mind is actually who they are.  In the form of the analogy above its equivalent to believing you are the inanimate hose and not the vitalizing water running through the hose.  The vitalizing force that flows is who you are, not the structure that exists to provide direction to that energy flow.  This is the nature of the relationship between your conscious thinking mind and your source, your Being. 

Your conscious thinking mind is a tool that gives form to the impulses and intuition rising from deep within you.  Ego is the conscious thinking mind that’s been infused with “self.”  This is literally the content of your mind to which you’ve become attached and to which you identify. 

It’s the past you remember and describe as yours, not just to others, but to yourself.  It’s the experiences you call you own, it’s the culture you identify with, the political and religious affiliations you align with, the roles you play, and it’s also the future you plan for and anticipate.  All this and more constitute the content of your ego.  Negative thoughts are just a part of the manifested world, and a natural part of your own ego.  When you can learn to use them rather than being used by them by trying to banish them, or avoid them, you’ll have taken a major step toward using them as the tool they are intended to be. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Ralph W.