I want to talk about how we might achieve peace, within ourselves and humanity as a whole. I know, this might feel like an impossible task, but we are a collective. I believe it is possible.
The reason is because families, communities, and countries are all a collective of individual expressions (for better or for worse). The key to creating peace is through each of us understanding and accepting our negative intent. It will take all of us in this “collective of humanity.”
Let me explain what I mean.
We Must Accept Polarities To Achieve Inner and Outer Peace
The first thing I need to discuss are polarities. The whole universe is made up of polar opposites: light and dark; sweet and sour; spring and fall; open and closed; positive and negative. All things in balance.
However, as humans, we tend to want to assign value to things right away. We love to put things into boxes like good and bad, black and white, left and right. But if we can look at these simply as options, one or the other versus right and wrong, what emerges is a new perspective. This new perspective shows us that positive intent and negative intent are just two ways to do something with a neutral space in between.
Now, what do I mean by “positive intent” and “negative intent”?
Positive intent usually includes those things that are easier to feel. Love, compassion, connection… each of these has a nice feeling. They’re “positive.” We like them. We prefer to be around a kind and loving person, and we prefer to see ourselves that way too.
All these positive things are what I call “positive intent.”
But what happens when we meet somebody who is jealous, or cruel?
How do we stay in the neutral space when someone we know does something unkind to us? These are more difficult things to experience and feel. We’re more likely to try to ignore them or push them down. And we’re definitely more likely to take them personally and react to them… or simply try to “focus on the positive.”
All those things you feel when you encounter this type of person are what I call “negative intent.”
The More You Ignore the “Negative” the More Power it Has
So, what’s fascinating is that the more we push our negative feelings away and refuse ownership of them, the more they persist. Why is this?
It’s because they need to be expressed. There will be no spring without the fall, no light without the dark. So how do we accept and embody our negative feelings without reacting and perpetuating a cycle of negativity?
When you find yourself being provoked by someone, you have the choice not to take it personally. You can take a step back and see the larger picture, see the whole spectrum.
It’s a powerful tool to be able to look at somebody and see that, in order for them to be a fully expressed human, they have to express all of themselves. The positive and the negative. And the same goes for you.
In order to be a fully expressed human you have to acknowledge your darkness and learn to work with it. You must learn to accept and embody your negative intent.
The Hardest Part of Accepting Negative Intent Isn’t What You Think
Now, you might find offering space or empathy toward someone else’s negative intent is actually relatively easy. You’ve worked on developing compassion towards others. It’s a value instilled in most of us from a very young age.
What’s much, much harder for most people, is to extend the same empathy they extend to others, towards themselves. When was the last time you said to yourself, “I’m angry, and that’s ok. I need to let myself be angry”?
I believe making the space to express all of yourself, the positive and the negative, is the first step toward achieving peace.
Because many of us take things on the global scale very, very personally. We see others acting with violence and unintentionally or intentionally react with violence and aggression. Either that, or we simply try to ignore the world around us. Unfortunately, ignoring the problems just starts the cycle over:
Ignore, push away, snap and react.
I believe if we could just understand that negative feelings aren’t inherently bad, and that they can be understood and transmuted, we wouldn’t lash out at each other the way that we do. We wouldn’t lash out at ourselves. We wouldn’t become trapped inside the storm of our emotions. We could step back and make sense of them, and from there make better choices. For ourselves, and for the world at large.
We all have negative intent within us.
Work with Your Negative Intent to Achieve Inner Peace
So it’s up to each of us to learn to work with that part of ourselves in a healthy way. I truly believe this is the path to inner and outer peace. Because if we continue to ignore and repress these parts of ourselves, they will only find other ways to get attention.
Just like I said in my previous post, your negative intent is like anger: it is simply an energy current that needs to be expressed.
If you’re ready to start to get to know your own negative intent in a safe way, sign up for a free introductory session with me. There’s no cost. It’s just to see if we’re a good fit for working together.
You can read more blogs on our website to learn about somatic therapy.