Consider this paradox: without darkness, there is no appreciation of light; without cold, warmth loses its comfort.
Likewise, without negative intent, positive intentions lose their depth.
But… what is negative intent?
It’s a state of mind or an inclination toward actions, thoughts, or emotions that are harmful, hurtful, or detrimental to oneself or others. Negative intent can manifest in various forms, such as ill-will, malice, spite, or a desire to undermine, hurt, or deceive. It is the opposite of positive intent, which involves intentions and actions aimed at promoting well-being, cooperation, and positive outcomes.
Contrary to what you might be thinking right now, negative intent is not your adversary. It’s actually an essential part of the human experience. It serves as a contrasting backdrop that enhances our understanding and appreciation of positive intentions.
Negative Intent – Friend or Foe?
When we delve into the concept of negative intent, we must also consider polarity and the idea that everything has its counterpart: fall and spring, hot and cold, light and dark, positive and negative.
If positive intent exists, so does negative intent. Picture them on a spectrum, with neither one superior to the other.
The belief that positive equals good and negative equals bad is a hierarchy rather than a spectrum lies at the heart of many of the global issues we currently face.
This problem arises because when something is deemed bad, we tend to want to eradicate it.
However, if we accept that light cannot exist without darkness, then eliminating what we perceive as negative would require destroying a part of ourselves.
The Paradox of Positive and Negative
For instance, when I project my most positive self, I have a more pleasant experience.
People enjoy working with me, and I feel better about myself when I’m seen as helpful and easygoing.
Conversely, this isn’t the case when my negative traits surface. I dislike myself when I feel jealous, insecure, or angry, and others tend to avoid me. But all of these aspects are part of the whole that defines who I am. My bad days don’t define me any more than my good days do, but they complement each other, like mirror images.
Both positive and negative emotions are expressions of vital energy that need release, akin to gasoline powering a car.
However, we often react hastily to negative feelings by either harming others or shutting down emotionally. This quick, aggressive reaction burns up the fuel too rapidly.
Harnessing Negative Intent
So, what if we approached negative feelings as we would a friend?
What if we viewed them neutrally, taking the time to understand their bodily manifestations and exploring productive outlets?
The intensity of sadness or anger can be powerful, but we frequently waste it on sudden outbursts that lead to regret and shame.
The problem isn’t the emotions themselves; it’s how we handle them. Instead of avoiding negative feelings at all costs, you can learn to harness their energy for a positive purpose. They are a part of you, and trying to eradicate them harms your entire being.
Embracing All of Yourself
The idea of negative intent isn’t about casting it aside, but understanding its place in the spectrum of human emotions.
By embracing negative intent as a friend rather than an enemy, we unlock its potential to enrich our lives and deepen our understanding of ourselves. Just as light and dark coexist to create a balanced world, so do positive and negative intent coexist to create a balanced life.
Embrace this duality, and you’ll find a path to greater self-understanding and personal growth.
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.