By Drew CosterLast updated: 21 Jan 2019 ~ 4 MIN READ
As a change facilitator and therapist, I recognize there really isn’t a one-size fits all approach to being healthy and happy. Which is why books by gurus, and therapies sometimes work and sometimes don’t.
The truth is just because something worked well for one person, that doesn’t mean it will work the same for you. And sometimes finding the right solution which for you can be a challenge.
So, what happens if you’ve tried multiple approaches to change something in your life and you still feel as if you’re stuck in a rut, and nothing seems to work? Well, I sometimes find the simplest approach to change is often the most helpful, which is why I introduce the Law of Polarity to my collaborative partners.
There’s nothing magical about the Law of Polarity. In fact, you already understand the concept because what the Law of Polarity tells us is that there’s a duality in everything. You can’t have a positive without a negative. An up without a down. Good without bad. Dark without light. And at life’s most basic, you can’t have a positron without an electron.
Therefore, why would we only focus our thinking on one polarity? Why focus on the negative, the bad, the sad, the downright annoying, when we can switch our thinking to the alternative?
This might sound simplistic, because it is.
But if we want to move our lives in a different direction and break old patterns of behavior, then this Law of Polarity can be a helpful tool. With this change in thinking, alternatives are always available to us.
How can this work for you?
The first step is to learn how to switch your thinking between these polarities. The way to do that is to step back and look at how you are thinking, feeling, and behaving in an unhealthy negative situation.
Once you’ve done that, see if you can identify what the negative situation is teaching you. This might sound like an absurd concept, but if you can detach yourself from how you feel about a situation for one moment, and be objective about what is happening, you’ll find the negative polarity teaches us a lot about what we don’t want in our life. The flip side to this is that the opposite polarity often teaches us what we want more of in our life.
If you’re stuck in the negative, ask yourself: “What am I learning from this negative situation and what might be the positive alternative I can take?” Answer honestly. This is difficult at first but persevere because this view switching will help you work with the Law of Polarity.
For example: A difficult situation and thoughts to move away from might be: “I’m so lonely. Nobody loves me. My life means nothing.” This might feel true to you, however, that doesn’t mean you let those thoughts or feelings keep you in a lonely situation.
What is this negative polarity teaching you? I don’t like being lonely. I don’t have a significant person in my life who I feel loves me. I’m not happy with how my life is going. My life isn’t fulfilling. Now, take the information you’ve learned and think about what the opposite polarity can teach you about the steps you might need to take to change the negative situation?
Negative Polarity: I don’t like being lonely.
Positive Polarity: If I’m lonely I need to be around people.
Action: I will join groups with like-minded people. This will boost my confidence and enable me to make friends.
Negative Polarity: I don’t have a significant person in my life to love.
Positive Polarity: I have no one to love because I don’t love myself right now. I need to take more care of myself and have pride in how I look and behave. I know I can love as I’ve had a partner before, so I know it can happen, I need to put in the effort.
Action: Being in groups will increase my chances of meeting people. I also want to make myself available by being visible on dating services.
Negative Polarity: I’m not happy with how my life is and I feel stuck.
Positive Polarity: I’m not happy at work.
Action: I’ll look for a new job. I will update my resume and spend an hour a day job hunting. While I’m doing that, I’ll investigate further education in subjects I enjoy. Going back to school, even part-time, might help me find friends and/or a partner.
Negative Polarity: My life isn’t fulfilling.
Positive Polarity: I’ve not been true to myself and I’ve been self-centered.
Action: Looking for a job and potential further education excites me. I’ll also engage in volunteer work as helping others will bring me joy. I miss helping people.
Can you can see the different energy from flipping the polarity? The situation didn’t change, just the person’s view. From that, they now have a clearer action plan on what to change if they want to move forward.
You might dismiss this Law of Polarity as unhelpful because it’s simplistic. But that’s the point. Change need not be hard. It is important to realize life doesn’t magically alter just through positive thinking.
All we are doing by practicing the Law of Polarity is learning there are alternatives to any situation. For example, if your boss yells at you for messing up? Don’t be sad, instead consider what your negative thoughts and feelings are teaching you in that moment? Feeling angry about being stuck in traffic? What are you learning from this negative situation and what can you do differently? It’s nothing more than a method of learning to see problems differently.
In life, the only thing you have total control over is your thinking, so why keep focusing on only one polarity. We may not have the power to change what life throws at us, but we can change how we view any situation.
Sometimes the simplest approach is the most helpful.