My friend Jaime Mintun recently posted on her blog, “What Inspires You When Nothing Else Can?” I got to thinking about that question rather seriously, and what I discovered was interesting.
The spirit of the question was intended as “When you can’t get yourself going, what do you do to get going?” Inspirational quotes, thoughts, videos, poems, stories, etc.
And while I use those on a regular basis, if we don’t take them in fully, they become just more platitudes and cliches for false positive thinking (like my recent email, “The LIE about positive thinking.”)
In my serious discovery, I decided to take the question further and explore it from a “Dark Night of the Soul” perspective. In other words, what can we do when we experience life as so beyond miserable that NOTHING else can inspire us?
The answer surprised me…
When *nothing* else can, only 1 thing works: entertaining distraction.
That’s because when life seems miserable, your mind is so consumed by a negative state that it can’t even recognize there’s a positive aspect to the world. This negativity becomes a habit so bound to your psychological state that it can only be broken by completely severing your connection to that negativity.
That isn’t easy because it requires an equal and opposite consuming force.
Something so consuming that you completely forget about the negativity long enough to break the downward spiral your mind is in.
And in a moment where you lack even the basic self-awareness to realize you’re in a deeply negative state and you don’t want to be, there’s almost nothing you can do to bring yourself up.
That’s why in my experience with extreme circumstances, entertainment and distraction are the keys to opening that door. It becomes a way that the mind can literally “forget” about the negativity. All it takes is a small crack to let a little bit of the light in.
There’s two things to keep in mind about this though:
(1) Make sure that your entertaining distraction includes humor and/or inspiration.
No horror movies. No purely action flicks. No dramas. All of those will only serve to reinforce your negative state in one way or another.
Instead, fill your mind with stories of success and triumph. Fill your heart with moments of laughter and joy. In other words: choose something that can help align you with the way you’d like to live.
(2) Don’t make the entertaining distraction a habit of its own.
When you do that, you’re only trading one distraction for another. And while it may feel better, it perpetuates the lie of positive thinking. That keeps you from living a truly happy and fulfilled life.
Instead, see the entertaining distraction as a momentary gateway to lift you up. From that initial lift, start re-using your personal transformation tools: meditation, affirmations, brainwave entrainment, EFT, and whatever else you can think of.
The entertainment and distraction won’t heal the fundamental problems that brought you into a negative state. Only self-awareness has that ability.
Still, when you find yourself completely down and out… in a negative hole you can’t find your way out of — find an entertaining distraction. And if at all possible, one that will make you laugh.
If you can find a laugh, you can find a light. 🙂
Your Partner In Transformation,
Liberate Your Life
P.S. Out of curiousity, what inspires you when nothing else can? Press REPLY and let me know!