The Practice of Turning Negatives Into Positives

by Michael Corthell 

In mathematics, if we multiply the negative numbers, -6 x -2 it equals a positive 12. In the human mind and its behavioral world it is a bit different of course. To turn negative experiences into positive ones requires faith, wisdom and understanding.

It is very important to understand that everything in life happens for a reason and there are no accidents or coincidences, and everything in God’s infinite universe is governed by immutable laws. It is also good to understand that everything that is happening around you, good or bad, is in some way organizing and conspiring to help you.

If something happens in life, either positive or negative, it has happened to teach a lesson—a spiritual lesson. Who is the teacher? Why, God, of course. In reality, everything that happens is 'good' because it leads to the ultimate good.

There is an old saying, ''Everything comes out in the wash.'' To even look at something as negative or bad is an interpretation of the self. Events are colored by your own experiences.

Everything is good in the sense of everything being a lesson for the self and spiritual test. It is okay to have the preferred expectation for good to happen, even all the time, and this is as it should be being a positive thinker. However, the true lesson is to be joyful even when something bad happens to you or the people you love. This is the main lesson taught in the Book of Job. Happiness then becomes a state faith and of mind, not anything outside of yourself.

The 'why' of something happening to you, in reality, doesn't matter—it has happened. The true reality is that you needed the lesson that it taught. Read that again. It is very important. ''The true reality is that you needed the lesson that it taught.'' If you have FAITH, you will readily accept this as true. If your faith is weak or non-existent you will not.

Stated in the paragraph above is the Universal truth of our reality. It is at the core of our human existence.

Mankind has always cried, ''Why am I here?''. The answer is to learn (and teach). ''Learn what!?'' I believe the answer to that question is given to all of us when we graduate from this life, but the general, blanket answer to that question is to learn to love God, all human beings and all of God's creation. 

Now, how do we turn something negative that has happened into a positive experience maintaining a positive mindset?

First, view the negative or bad thing that happened as a spiritual lesson and spiritual test.

Second, practice forgiveness and unconditional love towards yourself and your neighbor.

Third, know (have faith) that everything that happens (like failure) carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. A golden nugget of wisdom, understanding or information.

Fourth, recognize that everything works for a good result in God’s infinite universe and that God always makes good out of everything for His purpose. We have all used the expression this was a ''blessing in disguise'' haven't we?

For myself personally, I thank God for everything that is happening in my life. I thank Him for the opportunity to learn all these lessons and the opportunity to learn more. I now tend to focus on what I can do, not on what I can't do. I now focus on what I have gained, not what I have 'lost' in life.

This positive way of looking at the negatives in life has led me to a very creative, productive and joy filled existence.  

Finally, don't fret about others negative attitudes, and worry about what they think and say about you or your optimism. When you have a positive mindset, the people around you will have a better opinion of you—they can't help not to, and will therefore have to treat you with more respect—your positivity will be infectious. 


Negative Mindset? Here's How to Get 'Unstuck'

by Alison Ledgerwood

Alison Ledgerwood joined the Department of Psychology at UC Davis in 2008 after completing her PhD in social psychology at New York University. She is interested in understanding how people think, and how they can think better. Her research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates how certain ways of thinking about an issue tend to stick in people's minds.

Her classes on social psychology focus on understanding the way people think and behave in social situations, and how to harness that knowledge to potentially improve the social world in which we all live.