At times, we find our children tending toward a negative, critical or complaining view of life. This can happen even when life is quite good! If you have a child who habitually finds the ‘wrong’ or ‘negative’ in most situations, then it’s important to understand this lesson.
Let’s imagine for a moment that all thoughts are like magnets. This is true for adults, and even more obviously true for our children, if we take a moment to observe.
To see how this works, we must first understand that a thought ‘magnetically’ attracts similar thoughts—not opposite thoughts. This works because a thought automatically causes a feeling to follow the thought. This feeling (or emotional state) is truly magnetic, pulling thoughts that resonate with that emotional state. This means:
• Thoughts of beauty attract more thoughts of majesty.
• Thoughts of joy attract expanded thoughts of happiness.
• Thoughts of criticism attract ideas of severe blame and disparagement.
• Thoughts of sadness attract thoughts that are depressing.
• Thoughts of anger attract judgments leading to rage.
• Thoughts of inadequacy attract thoughts of worthlessness.
We’ve all seen how this works in our life. When we get into a period where we are “a bit down, it seems that we can’t dig our way out. Every critical, sad thought creates intense depressing emotions. This ‘negative emotional state’ becomes the magnet for thoughts that align with that negativity. Literally, this becomes a circle of a thought causing an emotion, which pulls a similar thought that THEN PULLS a deeper emotion.
The good news is that this works with both positive and negative thoughts. Thus, when things are going really well, it’s almost like nothing can touch us. We ride on an invincible wave. We just keep attracting those positive thoughts and those positive feelings follow, which then pulls more positive thoughts to support us.
Our Magnetic Thought Train
For a moment, consider your thoughts to be like a train. Sometimes the train can be short, and sometimes the train can long. At the end of the train, there is always a caboose, which is filled with emotions that come from the preceding thoughts. This caboose has the emotional ‘juice’ to magnetically attract the next thought train that comes along.
We can all easily get hooked on thoughts, which usher us to similar thoughts, and perhaps even more thoughts… ultimately leading us to the inevitable emotion that is tied to those thoughts. That’s the caboose!
But guess what? You can’t really control what goes on at the end of the train. That’s a consequence of the thoughts you give your life attention to. You see…the caboose must simply follow the train of thoughts. It’s really too late when we try to directly change the feelings we have, because we weren’t paying attention to where our train of thoughts was taking us.
Most of us do not understand this. We are constantly trying to affect the feelings we have while ignoring the ‘thought train’ that causes these feelings. We do this with some healthy coping mechanisms, like running or meditation. We also do this with both prescribed and non-prescribed medications. All are an effort to affect the consequences of our thinking and beliefs, while (often) ignoring the cause. We are living in the drama of the ‘caboose’ of our thought train, and trying to calm the effects without attending to the cause.
Children Are Like Sponges for Our Thought Trains
Our children, of course, are not immune to the influence of these thoughts and emotions. While we often readily acknowledge the power of someone’s depressive energy when they walk into the room, we tend to think of this as an adult awareness only. We also know the influence of a powerfully positive person, whose presence just lights up a room.
We easily see the impact such individuals on our own emotional states. Yet, in reality, our children are much more susceptible to the influence of Mom and Dad’s emotional state, as well as the thoughts that produce that emotional state. When we are truly immersed in thoughts of joy and happiness, this is a powerful attractor for our children…pulling conversation and questions into an escalating loop of growing enthusiasm and joy.
These positive thoughts also serve to focus our attention. The thoughts serve like a filter to perceive only similar thoughts and energies…all the while…the children are resonating with where these thoughts take our attention.
Of course, when we get on a negative train of thinking, we continue to influence our children…except it’s usually in a direction that is not serving them. They jump on board our train of thinking, whether we want them to or not! In part two of this series, I will give you some concrete tools for pointing your thought train in the direction you choose…not in the direction set by chance.