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Displaced Negativity vs. Replaced Negativity

I was considering the plight of INFPs, how we are often blighted with different forms of negativity from within. There are different ways we can deal with it. I'd like to look at two different things, displaced negativity, which is unhealthy, and replaced negativity, which is healthy.

When a person distracts from negative thoughts it causes "displacement", which means that the distraction fills the place where the negative thoughts were, and shoves those thoughts somewhere else, yet they still exist and have life to them.

At that point, the nature of that displaced negativity, whether it be anger or sadness will then percolate or emerge suddenly into the present distraction. I will give a couple examples of displacement, followed by a coiuple examples of healthy replacement, which can help anyone to learn to live in the present.

Displacement Example 1: One example of displacement would be if someone is experiencing self-loathing thoughts, and they try to displace it through eating or over-eating. After this point, the displaced negative thoughts break through and attach their self-loathing attributes to the act of over-eating. For a bulimic at this point, he or she would compulsively purge in response to the surge of negative, self-loathing thoughts to symbolically remove their transgression that caused the influx of self-loathing. However, even when this symbolic act may give a momentary gratification, alas, it remains but a symbol, because the guilt is internalized and unpurged and will operate consciously or subconciously to continue the cycle.

For the non-bulimic, though, the thoughts may percolate through during the distractive act of eating in thoughts such as, "I'm such a pig," or "I'm hopeless. I can't even control my eating." These percolating thoughts often trigger an increase in distractive process such as, more eating, eating more stimulating food, or the classic of combining with another activity like tv watching. If the negative thoughts are truly displaced and suppressed, they will find their displaced outlet eventually, often in greater intensity. It may be directed in bursts of frustration or anger at others, or self-hatred at unusual times, etc.

Displacement Example 2: Another example of displacement would be watching movies. Say a person is deeply sad over something or some things from the past. In this state he or she wishes to abate the confrontation with these thoughts, and chooses to watch a movie. Now, the choice of movie here will determine what the displaced sadness will do. Often a person in this position will actually choose a movie that resonates with their displaced sadness, because it is seeking resonance and expression. However, because it is a movie, that experience is largely of vicarious expression. If the person is dealing with love lost, they may choose a movie that is in some way dealing with lost love. If the person is running from their past, they may choose a movie where the lead character is in some kind of peril, or running. Perhaps someone who is fearful about the future will watch an apocalypic movie.

Another variation of this is when a person looks for a movie that represents the opposite of the negative thoughts. A person fearing the future may compulsively watch movies that represent childhood nostalgia, or movies that reminesce. Or an individual torn apart from an ended relationship may choose an uproarious comedy to displace the negativity.

Sometimes a movie is chosen that does not provide either the desired displacement through resonance or through opposite essence. One may watch the movie, unable to pay attention to it, with negative thoughts seeping through, and before long, with arms thrown upwards, "I just can't watch this right now. I need to watch something else." I think we've probably all experienced this, where, for some reason, what we are watching, even though at some times we would enjoy it, just does not provide the appropriate mental effect that we desire.

Displacement Example 3: A classic example of displacement is when we habitually judge ourselves for our faults until we feel rotten about ourselves, but in order to preserve ourselves, a defense mechanism kicks in which displaces that criticism and judgment from ourselves to others. We become irritated at people for their mistakes, and judge them for things they should have known better than to do. It is often the case that we most often judge others for things we struggle with ourselves.

Replacement Example 1:For the sake of coherence, I will use the same examples as I used for displacement, offering the healthier alternative, replacement.

For the person who is self-loathing and displaces this through eating, the root of the self-loathing must be acknowledged. If the self-loathing thoughts involve the belief that he or she cannot do anything right and continually fails, as others keep pointing out, the belief itself must be changed - nothing else will do. Helpful here would be to summon an example of accomplishment and contraposition it against an example of failure.

Examine the accomplishment (even if it's a small one), and notice what abilities you used, and most importantly, what enabled you to follow it through until fulfillment? Next, examine the failure, and inspect whether you truly implemented your full capacities, and look at what ultimately disabled the fulfillment. In many cases the failures are actually caused by a lack of confidence and a fear of succeeding. When a person has been criticized and demeaned throughout their life they often accept it as their reality, their identity. Over time he or she no longer even questions and inspects the veracity of these criticisms, because it falls right in line with what they already expect and believe from themselves. Therefore, to actually believe, put confidence in themselves, and accomplish things that are oppositional to their perceived identity is more disturbing and frightening than the failure, because it connotes a change of self-view, a change of life, and confronting false realities. Self-loathing is familiar. Sometimes women with these self-views continually choose and stay with men that demean them because it feels familiar, and allows them to continue in that identity, even though it hurts.

When these truths come to light during this exercise in inspecting success and failure, the individual will begin to recognize that the problem is not their inherent worthlessness or faultiness, but rather their view of and belief about themselves. They see that at times where they accomplished something, it was with things where they were less afflicted by self-doubt, and that truly they have many abilities just waiting to be strapped into the vehicle of belief and confidence.

Through this, replacement begins to be accomplished. Replacement of self-loathing with a new belief about self. To supplement this belief with action, the individual should then increase their application in activities that they have acquired some level of accomplishment in, to help bolster the confidence, and step by step, begin facing situations where risks of failure are higher, stepping into those situations with the new confidence in hand.

Replacement Example 2: Using the main key from Replacement Example 1, one can recognize and replace their compulsive displacements. In Displacement Example 2, the individual uses movies (music, tv, video games also very applicable) to displace negative thoughts, either in partial displacement through vicariousness, or full displacement in absolute redirection.

When the individual recognizes they are in a negative state and also recognizes their desire to watch a movie in response, it is important to first use the key in Replacement Example 1 to identify the root of the thoughts, and find a healthy replacement belief. This is the most important step. Do not allow the negative belief to persist and become displaced and branch out. Consciously choose the new belief. You may not feel better immediately after doing so, but an important thing occured; you used conscious will against a false, negative reality. If you choose to watch a movie, or listen to a certain music, or play video games after this step, that can be your preroggative, but when you do so, be mindful of your reason in what you choose. If your reason is purely for escapist sensations, make a healthier selection; something that will not directly unravel your newly-seated belief. If your negative thoughts were irrational fears, and you acquire a new belief, but then choose to watch something that acts as escapism from those fears, you are directly working against your new healthy belief.

Replacement Example 3: The example of displacing our negative thoughts upon people is very complex and could be elaborated in great length, but it's better to make it simple. Whenever you detect that you are actively judging or criticizing another person vocally or internally, do not allow it to persist without acknowledging your internal motives. Are you being angry with someone for something truly inconsequential? If so, trace the anger back to inside your self. Recognize that the root of your anger is not that person, but rather that it has been directed AT that person. Use the key of Replacement Example 1 to identify the inner beliefs that are fueling your anger, and identify the best replacement. Then look again at the individual you were angry with, and see that you both share in making mistakes, and both share in the need to be forgiven or have some of your mistakes overlooked. The dynamic switches from "angry at" to "identifying with". This becomes healthy for both involved.

Living in the Moment

For those who struggle to live in the moment, it is likely that chronic, habitual displacement has been disrupting your experience with the present moment. When the present moment becomes a tool to distract from pain, or to redirect the pain to something or someone else, the present never becomes a place to just be. Without the proper resolution of negative thoughts and feelings, and when the present does not contain the proper stimulation for distraction and displacement, mental escapism/fantasy takes place, contorting the present into an amalgamation of inner fixations and present realities. This is used to close off the opening for negative thoughts to flood the present reality. Without any distraction or fantasy active in the present moment, all of those thoughts have a chance to break through. But we can see now that that is okay, because they can be combatted and replaced with beliefs that can make the present a welcome opportunity to thrive. The present is a gift!

Spiritual Renewal

Often when we have been afflicted with negativity, guilt, and low self-esteem in our lives, our will power suffers as a result. When we lack will power, the strength of our belief, our faith, begins to wane, because faith hopes for something better, and when we do not see the possibility of reaching it, faith dissolves. As we looked at earlier, because belief/faith is the basis for defeating negativity and replacing the negativity with positive things, we cannot truly thrive without solid belief. Through the use of replacement, we can strengthen our belief, but we often run into a conflict...we still do fail, we still do lack, and we still have impurity in our motives and actions. If we are planting our belief solely in ourselves, or other individuals, who have the same struggles, we will struggle with a conflicting distrust in ourselves, teeter-tottering our confidence, and we may try to recompensate by pumping ourselves up again, but we will again be confronted with our imperfections.

For this reason, I believe in the importance of looking to power and perfection beyond ourselves that we trust in as our Source of our inherent value and good qualities, and our Source of power to defeat what is negative and to grow what is positive. With our faith placed in this Source, we no longer are conflicted. When we actually DO fail and struggle, we don't have to deal with our self-trust being shaken, because our trust is invested in what cannot be shaken. For myself, I trust in this Source as God, who, in the personal being of Jesus Christ, has personal involvement in my life to assist me in fighting battles and succeeding in my pursuits. By trusting this power as a personal being, I am comforted knowing that there is a perfect conscious being that can infuse his attributes into my conscious being and communicate with me spiritually.

As you come to choose how you will seek spiritual renewal, recognize that we truly are beings with faults and self-seeking motives springing from inside of us, yet there is something that is calling upon the consciences of humanity to conform ourselves to something pure and true. To me, it makes sense that this standard of perfection emits from a conscious Designer, who is calling us back to spiritual renewal, and will give us power to do so, and help us to no longer live with the burden of trying to displace our negativity, but to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I had a battle with Displacement Example 3 just yesterday! The example where anger at one's self is displaced upon other people. Here's how it went:

One of my closest friends, we'll call him Ted, was having a surprise birthday party (yesterday), and me and his girlfriend were preparing it. I called and invited Ted's and my other close friend, we'll call him Peter, to the party. On the phone he was completely non-commital, and wasn't sure if he'd come. I asked if he had any other plans and he said no, but that he still wasn't sure he'd come. I was confused, because I figured he would WANT to be there for Ted. So I called him yesterday morning and he said he made plans for that time. They were productive plans, but still, I was irritated, and I told Peter that it didn't seem like he tried to make it work, and that he didn't seem to care much.

When I hung up I was just plain mad, and I wasn't sure why I was so mad, even though Peter had made himself truly difficult. So I tried Replacement Example 3, which is to recognize that the anger I was experiencing wasn't just with Peter, but anger having to do with myself. So when I looked inward I realized, "Hey, I have a huge problem with commiting to things, especially if it's going to involve lots of people, and I hate that about myself." So when I realized this, I discovered that I was recognizing something I hated about myself in Peter's conduct, and so I had focussed my anger on him. But to complete the method of replacing the negative thoughts, I told myself inside that Peter struggles with the same thing I do, and that he deserves my sympathy. So I talked to him on the phone later, and just told him that in the future he can just be straightforward with me when he feels a certain way about a particular situation, so I can understand him more.

And I feel better now!

P.S. Should I write shorter thread posts from now on? It seems that I must be writing things too long, because there is no feedback.
 

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I read through your essay and I'd say overall you made a lot of good points. Certainly for those of us who experience frequent negative though the true desire is to resolve those thoughts and get rid of them for good, not just temporarily. Especially in situations like the eating disorder example you mentioned above, these intrusive negative thoughts are not only unpleasant but truly harmful because they keep you in a situations where you will never find happiness.

The only exceptions I find to the "displacement is unhealthy" argument is a situation where the severity of the situation causing the negative feelings is not as bad as the feelings themselves or when the negative situation is inescapable. The example you gave of a person with an eating disorder clearly has a situation and set of beliefs to resolve. But some people (like some of the posters in the other thread) experience sad feelings and can't pinpoint a reason and I think if you feel excessive negative/depressed feelings for no reason, then you don't really have a situation to work through other than escaping those negative feelings. The same thing applies if the situation can't be resolved, like the guilt some of the posters in the other thread expressed for being fortunate while others suffered, or even your example of someone who has lost a loved one. Neither of those situations can be truly fixed (unless you can find a way to feed all the world's hungry or bring back your loved one from the dead), so in that instance I think using some means of escapism to experience joy would be beneficial, even if it's artificial joy from watching a funny movie or listening to upbeat music. Research has shown that even when you're not happy smiling and acting happy can improve your mood. When your negativity cannot be cleanly resolved I think occasionally tricking yourself into happy moments through distraction can be a useful tool in getting yourself out of a rut. It's obviously more healthy to eliminate altogether the bad situations in your life that breed negativity, but since that can be a complicated (or sometimes impossible) task, isn't it reasonable to allow yourself a few enjoyable distractions?

Putting aside my small exceptions I think your essay does a good job of explaining how to escape the negativity traps a lot of us get stuck in at some point. I especially like your discussion of how displacement can cause us to judge others for faults we have within ourselves. I've noticed that because INFPs are one of the minority types we tend to express a lot of frustration at other more dominant types when really we are probably just frustrated that we're not more assertive and less sensitive ourselves. I think a lot of us (not just INFPs, but all of the kinda "oddball" types in general) would benefit greatly from valuing ourselves more rather than seeing ourselves as people who have no place in modern society.
 

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Katerp, Thank you for your response. It was well thought out. I'll respond point by point.

The only exceptions I find to the "displacement is unhealthy" argument is a situation where the severity of the situation causing the negative feelings is not as bad as the feelings themselves or when the negative situation is inescapable. The example you gave of a person with an eating disorder clearly has a situation and set of beliefs to resolve. But some people (like some of the posters in the other thread) experience sad feelings and can't pinpoint a reason and I think if you feel excessive negative/depressed feelings for no reason, then you don't really have a situation to work through other than escaping those negative feelings.
Well, first I should say, I was in a bit of a difficult spot, because I wanted to write out this essay, but condense it enough so that it would be forum-readable. Because I condensed it, I didn't clarify several things, and you picked up on a couple of them.

As far as the negative/depressed feelings that appear seemingly out of nowhere, that do not directly tie in to the current situation, I am of those who believe that all emotional feelings are precipitated by thoughts. Thoughts are not always conscious, appearing in worded form in our mind, but sometimes subconscious connections that our minds our making, and that subconscious thought connection triggers a feeling. I do not believe in negative thoughts/feelings that happen for no reason. What my writing was encouraging was to be attentive to the thoughts that are precipitating the negative feelings and negative thought patterns. If there exists a negative thought pattern and/or negative emotional feelings, there was a trigger, and the trigger involved a thought at some point.

You are correct that it isn't always connected to the situation at hand, but the presence of those negative thoughts will influence the attitude, the behavior, and the thought trajectory within that current environment. That is why tracing the thoughts back to their source is paramount. First, looking at the core identity of the thoughts/feelings to see whether they are coming most from guilt, anger, sadness, grief, etc...and then tracing it back to when it became triggered, understanding the association the mind made to evoke the negativity.

Example Story: A teenager may be very depressed for a couple of days, filled with negative thoughts and feelings. But if she were to trace its origin, she would recognize that it was during a family get-together three days prior that when she was sharing something she was passionate about at the dinner table, someone piped up and corrected her on a misstated fact, which took the wind out of her sail, and she felt bad after that, and then it worsened, the negative thoughts and feelings grew, and through not confronting the problem inside, the trigger incident got covered.

So it is three days later now, and she decides to find out why she is feeling so worthless and apathetic about everything. Then she remembers how, at the dinner table that evening, she felt stupid and worthless when her uncle corrected her and her brother laughed and elbowed her. She could just dismiss the incident and think to herself that, in the scheme of things, it isn't that important, but it is! If she were to decipher what happened, she would find that even though she knows a great deal about the subject she spoke of, she let one mistake and correction determine her view of herself, and then she'd recognize that she makes that same interpretation frequently.

But why? She remembers at the dinner table how, when her brother elbowed her and laughed, she suddenly felt very stupid, and worthless. All her life, since she was a little girl, her brother always criticized her and laughed at her for the way she talked, and when she made mistakes, and eventually she believed him, and believed it about herself. The light begins to grow in her mind. "Should I really hate myself and feel worthless because my brother is rude and cruel?" She recognizes that because of these experiences she has accepted things about herself that were never true.

What really happened at the dinner table? She was sharing about different varieties of birds, something she knows a lot about, and because she was nervous, she spoke an error...that's all that happened. Her uncle was fair to correct her, and no one cast any judgment. When did she feel judged? At the moment her brother laughed and the elbow nudged her it said, "You're stupid and worthless, see!?" As the revelation hits her, she realizes she isn't this horrible person she thought she was, and she will no longer let her brother control her view of her worth. She cries, but the tears are healing tears, and the depression begins to lift, because when the self-accusational thoughts strike her again, she knows why, and she is armed and ready for them.

Every depressed person, if they would do so, could use this process to break out of the negativity and replace it.

The same thing applies if the situation can't be resolved, like the guilt some of the posters in the other thread expressed for being fortunate while others suffered, or even your example of someone who has lost a loved one. Neither of those situations can be truly fixed (unless you can find a way to feed all the world's hungry or bring back your loved one from the dead), so in that instance I think using some means of escapism to experience joy would be beneficial, even if it's artificial joy from watching a funny movie or listening to upbeat music. Research has shown that even when you're not happy smiling and acting happy can improve your mood. When your negativity cannot be cleanly resolved I think occasionally tricking yourself into happy moments through distraction can be a useful tool in getting yourself out of a rut. It's obviously more healthy to eliminate altogether the bad situations in your life that breed negativity, but since that can be a complicated (or sometimes impossible) task, isn't it reasonable to allow yourself a few enjoyable distractions?
This was something I did not clarify, and I wish I had now. I do not classify experiences of grief over a dead loved one as being the same kind of negative thoughts. I do believe that one should not push themselves into denial by avoiding the acceptance process, but when sadness is overwhelming, certainly a happy distraction is in order!

As far as guilt...I would refer to my previous part of this post. If there is perpetual guilt, it needs to be traced and faced. But sometimes, especially if it's not causing serious inner turmoil at the time, it can be delayed until a later time when it can be better dealt with, and something recreational can be done in the meantime. It's the perpetual depression/negativity that begins controlling one's behavior, pushing them toward distractions and detours that must be nipped sooner rather than later.

Putting aside my small exceptions I think your essay does a good job of explaining how to escape the negativity traps a lot of us get stuck in at some point. I especially like your discussion of how displacement can cause us to judge others for faults we have within ourselves. I've noticed that because INFPs are one of the minority types we tend to express a lot of frustration at other more dominant types when really we are probably just frustrated that we're not more assertive and less sensitive ourselves. I think a lot of us (not just INFPs, but all of the kinda "oddball" types in general) would benefit greatly from valuing ourselves more rather than seeing ourselves as people who have no place in modern society.
:) I'm glad you liked it and found it useful. I hope that my clarifications helped to make more sense of some of those exceptions. I struggle to make points and sharpen them concisely.
 

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Displaced Negativity vs. Replaced Negativity

I was considering the plight of INFPs, how we are often blighted with different forms of negativity from within. There are different ways we can deal with it. I'd like to look at two different things, displaced negativity, which is unhealthy, and replaced negativity, which is healthy.

When a person distracts from negative thoughts it causes "displacement", which means that the distraction fills the place where the negative thoughts were, and shoves those thoughts somewhere else, yet they still exist and have life to them.

At that point, the nature of that displaced negativity, whether it be anger or sadness will then percolate or emerge suddenly into the present distraction. I will give a couple examples of displacement, followed by a coiuple examples of healthy replacement, which can help anyone to learn to live in the present.

Displacement Example 1: One example of displacement would be if someone is experiencing self-loathing thoughts, and they try to displace it through eating or over-eating. After this point, the displaced negative thoughts break through and attach their self-loathing attributes to the act of over-eating. For a bulimic at this point, he or she would compulsively purge in response to the surge of negative, self-loathing thoughts to symbolically remove their transgression that caused the influx of self-loathing. However, even when this symbolic act may give a momentary gratification, alas, it remains but a symbol, because the guilt is internalized and unpurged and will operate consciously or subconciously to continue the cycle.

For the non-bulimic, though, the thoughts may percolate through during the distractive act of eating in thoughts such as, "I'm such a pig," or "I'm hopeless. I can't even control my eating." These percolating thoughts often trigger an increase in distractive process such as, more eating, eating more stimulating food, or the classic of combining with another activity like tv watching. If the negative thoughts are truly displaced and suppressed, they will find their displaced outlet eventually, often in greater intensity. It may be directed in bursts of frustration or anger at others, or self-hatred at unusual times, etc.

Displacement Example 2: Another example of displacement would be watching movies. Say a person is deeply sad over something or some things from the past. In this state he or she wishes to abate the confrontation with these thoughts, and chooses to watch a movie. Now, the choice of movie here will determine what the displaced sadness will do. Often a person in this position will actually choose a movie that resonates with their displaced sadness, because it is seeking resonance and expression. However, because it is a movie, that experience is largely of vicarious expression. If the person is dealing with love lost, they may choose a movie that is in some way dealing with lost love. If the person is running from their past, they may choose a movie where the lead character is in some kind of peril, or running. Perhaps someone who is fearful about the future will watch an apocalypic movie.

Another variation of this is when a person looks for a movie that represents the opposite of the negative thoughts. A person fearing the future may compulsively watch movies that represent childhood nostalgia, or movies that reminesce. Or an individual torn apart from an ended relationship may choose an uproarious comedy to displace the negativity.

Sometimes a movie is chosen that does not provide either the desired displacement through resonance or through opposite essence. One may watch the movie, unable to pay attention to it, with negative thoughts seeping through, and before long, with arms thrown upwards, "I just can't watch this right now. I need to watch something else." I think we've probably all experienced this, where, for some reason, what we are watching, even though at some times we would enjoy it, just does not provide the appropriate mental effect that we desire.

Displacement Example 3: A classic example of displacement is when we habitually judge ourselves for our faults until we feel rotten about ourselves, but in order to preserve ourselves, a defense mechanism kicks in which displaces that criticism and judgment from ourselves to others. We become irritated at people for their mistakes, and judge them for things they should have known better than to do. It is often the case that we most often judge others for things we struggle with ourselves.

Replacement Example 1:For the sake of coherence, I will use the same examples as I used for displacement, offering the healthier alternative, replacement.

For the person who is self-loathing and displaces this through eating, the root of the self-loathing must be acknowledged. If the self-loathing thoughts involve the belief that he or she cannot do anything right and continually fails, as others keep pointing out, the belief itself must be changed - nothing else will do. Helpful here would be to summon an example of accomplishment and contraposition it against an example of failure.

Examine the accomplishment (even if it's a small one), and notice what abilities you used, and most importantly, what enabled you to follow it through until fulfillment? Next, examine the failure, and inspect whether you truly implemented your full capacities, and look at what ultimately disabled the fulfillment. In many cases the failures are actually caused by a lack of confidence and a fear of succeeding. When a person has been criticized and demeaned throughout their life they often accept it as their reality, their identity. Over time he or she no longer even questions and inspects the veracity of these criticisms, because it falls right in line with what they already expect and believe from themselves. Therefore, to actually believe, put confidence in themselves, and accomplish things that are oppositional to their perceived identity is more disturbing and frightening than the failure, because it connotes a change of self-view, a change of life, and confronting false realities. Self-loathing is familiar. Sometimes women with these self-views continually choose and stay with men that demean them because it feels familiar, and allows them to continue in that identity, even though it hurts.

When these truths come to light during this exercise in inspecting success and failure, the individual will begin to recognize that the problem is not their inherent worthlessness or faultiness, but rather their view of and belief about themselves. They see that at times where they accomplished something, it was with things where they were less afflicted by self-doubt, and that truly they have many abilities just waiting to be strapped into the vehicle of belief and confidence.

Through this, replacement begins to be accomplished. Replacement of self-loathing with a new belief about self. To supplement this belief with action, the individual should then increase their application in activities that they have acquired some level of accomplishment in, to help bolster the confidence, and step by step, begin facing situations where risks of failure are higher, stepping into those situations with the new confidence in hand.

Replacement Example 2: Using the main key from Replacement Example 1, one can recognize and replace their compulsive displacements. In Displacement Example 2, the individual uses movies (music, tv, video games also very applicable) to displace negative thoughts, either in partial displacement through vicariousness, or full displacement in absolute redirection.

When the individual recognizes they are in a negative state and also recognizes their desire to watch a movie in response, it is important to first use the key in Replacement Example 1 to identify the root of the thoughts, and find a healthy replacement belief. This is the most important step. Do not allow the negative belief to persist and become displaced and branch out. Consciously choose the new belief. You may not feel better immediately after doing so, but an important thing occured; you used conscious will against a false, negative reality. If you choose to watch a movie, or listen to a certain music, or play video games after this step, that can be your preroggative, but when you do so, be mindful of your reason in what you choose. If your reason is purely for escapist sensations, make a healthier selection; something that will not directly unravel your newly-seated belief. If your negative thoughts were irrational fears, and you acquire a new belief, but then choose to watch something that acts as escapism from those fears, you are directly working against your new healthy belief.

Replacement Example 3: The example of displacing our negative thoughts upon people is very complex and could be elaborated in great length, but it's better to make it simple. Whenever you detect that you are actively judging or criticizing another person vocally or internally, do not allow it to persist without acknowledging your internal motives. Are you being angry with someone for something truly inconsequential? If so, trace the anger back to inside your self. Recognize that the root of your anger is not that person, but rather that it has been directed AT that person. Use the key of Replacement Example 1 to identify the inner beliefs that are fueling your anger, and identify the best replacement. Then look again at the individual you were angry with, and see that you both share in making mistakes, and both share in the need to be forgiven or have some of your mistakes overlooked. The dynamic switches from "angry at" to "identifying with". This becomes healthy for both involved.

Living in the Moment

For those who struggle to live in the moment, it is likely that chronic, habitual displacement has been disrupting your experience with the present moment. When the present moment becomes a tool to distract from pain, or to redirect the pain to something or someone else, the present never becomes a place to just be. Without the proper resolution of negative thoughts and feelings, and when the present does not contain the proper stimulation for distraction and displacement, mental escapism/fantasy takes place, contorting the present into an amalgamation of inner fixations and present realities. This is used to close off the opening for negative thoughts to flood the present reality. Without any distraction or fantasy active in the present moment, all of those thoughts have a chance to break through. But we can see now that that is okay, because they can be combatted and replaced with beliefs that can make the present a welcome opportunity to thrive. The present is a gift!

Spiritual Renewal

Often when we have been afflicted with negativity, guilt, and low self-esteem in our lives, our will power suffers as a result. When we lack will power, the strength of our belief, our faith, begins to wane, because faith hopes for something better, and when we do not see the possibility of reaching it, faith dissolves. As we looked at earlier, because belief/faith is the basis for defeating negativity and replacing the negativity with positive things, we cannot truly thrive without solid belief. Through the use of replacement, we can strengthen our belief, but we often run into a conflict...we still do fail, we still do lack, and we still have impurity in our motives and actions. If we are planting our belief solely in ourselves, or other individuals, who have the same struggles, we will struggle with a conflicting distrust in ourselves, teeter-tottering our confidence, and we may try to recompensate by pumping ourselves up again, but we will again be confronted with our imperfections.

For this reason, I believe in the importance of looking to power and perfection beyond ourselves that we trust in as our Source of our inherent value and good qualities, and our Source of power to defeat what is negative and to grow what is positive. With our faith placed in this Source, we no longer are conflicted. When we actually DO fail and struggle, we don't have to deal with our self-trust being shaken, because our trust is invested in what cannot be shaken. For myself, I trust in this Source as God, who, in the personal being of Jesus Christ, has personal involvement in my life to assist me in fighting battles and succeeding in my pursuits. By trusting this power as a personal being, I am comforted knowing that there is a perfect conscious being that can infuse his attributes into my conscious being and communicate with me spiritually.

As you come to choose how you will seek spiritual renewal, recognize that we truly are beings with faults and self-seeking motives springing from inside of us, yet there is something that is calling upon the consciences of humanity to conform ourselves to something pure and true. To me, it makes sense that this standard of perfection emits from a conscious Designer, who is calling us back to spiritual renewal, and will give us power to do so, and help us to no longer live with the burden of trying to displace our negativity, but to replace it.
Hi Matchbook,

This is gold! I haven't finish the whole thing yet but I feel this urge to tell you that what you have exactly captured the essence of negative thoughts. I had been trying to ignore and brush away painful things from the past year but they kept coming back. Once I began to accept and let go, they no longer bother me!

Thank you very much and I'm printing your post out.


Edit:

Ok I just finished reading it. You did a wonderful job on this piece. You must have put a lot of effort into it:)

What do you think about the issue that when people get older, they are more likely to fear change?

I'm 21 now but I realized I'm fearful of changing my lifestyle compare few years ago when I was a teen. Could this be attributed to "Fear of Success"? I remember few years ago I was really open to changes in my life but for some reason, I feel different now.
 

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Hi Matchbook,

This is gold! I haven't finish the whole thing yet but I feel this urge to tell you that what you have exactly captured the essence of negative thoughts. I had been trying to ignore and brush away painful things from the past year but they kept coming back. Once I began to accept and let go, they no longer bother me!

Thank you very much and I'm printing your post out.


Edit:

Ok I just finished reading it. You did a wonderful job on this piece. You must have put a lot of effort into it:)

What do you think about the issue that when people get older, they are more likely to fear change?

I'm 21 now but I realized I'm fearful of changing my lifestyle compare few years ago when I was a teen. Could this be attributed to "Fear of Success"? I remember few years ago I was really open to changes in my life but for some reason, I feel different now.
Hi Nickia,

Thank you for your positive feedback, and I'm glad it was something that you found useful.

As for your question:

There are so many variables in your question about fearing change. I don't have any statistics on how fear of change relates to different age groups, but I do imagine that the early 20's is a time period when there is a spike in this problem. Your question got me thinking enough that I wrote a rather lengthy essayish thing that probably needs its own thread, so I will post my response in a new thread, "INFPs and the Fear of Change/Failure"
 

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Matchbook: Great work, the effort it must have taken to write this as well as you did is much appreciated. I have been looking into this sort of perspective on negative feelings (that they arise due to perceptions or associations that can be changed) and your writings have helped to elaborate on it.
 

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This is interested because I was reading about a researcher/therapist who used to treat trauma, and he was saying that a lot of children and adults diagnosed with adhd or add would likely fit the description of what looked like the residual affects of trauma that hasnt been dealt with. The description of the present moment being intruded on in a sense by thoughts stemming from some sort of discord we have in ourselves definitely rang true for me, and I've come to the same conclusion regarding the ultimate context in which to understand it in, though I guess I have slightly less specific religious views.

Anyway I've realized the points you made in your post though in my case they were never that well articulated, but I always forget them and find myself in a shroud of negativity but I'm gonna bookmark this to come back and read it from time to time, because this was really helpful/insightful. But seriously thank you for posting this as I wasnt expected to find this and it was really cool to stumble upon. I also sometimes wonder if people think I'm insane for believing the last bit...
 

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I am very grateful to you for this post, Matchbook!:tongue: It is amazingly accurate-- I have experienced great trouble with trying to displace negativity and the results were exactly as you said. Thanks to this article, I will try replacing my negativity in the future! More people should know about this, because so many of them suffer from negative thoughts, I am sure:sad:
 
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