Well, I read more of the Power of Now and I've decided that further blog posts on the subject might be redundant. Many people have told me the book and its teachings have brought them comfort, and I'm all for people having a peace of mind. The thing that bothered me most was what I perceive as "negativity" about Tolle's description of our thinking and our egos. But if I keep talking about that, then I'm being negative myself! I have to say, negativity is something that I have little patience for. So for those that feel positive about the book, I say, more power (of now) to you!
As an alternative, however, I want to blog about this Love vs. Fear philosophy that I heard about a few years ago. I don't know a lot about it, but the way it was explained to me is that all of our decisions and thinking is either "love-based" or "fear-based." If we consciously examine our thoughts, then we can work towards keeping them "love-based." I'd like to add my Laptop Dancer suggestion: if the love-based approach doesn't work, is to go in with a "humor-based" back-up plan.
So, let's say we're thinking about an ex. The "fear-based" thoughts might be filled with anger, hurt, rejection, and criticism. We might think about how he/she "wronged" us or betrayed us. The "love-based" thoughts might remind us of the positive aspects of a person we once loved. We might recognize that they are a good parent or that they have had to deal with hardships and grief, too. If you can't think positively about your ex, then try keeping your thoughts confined to relatively innocuous fantasies such as your ex getting hit with a pie in the face. Or maybe just picture them in some sort of ridiculous outfit. That should at least give you a good internal chuckle.
Another example might be a friend that doesn't call you back. A fear-based response might be, "How rude! If he doesn't want to talk to me then I won't talk to him. His loss," A love-based response might be, "I wonder if everything is OK. I'll call again and find out. If there's something wrong, I'll be there for him." Then, if you find out nothing is wrong and he was really just blowing you off, you can call him something funny like "Banana Brain." (Hopefully, you will come up with something funnier.) Even better than that would be to remind yourself of a time you laughed with your friend and maybe plan an email based around the joke. It's hard to be upset with someone when you remember a shared smile.
One of the big rules for me, when it comes to relationships, is to try not to take things personally. Instead of always thinking about how hurt you are, try and focus on the other person.
Of course, if you're going through a divorce or a painful breakup, it's very difficult to come to terms when someone you love doesn't feel the same way about you. I remember my ex saying, "It's nothing personal." Of course, it's personal! When your husband tells you he doesn't love you anymore, it's personal! But, if you can just recognize that you are still loveable... that even if this one person doesn't love you, there are so many people that do love you... that you are a unique miracle complete with flaws and talents that make you special. If you can just see the beauty in yourself... then you do not need to obsess over how one person doesn't love you. You have to feel a little sorry for that person because they are missing out on YOU.
And if that doesn't work, well, what else can I tell you, Banana Brain? Put on a good comedy, get out the ice cream, and enjoy the power of NOW!