Within spiritual circles, the power of positive thinking appears to be undisputed, almost sacrosanct, and we are even told that we create our own reality. Authors who write about this subject promise us the most miraculous results. We are told that by thinking the right thoughts, and by repeating affirmations often enough, we can create whatever we want in our future and even transform negative, traumatic events in our past into positive ones. Having de-created the trauma means that we can continue our life as if the negative event had never happened.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of people who try very hard to use positive thinking as a way to create a better life for themselves, but who experience no improvement: no cure of the lingering illness, no wealth, not the life partner they so long for. Are these people doing something wrong? And if positive thoughts affect our reality, would not negative thoughts have the same effect? We often have fearful thoughts and concerns. Think of the worries and anxiety that most parents have about their children. Will they arrive home safely, will they stay away from drugs? Despite those fears, all usually goes well. How often do we have panicky thoughts about some slight ailment we have, fearing that there is something seriously wrong with our health? As a rule, our negative thoughts fed by fear do not turn into reality – lucky for us!
Have our thoughts then no influence on the reality around us? Are we not the creators of our own reality? Is the universe not concerned with our positive and negative thoughts at all, and does it just go its own indifferent way? No, I do not think so. But the relationship between our thoughts and reality is a lot more subtle than what is proposed in many theories about creating one’s own reality. I am going to argue that a proper understanding of this relationship needs to acknowledge the role of our soul in the creation process, and to address the question of how we can support the creation process by connecting with our soul.
Who Is The Creator of Our Lives?
To gain insight in the relationship between thought and reality we first need to understand what creation is. Creation is a force that has its origin on the level of utter unity: the All – the primal Source – the mystery we call God. From that Source emerges not creation, but creators, beings of a very high order who one might call Archangels. They are very grand cosmic beings, each representing one aspect of the original Source. Although an Archangel is a magnificent and vast being, it is not everything; it does not comprise all of creation, as there are many Archangels. Therefore, as with all individual beings, they perceive a difference between their inner world (their way of experiencing life) and the outer world (the rest of creation). That inner world is unique, and therefore with the creation of Archangels, individuality comes into being. The experience of an infinite outer world, opposite a unique inner world, creates a sense of individuality.
The distinction between inner and outer reality also implies the concepts of space and time. As soon as you experience something as being outside yourself, it means there is space outside you. And from the viewpoint of beings outside you, you occupy a place in the same space; you share that space, so in that way, space becomes objective. The very notion of space implies that there are different beings with their own subjective way of experiencing the outer world. If there was only unity, only oneness, the notion of space would lose its meaning; there would be no inside and outside. Next, once you have several individual beings within a shared space, there will be interaction and communication between them. This introduces the notion of time. Communication affects the inner reality of the individual beings; they change because of it, and change involves the notion of time. Thus, when you have interacting, aware beings, you also have time – a sense of shared time.
With the creation of Archangels, the infinite Source created individuality, the distinction between inner and outer reality, space, time, and the possibility of interaction and communication. With this one step, the basics of creation was laid out. Archangels in their turn create many new beings, new creators who carry part of the Archangel's essence within themselves, but who also add something unique of their own – every act of creation involves something new. And so it goes on endlessly. The newborn creators will also create new creators. There are always new levels of creators, which bring forth new dimensions of time and space. At one of these levels, the human being arises. All that we as human beings create is ultimately part of the greater process of Source creating a wide diversity of creators who all eventually originate from the same place of Oneness.
One of the basic rules of this process is that, as a creator, you can create everything you want as long as it is in harmony with the higher source who created you. For Archangels, their higher Source is God, for us, it is our soul. The soul is the creator of our human personality, and we as a human being reflect one aspect of our soul similar to how an Archangel represents one aspect of God. The two most important factors that determine our human reality are: 1. our soul and its intentions for us, and 2. our willingness or unwillingness to work together in harmony with our soul, the source who created us. Our soul has a life plan for us that may contain goals that differ from our ideas about what is desirable in our lives. The basic creative force in our lives is our soul and not our human thoughts. We can work with the creative force of our souls, or we can work against it. Positive thinking aimed at wishes and desires that do not comply with our soul's plan is not effective. But positive thoughts that are aligned with our soul’s intentions, support the creation process and add a sense of grace and ease to it.
Our thoughts do make a lot of difference, and we still have a lot of freedom, even though the soul is the basic creative force in our lives. The soul's plan provides an outline, a playground, and we fill in the details. The soul's plan allows for a lot of leeway, because we are meant to be creators ourselves, adding something new to the soul's reality. Still, the soul endows every lifetime with a guiding vision, a general purpose, and by using our creativity to serve that vision and purpose, we acquire the most happiness and fulfillment.
Creating Out of Synch With The Soul
Imagine a gorgeous angel hovering over you, radiating joy and quiet wisdom. This angel loves you unconditionally and never condemns or rejects you, whatever you do. Consider your soul to be that angel. As long as you are close to the angel and feel its presence, everything is well with you and you feel safe and cared for. You feel that there is something higher and love-filled that supports you on our life's journey – you are able to experience joy and contentment even if things do not go smoothly.
If you do not follow the way of your soul, go against your deeper feelings, and try to control life too much, you lose touch with your soul’s wisdom and you start to feel empty inside. As with most of us, you may become carried away by earthly concerns and focus your attention on matters that you think are very important, but that essentially do not contribute to your inner growth: recognition, possessions, success, money, etcetera. Thus, the angel and you follow a different path and you start to feel unhappy and lonely.
You try to solve this dilemma by working harder, by gathering even more success, money, or power, because the society in which you were raised has taught you that these things are very important. Or you try to solve your loneliness by searching for the ideal partner. You are looking for your inner angel in the outside world. That will fail, because another person can never fulfill the role of your inner angel; the result will always be disappointing. Rather than restoring the connection with your soul, you end up feeling even more alienated from it.
Often, at this point a crisis will occur that challenges you to wake up and realign with your soul: perhaps illness or other adversities such as a divorce or losing your job. It is vital that you now turn inward and actively seek to restore the connection with the angel. If you want to create a new and more fulfilling life, positive thinking alone will not help you. If your positive thoughts aim to only remove the setbacks so you can return to the life you were used to, they will fail, because they go against the soul's intentions. And if the positive thoughts or mantras are aimed at merely eliminating the disease or misfortune, they will be a way of denying or suppressing the inner darkness that needs to be dealt with up front. Only by facing your deepest feelings and fears, and restoring the conscious connection with your soul, will a true solution arise. Your soul will create that solution for you, if you are willing to face your inner darkness and listen to what your heart truly tells you.
You may wonder why we have desires that go against our soul’s plan, or why the soul has intentions that go against our plans. The reason why this gap exists is that our soul's primary purpose is inner growth, while we often seek external solutions to our problems. From the soul's perspective, negative experiences are often there to guide us toward inner growth and liberation, but we generally want to avoid those experiences. We want to rid ourselves of emotional or physical pain, and it is a real challenge to open up to the possibility that this pain has meaning and leads us into deeper self-understanding. Only if we recognize the wisdom of our soul, which often surpasses our human understanding, do our thoughts really gain creative power. Only positive thinking that acknowledges the value and meaning of "negative experiences" is aligned with the divine force that creates the universe.
How To Recognize Your Soul’s Intentions
I have argued that if we want to change our reality through positive thinking, it is of great importance that we do this in harmony with our soul. If positive thinking is not focused on improving the connection with the soul, and is at odds with the soul's primary purpose, then the result, whatever it may be, will not bring us lasting happiness. But you may now ask: how do we work together with our soul? How do we know whether our wishes and desires are in alignment with our soul's vision and purpose?
1. Keep it fun and playful
Working together with your soul gives you a sense of joy and inspiration – it is not burdensome. The soul speaks to you through feelings of joy, inspiration, and encouragement. So if you are in the process of repeating affirmations, and you experience this as a heavy and difficult task, you are not in harmony with your soul. For example, suppose you desire a new house. You allow yourself to fantasize about it in a playful way. Like a child, you envisage where it is located, how you will furnish and decorate it, and how the garden looks. You imagine what it will be like to receive your friends and family there, and how you will enjoy and appreciate your new house. If this reverie gives you a wonderful feeling, it means you are on the right track: you are creating in alignment with your soul. Allow your imagination to roam freely. Do not limit yourself by negative thoughts such as “This is not realistic, this is not possible for me”; immerse yourself in your fantasy as long it feels light and playful to do this. The joyful feeling is a sign from your soul that your fantasy is consistent with your soul’s plan.
In other words, if you think positively in the right way, then positive thinking is a reward in itself: it is an experience you enjoy and one that makes you feel better. As long as you are in this flow of happy anticipation and inspiration, you are connected with your soul. If you notice that it does not feel good, or that you need to work hard at it, this is a sign that your imagination is not in harmony with your soul. In fact, when you start to crave for things that are not in alignment with your soul's purpose, there will be a forced and controlling aspect to your positive thinking; the joy and playfulness will be absent.
2. Distinguish between love and fear
To know whether your thoughts are aligned with your soul's purpose, you can also ask: “Is my positive thinking based on fear or on love?”
Suppose someone has money worries. Hundreds of times a day, he solemnly repeats the affirmation "I will be rich and prosperous", focusing on images of wealth and abundance. However, if that thought originates from fear of lack, it will not help. Positive thoughts help only if they spring from love, which you recognise by the joy and lightness which accompanies these thoughts. Affirmations that have true creative power go together with a quiet knowing that all will be well, whereas fearful thoughts are accompanied by a sense of despair or anger. Thoughts that are based on fear, even though they sound very positive, usually do not help. They are not in harmony with the soul, which you can know by the strained emotions underneath them.
Only when the person with money worries becomes aware of their fear of lack can they formulate thoughts based on love. They first need to take an honest look at the essence of their fear. Perhaps there is a part of them that does not feel entitled to receive abundance, or perhaps there is a part that does not like life on Earth, unconsciously cutting them off from material means. Their angel does not judge any of this, and as this person connects with their soul, they will feel inclined to send loving and comforting thoughts to the fearful part. They will begin to transform on the inner level, and once the inner darkness is faced and resolved, things will change on the outer level. Even if there may not be more money at once, life becomes lighter and easier, because this person is growing on the inner level and feels more appreciative of themselves. Their appearance becomes brighter and more cheerful. New opportunities are attracted by this positive attitude, and the inner abundance will in time be reflected by outer abundance.
If you have wishes and desires, it is wise to check carefully whether they originate from love or from fear. If it is fear, go inward and face the frightened part in yourself. Face it with kindness and honesty. Ask yourself: “What does this part of me really need at this time?” If you do that, you will often find that the answer refers to something internal, rather than something external: what is needed are qualities such as self-esteem, trust, the ability to set boundaries, compassion, or a sense of humor. You are often able to give yourself what you need by developing these qualities in your everyday life. In this way, you will heal the fearful part of you and your wishes and desires may change because of that. They will be based on love and genuine self understanding rather than fear. Healing inner darkness is a deeply creative feat. Facing fear and surrounding it with the energy of love is more powerful than any affirmation you can think of! The result is that you become closely connected with your soul. Your soul light begins to shine through you and it is this light that is creative. It will create an outer reality (work, relationships) that provides inner growth, joy, and happiness.
The title of this article is: If we create our own reality, then why do we become old? From a human perspective, to be old is undesirable; at least this is how it is often portrayed in the media and in advertisements. A lot of time and money are spent on the ideal of staying and looking young. You can apply positive thinking and affirmations as much as you want here, but you will still grow old. Your thoughts are powerless against the natural aging process. But now look at this issue from the perspective of the soul. Is the soul interested in keeping us young? From the soul's perspective, we are timeless, only our bodies are aging. To connect with your soul's viewpoint, look in the mirror: see how your face is getting older, while sensing at the same time that there is something inside you, behind your eyes, that does not change. This is who you really are. While you, the human being, would perhaps want to stay forever in this body, your soul does not. The soul knows that there are infinitely more worlds and dimensions to be experienced and explored. The soul looks beyond what our human eyes can see and knows: the universe is waiting for us.