You Attract What You Fear

January 12, 2016

We attract what we fear. Have you ever heard someone say this to you?

In psychological circles, we are used to hearing that sometimes pain is the best medicine. This statement may surprise you or you may not even agree with it. But really, the truth is that every emotion we experience, whether positive or negative, teaches us something.

Suffering, for example, is usually the best tool for developing our life skills. It carves out new roads and paths as we learn from loss, defeat and disappointments. Although there are some who prefer not to see the pain, there are others who are more inclined to hide it in the deepest corners of their minds, forever locking it away.

There is no way to escape pain and it will be experienced from time to time in different ways. We will feel anger, resentment and frustration whether we like it or not. We cannot run away from these emotions. Whatever we fear, we attract. Today we are going to discuss the fear of negative emotions.

When negative emotion transforms into obsession

Here’s an example: You are in an emotional relationship with someone. You love them and you have built a solid life together. However, there is something inside of you that says that things are no longer the way they used to be. You sense that your partner no longer loves you. How can you accept this? You deny it instead and, for whatever reason, your partner doesn’t want to talk about it, either.

Time passes, and despite knowing perfectly well that your relationship is no longer authentic, you deny it and refuse to see it. The people around you begin to notice what is going on, but you stick to your denial. That negative emotion you are hiding continues to knock a little louder every day.

No matter how you hide the truth, it will eventually emerge. Although you have cast it far away and refuse to think about it, you will still be haunted by a constant and destructive thought. This is because the mind has a mechanism for dealing with negative emotions that can transform them into obsessive thoughts.

If we always tell ourselves that “I’m not going to be sad,” the exact opposite ends up happening instead. The key isn’t in telling yourself “I don’t have to be sad,” but rather in asking yourself “Why am I sad?”

It may seem strange, but it’s true. Negative emotions tend to persist over time and resist logic and reason. They can end up causing obsessive and irrational thoughts.

The common rationale is, “If I don’t admit it, it doesn’t exist. I’m avoiding the problem.” But really, the problem becomes even bigger and I can’t stop thinking about it.

The adaptive function of emotions

Emotions such as sadness, anger or fear work as a type of medicine. We know they are the most difficult to accept, but they really do help us to adapt. For example, fear causes us to run or escape, which helps us to survive. It’s something instinctive that we have learned as a species.

But through this same evolution, we have also learned that sometimes the answer isn’t to run away or escape. Instead, we must stay put and become familiar with the enemy that wants to hurt us. Ignoring it isn’t going to help. For example, sadness must also be accepted, cried out and confronted. Our negative emotions allow us to survive because, at times, they force us to take the road less travelled. Sometimes it’s on the opposite path where profound development takes place.

When we run from our negative emotions, it only causes them to persist until they slowly begin to destroy us. So why resist them? Just let them be. The best thing to do is not to resist them, but rather to accept them. That way, day by day, you will be able to pull them apart, working through them until they completely disappear.