“…AND I LOVE THAT”
By Justin McCarron
Page 120 of oh Magazine, Mindful being - Mindful doing, Autumn Issue 56, 2020
Sometimes simple ideas are the most powerful. Simple ideas, expressed in a simple manner are the ones we remember most easily. This is part of the appeal for me of these four words: “and I love that”. Recommended by the American author Kyle Cease as an antidote to negative thinking, they certainly proved helpful for me earlier today. Having spent an hour writing this piece, I accidently hit the wrong button and lost all of my work. As I felt the burn of frustration rise, I realised this was the perfect opportunity to put his theory into living, breathing practice.
I said out loud: “I’ve deleted all the words for my article”, then I added those four magic words “and I love that”. Sure, it didn’t completely stop my annoyance but it certainly took the edge off. This is Kyle’s idea: when you say ‘and I love that’ immediately after expressing a negative thought or fear, you disarm that thought. You catch it off guard, surprising it with the expression of your love. You smother it with compassion, with humour, comforting it with the same care you would use to console a child waking from a nightmare. Try it yourself, right now. What are you worried about at the moment, what’s bugging you? Say it out loud and then add “and I love that!” Don’t read on until you’ve done that.
OK, most likely you laughed, finding the whole thing vaguely ridiculous. Of course you still feel annoyed or worried or whatever, but you’ll probably also struggle to take yourself so seriously now. Resisting a feeling is futile, we give it energy, feeding fuel to the fire. Taking the opposite approach, embracing it, robs it of its power over us. It’ not fake positivity, it’s realistic optimism – you might as well love that thought because you can’t change it.
Instead of wasting time tumbling into past regret or future panic, you rest in the present moment – you and your negative thought. You smile, glad to have caught yourself before you fell fully. The shadow cast by fear slowly dissolves in the bright light of your acceptance and love. And I love that.