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“The average lifespan of an emotion is about ninety seconds. However, when we replay painful memories, or when we ruminate over unpleasant feelings, the lifespan of negative emotions increases. Through unhealthy thought loops, negative emotions can become compounded and self-perpetuating…Most human thought, if unchecked, is negative and critical.” (Robin Phillips, Albert S. Rossi, PhD)

“It is very difficult to do a “negative” thing. It is why when we struggle to quit an addiction, we find it difficult. It creates an absence that longs to be filled. The same is true of intrusive thoughts. Trying “not to think” something is nearly impossible. Again, it creates a negative which begs to be filled and the thought returns again and again….Positive action has life, beauty, truth, and being. It is strong and brings the might of reality to bear on the unreality of darkness.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Repentance is the renewal of life. This means we must free ourselves of all our negative traits and turn toward absolute good. No sin is unforgivable except the sin of unrepentance…Repentance is not just going to a priest and confessing; the soul must become free of all these thoughts and the melancholy that has overcome us due to our crooked paths. Repentance is a change of life, a change of direction, turning toward Absolute Good, and leaving behind all that is negative.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Man’s capacity willingly to embrace suffering to the utmost point shows that even in the slavery of his fallen state he remains a person, though an unhappy one. Just as by frankly facing absence man becomes capable of faith in presence, in the same way by facing suffering and not turning away from it with the help of various “securities,” man affirms his freedom in a negative way. This is no romanticizing of suffering as there is no idealization of absence and death; these are man’s worst enemies. But the important thing in human existence is that the only way to abolish these things, the only way to conquer them, is freedom, and this implies freedom to undergo them. The Cross is the only way to the Resurrection, and this does not take away from the Cross its utter shame and repulsiveness.” (Metropolitan John Zizioulas)

“The encounter with the Christ proclaimed “in accordance with the scriptures,” in this manner, effects a similar transformation upon each person. If, as is sometimes said, the “self” of each person is their own past told from the perspective of the present, and that past acting in the present, then the encounter with Christ provides a new, and yet eternal, vantage point from which to narrate one’s own past: we are invited to see our own past retold as our own “salvation history.” In this, nothing is forgotten or left aside, as being somehow worthy only of being left behind, something that we would prefer to forget as too shameful or painful, but which even as “forgotten” continues to work negatively in our present. Rather, everything is encompassed within his economy: standing in the light of Christ, we can see Him as having led us through our whole past, preparing us to encounter Him. He alone knows the reason why He has led each of us on our particular path, for we still walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5.7). But it is a faith that all things are in the hands of Christ, and that “in everything God works for good with those who love him” (Rom 8.28).” (Fr. John Behr)


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