I have someone in my life who tells me horrible things. They show me unsettling pictures sometimes and pester me with them, they tell me how bad I am and how scared I should be because of the terrible future that's about to come. And I cannot tell them anything, because they are one of those to whom no matter what you try to say, it makes no difference. It's like you're talking to brick wall--no conversation possible.
I'm pretty sure you have the same exact thing in your life. I'm talking about thoughts.
It's quite interesting, isn't it, that our own worst companions are usually ourselves. It takes a lifetime to learn how to deal with that voice in our heads. It doesn't help that thoughts are rarely talked about.
Thoughts scare us like nothing else.
If a negative thought enters our minds, we feel like we are done for. Now that we have thought about it, we can never un-think it, we are slaves to it forever--that's how we tend to feel. Which is ridiculous, isn't it? Why do we feel like thoughts have power over reality?
I've had conversations with a lot of people whose main issue was that their thoughts bothered them. "I have these horrible thoughts," they would tell me. "And I fear that they will come true." I know how that feels, to be terrified of your own thoughts--it's one of the worst things anyone can experience. It's what mental illness is. But we all suffer from this to some extent, not just those of us with mental illness.
Things won't happen just because you think them.
We can easily believe that whatever pops into our heads will become reality. That's what worry is. Anxiety. Paranoia. Even self-doubt. Same thing, just different levels and morphs of it.
What happens has nothing to do with our thoughts. Even our own actions come from much deeper-seated mechanisms than conscious thought.
We have no control.
We just think we do. We blame ourselves for everything wrong in our lives. We blame ourselves for our feelings, we blame ourselves for our thoughts. Because we think we are in control.
We have no control over most things. And that's okay. Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go. Things happen. We are not the ones to blame.
There is one thing we can do.
We don't need to somehow get rid of our thoughts. We don't need to push away our feelings or reject them. Whenever we try to resist a part of us, we are doing ourselves a disservice.
What we can do, is practice our reaction to them. Seeing our thoughts as only thinking. Not confusing them with reality. Being mindful of the present moment.
React with peace.
We can learn to accept our thoughts and feelings, knowing that they don't define us. How we react to them does. And that, we can always start practicing.
"A thought is harmless unless we believe it." - Byron Katie