April 7, 2017

Thoughts Can't Kill You


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

2 comments:

  1. Hullo -

    I've been appreciating your work on YouTube for some time, found your Amazon blog and read a bit there to my (and my loved ones) great benefit.

    Question: Could you clarify what you mean in this article when you say, 'We have no control'? I understand that sometimes I cannot put my hands to things, so to speak, in order to manipulate them to conform to my desires. In those cases, I am mindful, let go, and trust that my true, infinite power (wordless) will take care of things. And they do. Usually beyond what I had hoped, leading me into higher, lovelier, more marvellous territory.

    Your Andara book series appeared so promising. The writing elevates and is highly skilled stuff. What stopped me (read the Kindle sample) purchasing was the scene with the unhappy, 'promiscuous' mother, and all of the derogetory comments regarding her 'age inappropriate' attire. The description struck me as grossly negative, narrow-minded, ageist, and hypercritical (not to be confused with hypocritical). It seemed so out of place in a book with such an otherwise encouraging message. Your motivations behind this, or perhaps your reasoning behind painting the mother with such a broad, 'Barbie-slut-without-background' brush, would be much appreciated. Perhaps I wasn't patient enough. Then again, perhaps some compassion regarding her backstory--even a hint--might've kept me reading.

    Please consider this carefully, don't take it the wrong way, as I am likely one of the last people who would denigrate your contributions.

    Still loving your blogs and YouTubes. Thank you infinitely.

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    Replies
    1. Hi!

      I'm very sorry for the late reply, I just noticed your comment. Thank you for leaving such a long message.

      What I mean when I say we have no control is that thoughts will keep arising in us and so will feelings, since they come from deep-seated mechanisms in our brains. What we experience in our lives become a part of us is one way or another, and we cannot control these mechanisms. We can only scratch the surface of the subconscious mind, in my opinion. What we can control is our reactions to them.

      I see most people chasing happiness and wanting to eliminate all that they deem negative, which is simply not possible. That's what I mean when I say we have no control. The negative will continue to arise, it's a part of us. The goal is not to try to control it, but to learn to live with it.

      I'm happy to hear you started the Andara series. I can also understand why you decided to stop. It never occurred to me that my description of Regina's mom could come across as derogatory. What I wanted to convey was that Regina is neglected by her mother. Not only through her obsession with her appearance and men, but through the state of their home, which is always unclean, and the lack of food in the house for Regina to eat. But I understand completely why you were put off, and I see that I could have chosen a different description for Regina's mom.

      Thank you again for your input.

      Much love,
      Melinda

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