Thoughts. They are pretty amazing things. However they can also be bad for you too. How can a thought be bad for you? Simply when you give that thought too much time to grow into something negative and sinister.
This happens when you attach fears, doubts, stories and emotions to one tiny thought. The ego has a need to be satisfied and so it will grow an entire new reality around one little thought, just so it can be right.
It doesn’t have to be that way however, it can often be difficult to recognise when our minds are doing this and stop it in its tracks. Problem for many people is that once they do recognise the unrealistic stories they are growing around this tiny thought, they then change this chain into an even worse one. They then decide to grow a new story from the original- but instead of the story growing around the first thought, the new story grows around them having allowed themselves to catastrophise & then beating themselves up some more! It’s a vicious cycle and one we really need to learn how to stop!
This type of thought process leads to so much self suffering. Guilt, feeling bad, anger, panic, sadness, anxiety & self loathing. All of this just constantly circles around in this groundhog day of being stuck to attachments of the past or past thoughts/feelings. That or we project everything forward into the future and allow ourselves to self create that which we didn’t truly want in the first place.
We become a slave to the thinking mind. Problem is, the mind/ego mind is only one element of the self. We have 2 others part of ourselves, that aren’t getting a fair deal when we get stuck in this autopilot. The body and spirit.
Thankfully it is actually pretty easy to step out of this autopilot. It just requires breathing. Giving ourselves the space to breathe and move ourselves back out of the mind and into the body.
The solution comes when we recognise. By learning to recognise our thoughts, we become better able to get to the root BEFORE it turns into this big emotional mess of stuff that honestly? Likely isn’t even true at all.
As I said before, the ego mind has this huge need to be right. So when you think a thought it tries desperately to go (for example!)
‘Right okay, yep no one likes you. That must be true because you thought it. So what we will do now, is remember all those times that we felt like people didn’t take to us. we will remember everything that ever happened that made us feel uncomfortable around others. Then once you are feeling suitably crap, & that it would be impossible for anyone to ever like you, we will project this into all the current relationships around you and get you questioning those people’s motives too. Then we may even project that, with all those crappy feelings, into the future for good measure.’
Pretty horrible when you see it that way isn’t it? We don’t have to do this though. By learning to practice being more aware of your thoughts, you can first learn to recognise that you are beginning to catastrophise and decide to stop. To breathe deeply, keeping total awareness on just breathing and then once you are feeling back in control, you can decide to spend a moment looking at the original thought in a more detached, non judgy way. By seeing it with detachment and non judgement you begin to see how realistically, that thought is likely, untrue. And that just because you have had a difficult moment with someone, doesn’t mean that you are unlikeable. It simply means you had a difficult moment with someone.
It is literally that simple. One moment out of that day, compared to 30,000 other moments of getting along and enjoying time with others.
Once we recognise the ego doing this, the most important thing is to detach from it with breathing and just be okay that you thought it. If we then go off on a self berating spree of not recognising it soon enough, not being able to control our thoughts etc etc, we are just feeding back into the cycle again.
Recognise, breathe, accept without judgement, detach with love for yourself and then reassess.
Berating ourselves and self loathing are some of the worst kinds of suffering and we do have the ability and tools to help lessen that suffering.
We only need to start to recognise what part of us, we allow to be in control.