"The only thing that gets people stuck in their suffering is their belief that their suffering results from something real rather than their thoughts. Techniques reinforce the illusion that it is more than thought." George Pransky
As soon as we understand our suffering is self-generated by our own thoughts and recognize it is not based on truth, we see we have choices. We see the possibility of shifting our focus and letting go of the inaccurate thoughts. We stop believing them. We surrender our beliefs of those thoughts. As soon as we surrender those beliefs, simply by seeing they are not true, more accurate understanding arises from within. When we wake up to the illusion of our personal thinking, we can no longer see it as real. Just like when we are dreaming. In the dream we believe the dream is real. Everything feels real. As soon as we realize, however, that we are dreaming, the dream looses its power. We no longer believe the experience. We realize we have choice, and one of those choices is to wake up.
Our waking life is really no different. We get mesmerized by our limiting beliefs and our conditioned thinking. Our personal thoughts paint the landscape of what looks like reality, but our feelings guide us. They let us know when our beliefs are off track and out of alignment with our Authentic Self. Our feelings of anger, hurt, upset, resentment, any feeling of disturbance, let us know that our thinking is off track. When upset occurs, rather than focusing on whatever the perceived upset is, what truly sets us free is the realization that the upset we are feeling is coming from false beliefs even though they feel real in the moment.
An example of this is: I am feeling upset because my husband is irritable with me. He feels criticized by me. It looks like my upset is caused by his irritability, but I don't experience his irritability directly. I experience his irritability through the filter of my thinking. I experience his anger through the beliefs I have taken on through the years and from a very long time ago. Somewhere along the way, I made up that if someone was angry with me, it means that I have done something wrong. It is my fault, and I am bad. When believing these thoughts I feel shame. I don't want to feel shame and feel unworthy. So I defend myself, and explain to him why I didn't do anything wrong, and why he has no right to feel irritable. You can imagine how well this plays out. He is already caught up in his own limiting thoughts and feeling hurt. By defending myself, I am invalidating his emotional experience and telling him he is wrong. Nothing good ever comes out of that in our relationship.
But if I can remember, when I feel upset, I have the opportunity to look to where the real source of my suffering comes from. My pain in that moment does not come from what he says or does. It comes from the thoughts I believe. The pain comes from judging myself as bad, shameful, and wrong. These beliefs are the source of my hurt -- not his anger. These thoughts are so painful that when I believe them I can go out of my way to fiercely defend myself from them by attacking what looks like the source of my suffering, but all that does is hold the pain in place. The more I try to defend myself from these beliefs, the more real they feel. The more power I give them.
The freedom comes from seeing them for what they are -- simple misunderstandings and misinterpretations I have made along the way. I didn't understand when growing up that when people got angry it wasn't my fault. The truth is, I am not shameful because my husband is angry with me. I am not responsible for his feelings in the same way he is not responsible for my feelings. I am not bad even if I was behaving badly. Being a bitch does not make me unworthy or unloveable. It simple means that I am human and can get caught up in believing my irrational thoughts from time to time. I can sometimes believe that someone else needs to change their behavior in order for me to feel okay. How normal is that?
I don't need to worry about my human capacity to believe untrue thoughts that cause me suffering. I simply need to accept that I am going to do that from time to time. I don't need to try to change because my thinking will naturally settle. I will stabilize and see things more clearly. The nature of my innate intelligence is to unfold inside of me in such a way as to bring harmony, balance, and clear fresh thought. I don't need to worry about that. Just as I don't need to worry about the cut I have on my finger healing. My innate intelligence will always support me with moving toward health whether that be on the physical, mental, or emotional level.
The best thing I can do is relax and get out of its way. Letting go and letting God as some would say. This allows the innate stabilizing tendency we all have to manifest. Less is definitely more when I am feeling upset. And from my stability, my thinking settles. It is easier for me to see more clearly. My thoughts get closer to the truth. I am able to recognize how inaccurate those old thoughts were. In fact, they usually look ridiculous and silly at this point. That is when it is time to have a good chuckle at how confused I can get, and to feel gratitude for my capacity to surrender limiting beliefs and see more clearly the magnificent expression of my divine, loving nature. This is not just for me. This is for you too. The truth is you are not your thoughts -- you are God.
HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.
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