This post might be a challenge for some! But maybe not!
It's main premise is that most of our stress comes from our thinking! Not from the events or experiences we have!
Shakespeare said "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so" (a gazillion years ago) -- and nothing has really changed!
Recall the last five "things" that upset you. Was it actually the "things" or experiences you had or was it the story you told yourself about them that made you anxious, tense or stressed?
For example, you are running late and the traffic up ahead is congested. You react; you think "Oh No!"; you image yourself late for the meeting and start to feel the shame of walking in late; adrenalin starts pumping through your body; you blame the traffic; you shout at the traffic; you slam your hand into the steering wheel and so on.
Does it change the traffic? Or the situation -- other than to make it much worse for you, physiologically?
The traffic is just the traffic; it has no intention to harm you! It's what you say to yourself about the traffic that causes all the drama.
What if someone at work looks at you in a funny way? Do you immediately assume they have suppressed a burp? Or had a twinge of pain? Or just twitched in some way? Or that they are feeling insecure and putting on a bully façade?
No!! Most of us instantly assume that person's facial expression is in some way mocking us; belittling us or making some non verbal comment about us! Teenagers are masters at this -- both making the gestures and reacting as if they are the center of the universe!
Many of us are in the habit of living unconsciously a lot of the time -- we are totally unaware of our thoughts and how they control how we feel. If we were aware we would say different things to ourselves so we would feel good about ourselves, be more loving and feel peace more often!
Wake up to how you think, what you think and when you are thinking!
Another common human habit is that of making judgments! We don't see reality -- we perceive and judge! We see everything through our own filters and beliefs, which color everything -- literally like "rose-colored glasses." What color are your glasses?
Do you see the best in people and situations? Do you actively look for the best? Are you wearing those "rose colored" glasses that do see the world in it's best light? Are you a good finder?
Or are yours black or grey? Where you look for what's wrong; for the "catch," for reasons things won't work; or what's wrong with someone else; for the things you can gossip about?
Do you have beliefs that good things don't happen to people like you; or that you are not good enough to deserve happiness or love; that you are not worth loving; that the world is not a safe place?
You can change your glasses! It takes consciousness and a little effort! But you can do it.
Everything that happens to you will be interpreted by going through the lens of your "glasses." Two people can look at exactly the same thing -- be wearing different colored glasses and see, feel and experience totally different things! And both believe what they saw/felt /experienced was the truth!
Most events in life are neutral -- they are just events -- it's the meaning we ascribe to them that makes the difference.
Take cancer for example. Some people hear the word and instantly see/feel/experience it as the end of the world. They immediately give up and wait for the worst to come.
Others see/feel/experience it as a challenge; as something they will conquer; as a wake up call to change all their unhealthy habits -- physical, emotional and spiritual.
What's the meaning each person is attaching to the same event of being told they have cancer -- or another disease -- or they have been fired -- or need a hip replacement -- or did not succeed in an interview. It's a choice.
Just before I wrote this blog, something happened in my family where I was feeling unloved, left out and hurt! But now I realize it isn't the case. Yes, I did feel those things but only because I was telling myself that they don't love me; they are never going to let me be part of that family; they keep so many secrets; they don't want me to be close; they don't trust me and so on!
I don't know if this is the truth and if it is -- oh well! My job is to love them as well as I can and to stop assuming that is what they are thinking! I will choose to think now that what has happened is just what has happened for whatever reason -- they may be busy, worried, overwhelmed. I will choose to think with compassion for them rather than my selfish, insecure based thoughts!
''There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.'' Thank you William Shakespeare
We are going to think anyway -- so why not assume the best -- all the time. If you are proven wrong -- oh well -- it is what it is; but at least you didn't waste days full of stress hormones and creating disease in your body! So you are better prepared to deal with whatever it is -- and at least have a chance of operating from love.
Manage your thinking and you will manage your meaning -- your stomach will appreciate it and life may be a lot more joyful and peaceful!
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