I remember once being coached by another coach (yes, even coaches get coached!), and I said something negative about my life situation. Her response to me was:
But Linda, that's just a thought you're thinking.
I can remember feeling pissed off with her, because it appeared to me as if she was making light of "my thought." She wasn't taking me seriously. She wasn't truly listening. I didn't want my thought to be reduced to "just a thought." I wanted it to have great meaning and importance. I wanted it to be a big thing. I wanted her to come along with me and feel what I was feeling.
Thoughts have a way of entangling us in their web. And if we allow ourselves to get caught, we run the high risk of getting trapped in the web of sadness, melodrama, fear, insecurity, and a host of other dark and heavy emotions.
Thoughts want us to play with them. They want to be validated and respected. They are greedy for our attention. Because if we ignore them, they run the great risk of fizzling out and losing their power. They can actually disappear.
In a way, you can't blame them for wanting our attention, because we were the ones who invited them into our world. We've gotten cozy and warm with them. We've fed them, and patted them on the head. We've been a great listener. We've had deep and intricate dialogue with them. We've held onto some of them for years. And, in turn, they have never deserted us. Who can resist such a relationship?
And then one day, you decide you don't want to play with them. You listen, but you don't respond. You've run out of things to say, or you've just become tired and weary of the conversation. You notice that nothing ever gets resolved or fixed. The two of you just keep going around and around. You want a new lover.
And like a jilted lover, those old thought patterns will beg you to take them back. They will come up with compelling arguments of why you shouldn't let them go. They will convince you that your fears and anxieties are worthy of endless discussion. Who is going to be there for you when you feel your fears? You may even take them back for a while, and that's OK.
But after some time, it becomes the same old thing again... the same old patterns. You just know that it's time to move on. And so, you ignore them. You take your attention away from them. You starve them of attention, you stop feeding them, knowing all to well that they will naturally leave you alone and move on.
It finally clicks that you're done thinking about them. You're free.