Are Your Thoughts Creating More Stress Than Good?
Do you create stress for yourself?
We stress ourselves with our thinking, our examined habits, and our denial. Self-defeating thinking includes assumptions we have made about ourselves and the world which we don’t recognize. Do you find yourself resenting others? Does it seem life is easier for everyone else? Does anger pop up quickly? Do you speak when you wish you hadn’t? Or don’t speak and you wish you had? Do you feel like a Victim? Or a Bully?
You can change any scenario entirely on your own. Our consciousness is the basis for everything that happens in our lives. If you want to know what exists in your inner world, look around you. Is your mate abusive or insensitive? It’s no coincidence.
Something in you refuses to acknowledge your own needs and worth. He’s just a mirror. Is your boss critical and humiliating? What in you is she reflecting? An abusive inner Critic? The outside reflects the inside unerringly.
Having these mirrors makes our job of personal growth so much easier! We always assume that what is exists to help us. Nothing is a mistake. Circumstances seem to align to allow us the experience we need. “No,” I can hear you protest, “I don’t want to be humiliated and frustrated and disappointed.” It’s painful and maybe unfair, but for some reason you need that experience. We learn to focus on our personal experience and not on the objective facts.
An appropriate and growthful response no matter what occurs is “Thank you.” Whether we like what happens or not is irrelevant. If we accept what is with gratitude and release our resistance, we learn. Life knows better than our minds what we need in order to heal and grow. When we say “Thank you” we cooperate with life. Stress results from resisting the lessons life presents to us.
Habits are behavioral indications of thinking stuck in the past. Habits are automatic, unconsidered responses. Unconsciously we are reacting from another time and place, presumably when we lacked power or insight or maturity. Why would we prefer that unawareness? Because something painful or problematic threatens to emerge and we fear we can’t cope. But the truth is we can handle it. We’ve grown and we’ve matured and we’re ready for more. We don’t manage every situation gracefully but we always have another chance. We look, we consider, and we make another choice. And always we’re on our own side. We’re here to learn, not to be perfect, so no matter what happens we continue on our path.
Denial closes off learning. It’s like pulling the shades down and saying “There’s nothing to see so I won’t look.” We can’t learn or grow or change if we won’t see what is. We don’t have to know how to handle it and we certainly don’t have to understand it, we just have to see what is. And experience.
We acknowledge the reality of our inner world and we allow our feelings. We notice the process involved in feeling — opening to the intensity of the emotion, feeling it fully, and watching the resolution which occurs naturally. We learn to know our inner world through having experiences. We watch the natural flow of our feelings and we learn not to recoil in fear but to allow. Allowing is the opposite of denial. When we practice non-resistance, allowing, and trust, we avoid stress.