Our thoughts and emotions are not separate entities. And that translates into this: The way we think determines the way we feel. If we can learn how to change our thoughts, we can change our experience of the world. And this is true on both the personal and collective levels. We must start to observe and learn to understand that wherever our attention goes, our energy follows. When thoughts arise that we do not believe in [like if I told you Springsteen was NOT the best performer of all time!] we can easily ignore them and thus they have no power over us…but a thought believed in can start a war -- be it an internal war within ourselves or one between nations.
Thoughts are entities unto themselves, energy forms if you will. So, we need to recognize that whenever we find ourselves identifying with our thoughts we are giving them authority over us. I once heard it said that, “Mind is meant to be our servant, it is a wicked master.” All too often, we become stuck in rather hostile, life-denying thoughts that wreak havoc in our lives. They are in fact, the building blocks that determine who we THINK we are. And this is precisely how, through relentless negative thinking, we find ourselves either attacking ourselves or attacking others! We effectively hold ourselves hostage with relentless feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.
We buy into thoughts that tell us that we are somehow not good enough. Often, we can feel like we have failed in so many areas of our lives that we conclude that we must BE a failure. Or we believe in the thoughts that assert we are somehow “unacceptable,” leaving us unable to feel a healthy sense of worthiness. And so we think that we have to “add” something to ourselves in order to be valuable…be it a new job, more money, or a partner. Because we do not feel “lovable,” we fail to recognize that we ARE Love itself!!! Instead, the reality of who we truly are, as LIMITLESS LOVE, is hidden behind our habitual, learned responses through the identification with our thoughts, as we believe them into our experience of existence. In fact, we are so “clever,” that we unconsciously attract energy in the form of other people and/or situations that will “confirm” just how unacceptable and unlovable we really are! We stay in unhealthy relationships, abuse drugs or alcohol, we eat too much or eat too little…we find so many ways to “feed” our negative self-concepts and sabotage our lives.
Through this process, we experience a total loss of “internal space.” We cannot seem to access the realm that lies outside of the frantic movement of thoughts – the realm where peace and stillness await. Where we can truly breathe and experience the fullness of life. We need to learn how this lack of inner space – resulting from identification with our thoughts and the body/mind -- renders us spiritually unconscious and unable to find our way “home.”
It is crucial that we devote the energy and time necessary to identify and reflect on the negative thinking patterns we find ourselves struggling with and that are keeping us stuck. What life events have shaped our personal, unique belief systems and continue to impact our thoughts, feelings and behaviour? How do they dictate what we choose to do in our lives and what we choose to avoid?
A good starting point to overcoming the suffering in our lives is learning how to say "No!" to what does not honour who we are, how to do it "safely," and adopting this as a deep personal tenet in our lives. When we truly commit to ourselves the universe moves to support us…in fact, I believe it waits patiently and lovingly for us to make these profound changes in our lives and begin to move forward, learning to love ourselves well.
In response to our demonstrated commitment to self, shifts begin to happen in our lives naturally and effortlessly. Our relationships begin to change. Our eating habits change as we honour our body by consciously choosing foods that nourish our cells rather than impede them. Our sleeping habits change as restfulness replaces our restlessness. We feel more alive and more alert. More creative. And we feel an inner sense of spaciousness that has been lacking for far too long, where the fullness of who we are can be realized.