Friday, January 7, 2011

Mental Toxins

Something that I am really trying to focus on in my life is the power and importance of not only positive thinking, but also the power of positive and kind words. It's amazing how just being watchful of the things that escape your lips can make you feel better, act friendlier, and overall make you a more genuine person. Within this venture of mine, I am finding there are certain situations that, for whatever reasons, I am having a hard time actually letting go. I say that I don't care about this or that, and then without hardly realizing it, my thoughts wander to the situation and positive thoughts are furthest from my mind. I picked up a book I read many years ago, before David, when I was having a hard time letting go of a particular hurt in my life. I remember it giving me so much perspective then, and glancing through it today reminded me of a few important things.

"Our lives are filled with useless battles because our minds are filled with useless thoughts. We carry around unhappy scenes from the past as if they were still happening, and we chew on the memory of whatever we just did. This glut of thoughts profoundly affects the world we perceive and the life we live."

This rings so true for me. My brain never wants to turn off and it's consta
ntly going over what I could have said, how I really feel, what makes me so angry about it all.... why? Why can't I just turn it off and REALLY let go of something that I don't feel like I even care about anyway. It's the control freak in me that wants to have ownership of every aspect of every situation, but that just isn't realistic. I end up dwelling on something that I have no desire to think about anymore. Dwelling on someone who I don't even want to be a part of my life, wishing things could be different. Another mistake!...

"Whenever our desire is for people to change or circumstances to go our way, we are not taking responsibility for our own state of mind. Because now all we can do is be a victim. Certainly there are real victims, but most of us put ourselves in this role needlessly. And we do it everyday."

The "poor-me" syndrome is SO common... I know I am guilty of it. It all goes back to my need to be in control of the situation. It's only when I decide that I am not interested in control that truly nothing will be "beyond my control". I need to let the people and situations I encounter be who and what they are. Putting pressure on others doesn't change their hearts. It only puts me in a "pointless conflict that splits my mind and muddles my emotions."

Haha, this next one I highlighted and underlined in the book... knowing it was something I STRUGGLE with... "There are only three things you need to let go of: judging, controlling, and being right." Letting go of control and bring right are definitely hard for me, and I guess judgment is something we do SO often, sometimes without realizing it. The statement sounds so simple... let go of these three things, and find peace. Yet it is much harder to actually do it.

Something else I struggle with is understanding the actual emotions behind my thoughts. There is a reason why I can't let it go, but do I even know what that reason is? I often try to ignore the feeling and hope it will go away, but "trying to keep ourselves from experiencing an emotion is an even bigger mistake...[I] risk hiding the emotion rather than letting it go." I guess it's better to accept the way I am feeling and try to address it.

Possibly the best way to handle my roller coaster of emotions is to only focus on the things that I have actual control over. I have recognized that my own words have a tendency to be harsh, even if that isn't my intention. So, my goal is to hurt no one through my thoughts and actions. I cannot control others, but I can choose to "do no harm" and perhaps that will help
me let go of the "glut of thoughts" in my mind. Unconscious projection often feels honest, and that is a mistake I choose not to make as often as I have in the past.

While this mini "self-help" session was mostly an outlet for me to vent my feelings, I hope that IF you took the time to read it, you at least take a small something away from it. I will end with this final thought. A thought that I need to remember and practice:

"I alone choose what ruins my attitude and complicates my life. I live with the decisions I make about everything and everyone around me. I see what I decide and react as I choose."

-All quotes were borrowed from "The Little Book of Letting Go" by Hugh Prather



Ahhhh love it Yvonne :) Especially loved this: "I alone choose what ruins my attitude and complicates my life. I live with the decisions I make about everything and everyone around me. I see what I decide and react as I choose." So very true...if only we all realized it more often & took it to heart <3. You always were/have been full of insight...glad to know it hasn't changed!

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