We are in a constant battle with the voices in our head and the ony way out is through diligent awareness, presence, and perseverance.
It is amazing what we are able to convince ourselves; talking ourselves into and out of jobs, activities, relationships. “This is good for me. I shouldn’t do that. Oh, that will never work.” Placing values and judgements on every situation, every person that comes into our lives. More often than not, these judgements are counterproductive. They prevent us from exploring things that may actually be beneficial, while allowing us to justify situations, people, and ideas that may not be in our highest good.
Falling in love, for instance, we usually notice all the great things about the one we love and have a tendency to overlook their less fine qualities. When a relationship ends, however, we have a tendency to do the opposite. Looking primarily at our partners’ weaknesses rather than strengths in an attempt to dull the pain of separation and to justify the end of the relationship. This also allows us to shift blame onto the partner instead of paying attention to our contribution to the story of the relationship. Because, our inner storyteller has already created all the scenarios based on our hopes and fears. In truth, we likely had clues that the relationship would or wouldn’t work.
Once we start noticing these stories, asking questions is the best way to begin diffusing the internal story-teller. Such as: “Where do these judgements come from?” Usually, the answer is conditioning … our life patterns echoing their way through our thoughts. This is where the consciousness of our parents, teachers, family, friends, and societal conditioning comes in to play.
“Is this idea coming from a place of fear or love?” Most often, the stories we tell ourselves are in an attempt to protect our emotions (guarding). After we ask the questions and listen for the answers, we can then face the fears that arise. Noticing, but not enabling them. All choices are best coming from a place pure of love.
I personally call these story threads “wagon wheel tracks.” The wheels of my brain spinning in the same place time and again, creating deep grooves in my thought process. Depending on how many times a thought has been followed (how deep the groove is), determines how much effort is involved in creating a new pathway. When I catch myself following these wagon tracks, I say “Cancel, Delete!” Then usually finding my awareness was in the past or future, I bring myself back to this very moment. The act of becoming HERE & NOW is so powerful in eradicating fear and negative thought patterns, because usually none of it exists at this exact moment. Besides, it is so much easier to deal with things one at a time, as they present themselves in each moment.
When I find my brain overcrowded with thoughts, I take a deep breath, meditate, bring my awareness to HERE & NOW, and watch the thoughts trickle down into only things that are absolutely necessary … or nothing at all, which gives me all the space I need to allow love, gratitude, and compassion to come in.
Love, gratitude, and compassion are key to creating new stories. Creating … starting from scratch. Every single one of us has the opportunity of making this choice every moment. If we can separate ourselves from the stories conditioned within us, and focus on love (because gratitude and compassion are aspects of love) then we’ll find our stories will be without judgement, challenges will become learning experiences, and life suddenly seems much more free.
As it is 🙂