Choosing Which Thoughts To Believe
Do you ever notice that when you have less to do and more free time, your mind likes to consistently remind you that you’re doing something wrong or not doing something right? How bogus is that…….?
I was driving one recent afternoon listening to music that I love, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was doing something wrong or missing something that I was supposed to be doing.
I mentioned this to my Reiki teacher to which she replied: “Cancel your head, drop into your body, your heart. You need to put caution tape around your mind.” Later when I dropped into my body, I noticed that instead of uncertainty and fear, I actually felt calm and excited about my life.
Something I have noticed through my own experience and observing others is that when an individual experiences the feeling of excitement in the physical body, there can simultaneously be a fear response triggered in that same individual’s mind, which then overwhelms their psyche and physical body to the point where they may think they are experiencing anxiety as opposed to excitement. When the body and mind get excited or hopeful, there is a slight fight or flight reaction triggered and experienced in the body because even though excitement is a positive feeling, it still turns on the sympathetic nervous system, the same system that is turned on when we feel fear. The ego fear mind cannot distinguish the difference between a positive or negative feeling since they both cause the nervous system to quicken. A human being’s animalistic instinctual ego mind wants to protect us and keep us in fear. It thinks that scaring us into inaction and shame will keep us safe from danger.
The ego mind survives and thrives on an individual’s emotional and physical habits that stem from beliefs that we learned growing up. For example, if you grow up learning that traveling is unsafe then you will likely fear travel opportunities and experience physical anxiety around the ideas of travel even if the opportunity is a great one. If we believe something bad could happen when we let our fear guard down, then our bodies and minds will commit to keeping us in fear. If we become conscious of the false limiting belief, we have the opportunity to change it. As human beings, we were made with conscious awareness. We can choose to use that to free ourselves from beliefs that no longer serve us, in order to find our way back to the peace and serenity of our souls.
I am currently changing my belief that if I am excited it means I may be out of control and that as a result, something bad is bound to happen because that is what I deserve. I think this belief of mine is a result of losing multiple loved ones at a young age. Dealing with death at a young age made me feel like I was being punished for something I was unaware of and that there was no way life could be good, that it is bound to be painful. I now know that as a younger me I was not able to understand how to best love and support myself through deep tragedy or even express what I needed to others. I did not understand that my mind could tell me things that were untrue. This is also why I must now have compassion and love for that younger me in order to train my present mind to chill the fuck out ;). So, when I now feel excited and also in fear, I can remind myself that there is nothing to be afraid of. The excitement is completely separate from anything unpleasant that I may be afraid of. I remind myself that I deserve to feel excitement, love, joy, peace, passion, etc. On the contrary, feeling these positive emotions are good for my immune system, body, and spirit!
This practice of becoming aware of limiting beliefs that are causing you to suffer is hard work. But I can tell you it works. I practice it every day and have had success with clearing painful beliefs, and I now experience more internal freedom. It does however take time to feel a change. It is a real practice of faith and slowing down enough to notice your thoughts. Once you are able to notice your thoughts and physical reactions to them, you can change them.
When a self-sabotaging/untrue thought arises, repeat a new truthful/ loving thought in your mind or out loud to yourself. Try your best not to judge yourself for the painful thought, work to practice contrary action by being kind to yourself as opposed to being self-criticial. Repeat this process every time the fearful thought enters your mind. Remember, this is a process, some days are easier than others and you must be gentle with yourself and take breaks! I promise you that in time you will notice that your old thoughts are replaced by more loving thoughts, that your mind is occasionally nice and supportive to you, and that your body is more at peace even if your mind begins to tell you lies. I know this process works. I have stuck with it enough to see evidence of it working and how much better my life is as a result. You have the power to do this too.