In the last post I talked about self-soothing, dealing with the painful and uncomfortable feelings that arise from time to time (or almost constantly for some).
Today I'd like to say a few words about what you can do with the thoughts that are likely rolling around in your head bringing up those uncomfortable feelings. More often than not, we are not even aware of the thoughts behind our feelings mainly because we are so used to them that we either don't notice them or we simply believe them to be true so what are you going to do?
Thoughts that generate pain are simply ideas and belief we have about what is going on in our lives. They are usually assumptions we made long ago in similar circumstances that have become beliefs and the lens through which we tend to view the world as adults. It is our way of filling in the gaps between what we are witnessing and what we don't know, which is a lot.
Because of our discomfort with not knowing it is normal for humans to give meaning to what we see or experience. We do it so quickly that we don't even realize that is what we've done. The truth is however that 99% of the time we give meaning to situations based on our beliefs, not on what is happening. That is a huge part of the self-created illusion we live in.
When we stop, take a breath and do a little self-soothing around uncomfortable feelings, if we also take the time to ponder what we've been thinking about this situation we can uncover all kinds of interesting little tidbits of information that we've been buying hook, line and sinker. When we experience fear there are likely thoughts of being in danger somehow even though none really exists. When you notice thoughts like, 'I'm in trouble', or 'they won't like me anymore', or 'I've done something wrong' or (insert your own habitual thoughts) when you may not have done anything at all for instance, it's time to question those thoughts and remind yourself that you don't really know any of what you've been thinking.
A cautionary note, don't argue with the thoughts and assumptions you become aware of, that will only strengthen them and cause you to become defensive; the trick is to gently question and compassionately remind yourself that what you're thinking is not likely the truth; the truth is you don't know what this means. Here is a great opportunity to start making peace with the reality of not knowing. We simply don't know why things happen most of the time; we don't know what things mean most of the time; we certainly don't know what the future holds, ever. Things can change so fast it makes my head spin sometimes.
I don't know. Very powerful words and a very powerful place to start from when you want to know the truth about what is going on. In relationship, when we can be vulnerable enough to admit we don't know what we thought we knew, an opening is created where we can actually connect with each other, talk about what is going on, ask questions, clarify for ourselves what is going on inside of us, build connection instead of distance. The possibilities are endless.
Don't buy into the idea that you know what anything means even if you've had all kinds of experiences to confirm it. Of course you did, that was how you interpreted things in the past so of course that is how you saw it, that's the way consciousness works. This is a new day, a new moment, a new opportunity to break out of old patterns.
It truly is a beautiful thing this not knowing.