Suffering is optional

When you hold your own mind hostage, It’s like being in prison. It’s a lot of self-imposed suffering. I am guilty of this bad habit. It’s a bit like jumping to conclusions but bigger. It takes a while to dump it and change behavior.

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Case in point: A friend of a friend said their friend went to a family gathering thinking the worst; that no one liked them, that they would be shunned, ignored, that they were disliked. Yet the opposite happened and the opposite was true. They were welcomed with open arms. They were able to catch up with a lot of people they had been estranged from and had totally the wrong information for many many years. The person who was responsible for spreading the dark information about them in the past was now out of the picture. How many years did our hero waste in shame and fear, thinking they were unloved by their own family? Way too many! It simply was not true. They were holding themselves hostage and suffering for it.

All the self deprecating thoughts and low self-esteem—it was all in this person’s head. Our hero was making assumptions that the information being sent around was true, and they were too afraid to reach out and find out what the real story was. The cloud has lifted and it took an in-person visit to see the truth. Years and years of bad energy followed this person around like a cloud for no good reason. The truth was easy to uncover. They were holding themselves hostage in their mind.

Following the advice of Byron Katie would help in this instance. I loved her book, Loving What Is. She asks the reader to ask themselves four questions, to free their mind:

  1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

Another case in point: I was on Facebook looking at my feed. Usually there are videos and those automatically start playing, or at least they used to. The person posting this video had good intentions. They wanted to find the culprit that tortured a dog which was shown on the video. I had to stop the video from playing after only a few seconds or I would throw up. For days I could not get this image out of my head. Once you see something, you can’t ‘unsee’ it. I kept obsessing over it, because I am an animal lover, and my pets are my family. I could not imagine why anyone would do this, and I also could not imagine why someone would post this for any reason. It shook me to my core.

“I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.”
—Byron Katie

What I kept telling myself when I felt that nausea well up inside was, this event happened a long time ago, and any suffering for the animal was long over. It took days for me to become normal again and shove this awful thing out of my head. I sent love to all concerned. That’s the best I could do. Send love, send love, send love. Be in the moment. Follow the advice of Byron Katie. Follow the advice of Eckhart Tolle and be in the moment. Smell the air. Watch the birds fly overhead. Be grateful for the moment.

What I did wrong was hold myself hostage by having terrible thoughts about the act, and utter disgust for the perpetrator. These feelings did not help anyone. None of my feelings were for the greater good, nor were they positive energy in any way, shape, or form. In addition, I was angry that I had spent any time spinning in negativity. I had no excuse to dwell on something done long ago, that I was helpless to change. I spent my good energy chasing bad.

The lessons in both cases was not to dwell on things you have no control over, and that are in the past. If needed seek the truth. Send love. Move on. Live in the moment.

 

 

You are the author of your life

You are always in charge of your life. No one else is. Just you. Really. And no one person, no outside circumstance or event can change that. The quality of your life and the direction it takes on a moment-by-moment basis is now, and always has been, in your control.

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Here is a quote from Viktor Frankl that illustrates this point. He spent time in Nazi concentration camps and this was one of his insights.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” (From Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning.)

Now if a guy who spent time in Nazi concentration camps can find a way to be happy, I figure pretty much anyone can follow suit. 

Being in charge of your own life is good news, because your happiness is yours to command. You can have it any time you want it. Especially if you have the attitude of gratitude for where you are on your path. It never hurts to say thank you. In fact, it is a higher-level vibration you bring in when you utter those words and feel it in your heart. Then you attract more of the same level, the same vibration of good energy. What goes around, comes around. There are a hundred ways to say it.

Once that is internalized, you have tapped into a tremendous amount of power within. It is really the power of the Universe running through you, because you have just allowed yourself to be a vessel for Universal life force or what I call (Universal) Flow. The Universal life force is without you and within you, and you can use it to make a good life and you can use it to make a difference in other people’s lives, and the world.

If you stop worrying about the next bad thing that might happen, and stop jumping to conclusions, and instead concentrate on what is in front of you, good or bad, life becomes much more freeing and easier to handle. It does not mean there will be no more bad outer circumstances, no more drama, it means you will be more ready, and more comfortable in handling these ups and downs. The outer world is always changing, but you can and should always have control of the inner you. It can be, and is for me, a new way of life that is easier, more freeing, and happier. 

The joy of being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through the world of form, possession, or achievement, person or event. It cannot come through anything that happens. This joy cannot come to you ever. It emanates from the formless dimension of spaciousness within you, from consciousness itself, and this is one with who you are. ― Eckhart TolleThe Power of Now

 

Jumping to conclusions

As an avid thinker and worrier, I am finding more and more that I jump to conclusions too quickly. They are often the wrong conclusions and the worst case scenario. This is not good for manifesting and co-creating a great life. Being divorced (I’d like to call it single) means I have no partner to support me, and everything is on me to survive. There is no one to lean on for moral or financial support. It’s not what I am used to. Any little change to life’s routine sets my mind immediately to the very worst thing that could happen. But hey, everyone wants their future to be set in stone and taken care of, right? Right! We all know that doesn’t happen and life has no guarantees, right? Right!

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Recently I discovered a leak in my swamp cooler system. The copper wire under the sink in the kitchen was spraying water all over, and had been for some time. Argh! I turned off the tiny valve to stop the flow of water. I asked my neighbor to help Continue reading