The other day I had a really nice realization, an Aha Moment, as Oprah would say, about my yearning how to find inner peace. It was this:
My mind creates my problems. I am working on correcting my mind. Therefore I will get better. The end.
I was so grateful for this realization!! 😀
My suffering is the result of believing my thoughts. Simply put, my task is to dis-identify with my thoughts. This is can do. I can practice every day! It’s a lot of fun too, because it directly benefits me and makes me feel better right now! 😀
My happiness is not outside my control. I am not at the mercy of outside forces. I am not powerless. By practicing mindfulness and living in the present, I am making great strides.
I spent so many years, decades really, trapped in my own personal hell. The stories in my head were really dreadful: I had anxiety, certain people didn’t like me, my husband was difficult, my job was difficult, I didn’t achieve my goals in life, etc., etc…
Over and over these stories played in my mind. I was very much a victim of my own wrongful thinking.
Yes I know, life has bumps in the road, heartbreak, loss, and challenges.
In fact, it was through facing just such a challenge a few years back- when my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer– that I really started to harness the power of living in the present and learn how to go about life in a better way.
They say that it often takes a critical limit situation for some people to finally come out of their personal suffering and start to awaken to a new consciousness. I guess that’s what happened to me.
In 2012 my father, a completely healthy athletic man in his early 70’s, was diagnosed with a very large tumor in his bladder. He was told he would have to have his bladder removed and get an artificial bladder, a risky surgery with lots of nasty side effects. My parents were horrified as was I, and I decided to take him to a major cancer hospital in New York City for a different opinion.
Turns out it was the right decision. I found a wonderful surgeon for him, Dr. Guido Dalbagni. After 2 major surgeries at Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, 2 rounds of BCG treatments, he is now 78 years old and cancer-free.
There was just no way I could have coordinated his care, drove my parents into the city for all the checkups, surgeries, aftercare, and a minor complication, while still managing my life and my family and job without living in the moment and doing what needed to be done. Sure I was scared out of my mind a lot of the time, but I kept it at bay and just did what had to be done. It was an exercise in faith, positive thinking, and living in the present.
It’s not hard to do the right thing when someone’s life is on the line. Challenging maybe, but not hard. You find the doctor, You go to the doctor. You just do what you have to do.
It is much harder, in my opinion, to do the right thing in everyday life, when you just blindly go about your day according to your habits and thoughts.
When you don’t feel good inside but you can’t put your finger on why. When your negativity has taken you over and become you.
It has taken me a lifetime to figure out that I was the one that created my mental suffering and unhappiness and anxiety with my thoughts.
It is still hard for me to remember that when I have a negative thought, not to listen in to it and let it become me.
Our thoughts are seductive and we are hard-wired to believe them! 😉
So yes, it can be hard, but not it’s not impossible. With practice it is getting easier. Some days I struggle a lot and other days not. Occasionally I will have a really awesome day when I am able to watch my thoughts pretty much continuously and not let them take me over (like I did here.)
So what’s the takeaway?
The great news for us today is to remember that if we are suffering from wrongful negative thinking (which most people are, they just don’t know it), just being aware that we are having negative thoughts is a big step.
This helps sever the bond between having a thought and letting that thought overtake you. It creates a gap in the stream of thinking. In this gap you are no longer a prisoner of your own dream, you are awake.
The more you have these gaps in thinking, the more you are connected to your inner self, where all is well and where there are no problems.
For me, little by little, I am relearning how to live. I try to live in a mindful state- being aware of what is around me. I practice 5 minutes of sitting meditation before work in the morning. And I try to live in a state of alert interest and positivity as I go about my day.
It’s so very cool to notice that when I am simpler, calmer, and kind, the world becomes simpler, calmer, and kind too 🙂
Here are some of the things you start to let go of once you become more mindful and present:
Worry and Anxiety
And here are some of the things you start to become:
More emotionally stable
Thank you Lord that it while it may take a lifetime to figure out that lots of our pain and suffering is caused by our thinking, it doesn’t take a lifetime to undo this, and find some inner calm and happiness. Thank God for this indeed! 😀
How about you? Are you wondering how to find your inner peace? Isn’t it about time you gave mindfulness a try and start giving those old thoughts and bad habits the boot? I’d love to hear how you’re doing!
Thank you for reading!
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