When I buy an apple, I hold it, look at the entire surface, and decide if I want to eat it. When I check out a library book, I read a few sentences and measure my level of interest. When I want to feel good, I consider my thoughts. Always a waterfall of thoughts tumbles through my head. I look at some thoughts — I don’t like how that turned out, I wish I had spoken up for myself, he’s not listening — and I realize I feel less happy as a result of thinking them. Other thoughts — I anticipate a glorious outcome in this matter, I expect a gift today, I enjoy the sun/rain/breeze — lead me to a better feeling place. I have to choose the thoughts I think if I want to feel good.
I stay vigilant, always watching, always asking myself, Do I really want to go down that thought path? I remember that thoughts are created inside my head even though they seem like autonomous beings. Every thought does not deserve my attention. I can delete some immediately if I recognize that they diminish me. Out of hand, I say No to thoughts from the past, especially thoughts that tell me I’m powerless. We were all powerless early in life. Sometimes that worked out well and sometimes not so well. But today, does it matter? Today I am powerful. Unless old thoughts drain my power by jerking me back to a time long gone.
I also say No to thoughts from my Controller
That part of me tells me to work hard and harder, to think constantly, and never to trust that things may end well without my unswerving effort. Doing counts for more than being with my Controller. That never feels good.
I also say No to any hurtful criticism of myself from myself or from another. I make tons of mistakes. Some cost me dollars, some take my time, some distract my focus. But I applaud myself for my mistakes. If I don’t make mistakes, how do I learn? Always I’m on my own side.
Choosing thoughts reorients my attention. I stand back and observe the always-moving thoughts. I also notice that I am not my thoughts and that I have the choice to think my thoughts or to say No. I am more powerful than my thoughts. I decide if they serve me. If my conclusion is No, they don’t, I discard them.
Every second I can choose my thoughts. And nothing improves the quality of my life more than that.
Ruth Cherry, PhD is the author of Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment and Accepting Unconditional Love. Her website is www.meditationintro.com
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