Don’t take your thoughts at face value.
What I mean is: don’t be afraid to challenge and question your thoughts. Understand that you are not your thoughts. Rather, you are the being experiencing the thoughts. This distinction is important because it introduces a choice. If you are not automatically defined by your thoughts, if your thoughts do not determine who and how you are: Then you can choose which thoughts you wish to entertain and believe. You can also choose to not invest emotion into every thought. You can decide when certain thoughts don’t serve you, to think new thoughts instead.
Suddenly, you are liberated. You are free.
You no longer need to be weighed down by your constant thoughts. You can separate yourself. You have a great capacity to challenge your perspectives, adapt new perspectives and venture into new understandings. You are free from the confines of the past, the conclusions you’ve made, and the things you’ve thought about yourself and the world. You can now set boundaries on your own thinking. A thought may come to you and you can now choose whether to invite it in, or whether to send it packing. You can now govern your time and energy more effectively. The more you can govern yourself, then the more you can guide yourself and your state of being.
The majority of our thinking is ‘evaluatory’ thinking.
It is literally: What do I think about this? Do I agree, or disagree and why? This, then leads into, how do I ‘feel’ about this? By realizing you have a choice, there is now no longer a need to evaluate everything. If it doesn’t serve any purpose: Why waste time and energy deciding whether or not you agree with something or not? Why waste time investing your emotions to decide how you feel about it?
Realize that every time you expend all this extra energy, you take away from your state of ‘being’.
Can you just be in the stillness, as you are and experience life as it comes moment to moment? Now, without your focus divided many many times you can notice and experience in amazement so much of what you are missing. There is a whole level of life happening below the dizzying web of constant non-stop thinking.
I’ve come to the opinion that life is not in the thoughts we have, but in the actual experience.
Much of the experience takes place in the stillness of the moment. It’s as though our life has so much to say, yet we don’t even notice because of the non-stop incessant incoherent babbling of our minds. The saddest part is that in many cases, all this ‘thinking’ is not even coming to productive evaluations or conclusions. We engage in so much negative self-talk. We propagate doubt and fear. Too often, our self-talk repeatedly, relentlessly beats us down, leaving us unempowered, struggling and in defeat.
If we can recognize that we have a choice in the matter, why on earth would we ever choose this as our path, as our experience of life? Once we realize this, once we awaken to a new understanding: We can no longer succumb or relinquish ourselves to that which no longer serves us. We may still have things we must do, such as responsibilities, but we no longer have to live ‘in’ those things and moments. We don’t need to enter into the realm of whether or not we like them, why we don’t like them, or worse how much we don’t like them, etc. We don’t need to dive into our ‘evaluatory’ thinking with our emotions. When we notice the inner turmoil rising, we can put on the brakes. We can keep ourselves from venturing down that path. We can choose to not think about it any further or at the very least we can choose to think about something more pleasant.
This, of course, is not to suggest we should avoid our problems by refusing to think about them.
Of course, we should confront any solvable problem with an action-plan so that in the future it may no longer be a problem. Even a problem with no foreseeable, discernible solution can benefit from an action plan of self-care, self-love, and kindness. However, camping out in negative thinking and perceptions is pure unadulterated self-sabotage. It serves no purpose whatsoever.
We have a choice to say, “No!”.
We can decide we will no longer do it. The gateway to understanding this lies in understanding that we are not our thoughts. This relieves us from feeling ‘compelled’ to keep every thought. This is true freedom. Happiness is not a goal, it is a state of being. It is living an empowered life, where you realize that you have choices. Where you readily exercise those choices.
By living in an empowered way you can continuously re-empower yourself to stand firmly by your own side as your strongest ally and advocate. You can check on yourself and self-correct. You can live in awareness and improve the quality of your life. There is no ‘be happy’. There is only the present moment in which you are. You get to choose what and how you are.