Whatever You Think

Before summer ends and as you are gearing up for back to work and school details, take the opportunity to do some personal inquiry into the unique ways of relating to yourself and others. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself: the understanding and questioning you have about your thoughts, and the usual themes that you believe are true.

Do you believe what you think about? People have thousands of thoughts daily so to pose the question, “Is this really true?” to each notion that comes through your mind would be a daunting task. Yet some form of self-discernment is helpful in discovering the beliefs that are creating the issues in your interactions. Common thoughts such as: “That was stupid of me, or “She doesn’t like me, or “I don’t have what it takes to do this,” are usually not questioned for their validity. This may leave you feeling inadequate or disgruntled with yourself. If you believe your stressful thoughts, you create more stress in your life.

Until you understand your thoughts and beliefs, it is impossible to deal with yourself and others authentically. Questioning the validity of your thinking, especially when you are triggered, leads to positive changes in your relationships.

For illustration purposes, one thought that can take you out of your power is the belief that you must win the love and approval of others. When you say and do things to please, influence or control anyone, fear is the underlying emotion. When you act out of fear you cannot receive or experience love.

When you want to impress and get approval, there is a needy child inside saying, “Look at me! Give me some attention! Love me! …” In fact, you are looking outside yourself for compassion, kindness, and caring. When you can love that inner child and embrace yourself, it no longer becomes necessary to seek outside yourself for this compassio n. When you are ready to champion yourself, you will discover that you don’t have to do anything to receive love. For love is what you already are: complete, without conditions or “should”. What keeps you from being love is what is stressful!

Byron Katie, the creator of “The Work” has two best selling books, Loving What Is and I Need Your Love – Is That True? . Her books take you into her method of finding happiness through questioning your mind or thoughts. She would walk you through the following inquiry exercise:

  • Do You Really Need Approval?
  • For example, I need my spouse’s approval.
  • Is that true?
  • Can I absolutely know that it is true?
  • How do I react when I think I need my spouse’s approval?
  • How do I treat my spouse when I believe that thought?
  • Does this thought bring me closer or more separate from my spouse?
  • Who would I be without the thought that I need my spouse’s approval?
  • Who would I be with my spouse if I didn’t think that thought?

Can you see how relationships can change if your thoughts about them change? Your thoughts influence your behaviour, your attitude, and your expectations. Your thoughts can keep you out of your heart: your compassion, love and caring.

Thoughts are also energy. The law of attraction says that what we focus on expands. So, using the example of pleasing again: if you think that you need approval from others, you will attract people into your life who are going to keep challenging your need for approval!

Use your feelings as a guide to discover the positive or negative energy attached to your thought. If you feel deflated, or any of the fear-based emotions, ask yourself what you are thinking and if you absolutely know that what you are thinking is true. If you are not sure of the validity of your thought or belief, cancel it out. Then try to refocus on something that will bring up your energy. Items of beauty, a heart-felt memory, holding your loved ones in your heart, are all examples of choosing to be love. This place holds wonderful energy for your own health and helps others to expand their energy.

By observing your thoughts, discerning the stressful ones and choosing to shift the truth of the thought, the process creates a more authentic relationship with yourself and your loved ones and colleagues.

So what do you think???

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