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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Agapite o Filo Mou - Making Your Mind Your Beloved Friend - Part 4

What are our thoughts?

Our thoughts are neither good nor bad; they just are what they are.  It is only the meaning we give to them that makes them so.  Metaphorically, our thoughts are like cloud forms passing through the sky.  If your mind is like the sky, and it is, when it is clear, it is vast, infinite, peaceful, and bright.  When clouds appear, these are like our thoughts, and they will pass through as long as we don’t attach ourselves to them.  The problem is when we have storms in our lives, we attach ourselves to the storms, and these storms become cataclysmic because we won’t let go of them.  They will pass, if we just let them go.  But we don’t, and so we stay in the storm long after the storm has passed.  We keep re-living the storm repeatedly, trying to stop it, trying to bring some kind of resolution to it, trying to do something different so the storm doesn't hit, but all we do is perpetuate the consequences of the storm.  The recycled storm disrupts our lives, influences our decisions and choices in the present, and we live out our lives trying to make up for what happened in the storm that is long gone.  As Plato says, “What is once done, can never be made undone,” however, what we can do is change our thoughts about the things that have happened to us, remember who we are, re-connect to our true selves, learn and grow from the mistakes of our past, make peace with those who hurt us or who we may have hurt, re-contextualize and re-frame the story of our past to find the good that came out of those experiences, heal our past, and then, take those lessons from those traumas and build a better, healthier, and happier future.

I want you to imagine your mind is like a projector of a movie and your thoughts are the images and words coming across the screen.  These words and images will continue on past as long as you decide not to hold on to them.  If you hold on to them, they will give you all the emotional charge, both positive and negative, attached to those images, however, if you just let them pass by, they lose their power over you.  Now, let me ask you something, does the movie screen hold on to the film image?  No, of course it doesn't.  Now consider this: you are the projector of all those thoughts running across the screen in your mind which are then reflected back to you in the outside world.  So, what are you going to do?  Don’t hold on to your thoughts.  Return to the present.  Be in the present moment.  The only place where any of this exists anymore is in your mind.  

The cause of the problem for anyone who suffers from PTSD or trauma is in the soul.  Your soul is in distress.  Thus, it is imperative you take the time to tend and heal your wounds.  PTSD and trauma is honorable and inevitable in environments of intense conflicts.  It's a sign of your humanity.  You must work on all four planes of your existence to heal and transform these moral wounds:  the physical (your body), the emotional (your heart), the mental (your mind), and the spiritual (re-connecting to your true Self, your very core, and thus remembering who you really are).  The work I have discussed in these last four blogs is the beginning of the work you do with the mental and spiritual planes.  You must build the skills and have the tools to re-train your mind to get out of the places that don’t exist. Nothing outside of you is doing this to you anymore, reality, 95 % of the time, is benign, and it is harmless.  These outside triggers which lead to a sequence of painful feelings, reactions, and memories initiated by a sensory memory, are in themselves, completely harmless, but they become harmful because of the mental association you have connected them to in your mind.  Replace the thought, change the feeling, and with consistency and repetition, they will lose their power over you.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Lao Tsu.  He states, “When you correct your mind, everything else falls into place.”  How do you do this? 

  • Meditate
  • Find a spiritual practice based on universal spiritual truths like A Course in Miracles to use as a daily guide to govern your thoughts and feelings about yourself and your relationship to the world
  • Create a bliss list for yourself reminding you of all the beauty that lives inside you and brings you joy
  • Tie a string around your wrist or wear a small ring around your pinky finger, and every time a distressing thought or feeling overwhelms you, go to this string or ring, twist it around, saying to yourself, 'This too shall pass, this too shall pass...' at least 10 times and then think of something from your bliss list
  • Do my program

This is how you start to de-construct the thought forms that are causing you pain, and begin the process of re-constructing the ones that you want to infuse your daily life experiences with, which will assist you in creating the life you want to live.