“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts but our attachment to our thoughts that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing it to be true without inquiring (without asking ourselves if we can be absolutely certain the thought is true). A belief is a thought we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” — Byron Katie
What thought are you attaching to that is causing you to suffer…to be fearful or anxious? What stories of fear, lack or struggle is this thought creating in your head as you allow it to take over your thinking? What happens to that thought and those stories when you ask yourself if you are absolutely certain they are true?
We supposedly have 60,000 thoughts run through our mind each day. For many of us there is a tendency to attach ourselves to those thoughts that have a potentially negative outcome…to those that are founded in fear, lack and struggle…and we immediately begin to spin scenarios in our heads that have a less than happy outcome.
Take a simple example. A friend invites you to go out to dinner. You like your friend but you really don’t want to go out in this particular instance. So, you want to say “no” but then what happens? What thought comes into your head? Probably something like this…”If I don’t go, he/she will think I don’t like them.” The next line in the story is…”He/she will stop inviting me.” And then, to complete the story in our head…”If I don’t go, he/she will stop inviting me and I won’t have any friends anymore. I have to do what I don’t want to do or I’ll be friendless.”
These scenarios spin through our heads every day. The sad thing is that we rarely see them for what they are…fictions we’ve created from a thought that we have attached to…that we assigned a sense of fear, loss or struggle to. Better to be mindful and aware of our thoughts and where they are taking us and inquiring about them to be sure they are true…to be sure they are worth giving our time and attention to.
How to be mindful of our thoughts? It’s quite simple really. Just monitor your feelings. If you are feeling pretty good, your thoughts are following a good path at the moment. If you are feeling fearful, nervous, anxious, or feel a sense of loss or struggle, your thoughts are taking you down a negative path resulting from a story you are creating in your head…a story filled with unexamined assumptions and fears…a story that causes you to worry and to feel bad.
Be mindful of the thoughts that you are creating in your head. Examine them and discard those that are not based in what you absolutely know to be true. Life is good! A mindful life is even better!
Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and beliefs based on well-considered thoughts.