Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Learning to not Overthink--Can I?

I have what I consider a rather bad habit, I cannot seem to read just one book at at time, I currently have at least 6 to 8 books surrounding my bedside, or lying nearby on my desk, or in the backseat of my car, each with a bookmark, or dogeared page marking my last stopping place. Some nights I may a read a little of one or three, other nights I find myself deeply interested in just one. I am not sure why I do this, but in the process of the reading, if I come across a concept, instead of continuing on deeper into the book, I have to mull over a concept for a bit. I may pick up another, but the ideas from the other are still stewing away somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

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A book I haven't yet delved very deeply into is entitled, Loving What Is. I don't know why I felt the need to purchase it. I rarely buy self-help books, but something within me, a need to heal and trust myself, and in that process learn to trust others, to keep myself open to other people, found me buying something I normally would not.

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Passages that have me delving further than ever before into the concept of letting go and simply accepting happiness into my life, into me...

"A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It's not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it's true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we've been attaching to, often for years."

"Thoughts are like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. They appear like that, and through inquiry we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop? Raindrops aren't personal, and neither are thoughts. Once a painful concept is met with understanding, the next time it appears you may find it interesting. What used to be the nightmare is now just interesting. The next time it appears, you find it funny."

"I have never experienced a stressful feeling that wasn't caused by attaching to an untrue thought. Behind every uncomfortable feeling, there's a thought that isn't true for us...

We have a thought that argues with reality, then we have a stressful feeling, and then we act on that feeling, creating more stress for ourselves. Rather than understand the original cause---a thought---we try to change our stressful feelings by looking inside ourselves. We try to change someone else, or we reach for sex, food, alcohol, drugs, or money in order to find temporary comfort and the illusion of control."

"It is easy to be swept away by some overwhelming feeling, so it's helpful to remember that any stressful feeling is like a compassionate alarm clock that says, "You're caught in the dream." Depression, pain, and fear are the gifts that say, "Sweetheart, take a look at what you're thinking right now. You're living in a story that isn't true for you."
~Byron Katie~

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Simply put, is this thought true? Have I projected feelings and a story onto this thought that now has me in suffering mode?

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In this process, I am attempting to learn two things...

To trust myself.

But more importantly at this stage in my trust what others tell me, to believe.

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I have spent the majority of my adult life, hearing words of love, caring, and supposed respect come from another's mouth, to only learn later...through their actions...the words were untruths.

Or, finding out that I was being tested in one insidious way or another, and it seems I usually failed the test. (I have continually asked myself, why this covert testing, it became an emotional game, that indeed had me suffering most of the time.)

Thus I find it very difficult to trust words of affection, words of love, or, any words that should have a positive emotion attached to them...I distrust.

I always end up wondering what they are not telling me, wondering when I will find out the "real truth".

In some ways I find this baffling, if I have feelings I speak the truth of those feelings. Even if I find them difficult to speak out loud (or write), I try to say them to the one I feel them toward. In the beginning, many times I may find myself holding back, because I do not trust those feelings, until I have examined the thought processes that engendered those feelings.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons I purchased Loving What Is. I want to learn to let those thoughts go, those thoughts, which may cause me to project untruths to. Thoughts that lead to feelings, that I have no factual basis on which to attach feelings to.

A thought enters the mind, a feeling is immediately attached to that thought, more feelings are engendered, a story develops, grows, becomes more, and more. I used to let the story take on a life of its own. I no longer do that, I give myself a mental "Whoa girl! Think this through very carefully." The result being, many times I am able to let the thoughts, and the feelings go, to move on past those feelings, until I find the feelings that truly do feel true.

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Again, in purchasing this book, perchance it was a way of validating this new thought process, as many times over the past six months or so, I have simply told myself, "Let it go, just let it go, it isn't important. What's important is that I am happier now. Just be in this now."

I have backslid, (oh so many times!), but, each time, especially when I find myself creating stories to go along with those thoughts and feelings that end up causing me suffering, I examine, and then let the story go. Again, teaching myself to enjoy now.

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I am learning to live life again. In living life, there will be pain, but why create pain where there is none at the moment?

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But, still, I gotta say, I trust actions a whole lot more than words...

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So now I have to learn what to do when the actions are not forthcoming...because I tend to start over thinking that lack...then...stories develop...and then...I gotta let those go too...

Oh! This learning to simply be open, this living, loving, trusting life is circuitous at times.

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deb said...

What you were talking about

"when I find myself creating stories to go along with those thoughts and feelings that end up causing me suffering, I examine, and then let the story go."

I used to do that alot. Making up horrible scenarios in my mind, that never came true but which wore me down and wasted me energy. I try to stop that now when they start. It took practice but I'm getting much better at it now, sounds like you are too.

It's quite freeing, staying right here, right now.

Sunny Delight said...

I am getting better at letting the thoughts and feelings just be, if a story develops, most of the time I can let it go, or even better stop the thoughts before they become a story.

Staying in the now, is still sometimes difficult for me...I am learning patience...uh...very slowly...which makes me impatient!