A thought comes in: “I’m the best” or “no one loves me”. It’s just a thought. It’s not personal and we cannot stop them.
Thoughts create images. “No one loves me” will show us, in a split second, images of the past where we experienced not being loved and images of the future where we imagine what that will look like. The key here is that this is just imagination. Even if it’s an actual memory, it’s not what’s happening now.
3) SENSATIONS & EMOTIONS
When we see the image, we FEEL it. It’s like sitting in a movie theater and you begin sweating, your heart races, you cry - and you know it’s a movie! The movie of the mind is even more sensational because it’s using images of you, your past, and your imagined future. This movie theater is playing, subconsciously, 24/7. Which means we tend to FEEL the things we’re thinking even when we don’t know we’re thinking them. And so we believe.
4) EGO & BELIEF
Belief is the result. Thoughts flood in, images follow, sensations follow, and then our egos attach to the sensations and thoughts as our actual identities. “Yes, I feel so bad because no one loves me”.
Belief is biological. The more we attach to it, the more we feel it. If the belief is painful, we feel more pain and our lives grow from that pain. This is where addiction comes in, bypassing your own needs, resenting others, and not feeling like you have any choice or freedom.
If the belief is peaceful, we feel more love and openness. From there, a grace blooms and we believe we are safe, the world is here to support us, and it’s possible to get our needs met. We don’t take other people or things personally. We don’t have to use substances or people to feel better.
So imagine if you practiced enough to tell the difference between imagination and reality? Past & future vs. present self? Thought vs. belief or identity?
Imagine if you knew you had a choice in which thoughts you believed? You would then be in total control of your peace or your hell. And I’m not talking about the world around you being peaceful. I’m talking about the world inside of you. It’s a state of not needing to change anyone or anything around you, because you don’t react painfully anymore.
I’m not perfect at this yet, but my hell went from a daily experience for years to a fleeting experience that only lasts minutes most of the time. On a really bad day, it might last a few hours. And even then - I am aware of what’s happening and I’m just allowing it vs. believing it.
See where you are in these stages I’ve outlined. Can you meditate on a stressful situation and see each of these steps, or do you go right to belief?
Be kind to you wherever you are and use this as a guide.