Find Happiness 22: “Good Thoughts” and “Bad Thoughts”: Baloney!

goodthoughtsbadthoughts Earlier in my life, I used to waste an inordinate amount of mental energy dealing with what I felt were “bad thoughts” (i.e. thoughts which I felt were “wrong” for me to think). If a “bad thought” happened to pass through my head, I would immediately attempt to get rid of it (to no avail, of course, since we cannot really control what we think). Try as I might, the thought would most often keep returning, almost as if to taunt me, and I would struggle to stop it. This occupied much time which I could have otherwise spent productively.

Also, since I was not successful in getting rid of “bad thoughts,” I decided that I was in a hopeless situation. This invoked worrying about how my life was going to be wasted because of “wrong” thinking, and anxiety about whether I would ever be able to fix the problem. More time frittered away.

To make things worse, my hopelessness created downstream effects of dejection and low self-esteem.

The acute mental distress I thus experienced forced me to look for a solution. After much searching and effort, I came across an enlightened person; the great thing was that he wanted to help me find happiness and was infinitely patient. He would not only solve my problem, he said, but would rebuild my psyche into something akin to a shimmering palace.

In time I learned from him that I am the silent being that is aware of my thoughts and am therefore in a way separate from them. Secondly, he taught me that there are no "good thoughts" and no "bad thoughts"; there are only thoughts. He explained that thoughts are like birds flying across the sky and that I should just watch them; I should not try to chase any of the birds away or capture any of them, just watch them fly by.

It took me time to make this attitude fully my own. However, at a certain point in my transformation, I began to find happiness in my emerging new attitude; I did not want to abandon the attitude because it made me utterly peaceful, and the peace was invincible.

I remember thinking to myself how I had wasted so many years in unnecessary pain and misery. When I thought about it in more depth, though, it struck me that perhaps that distress was necessary for me to find happiness. I had to go through it to want and find a solution. I concluded that I should be grateful for the distress.

I know for a fact that many people are trapped by the notion of “good thoughts” and “bad thoughts.” Usually this notion comes to us in our younger years from outside … most commonly from our parents, teachers or trusted friends. They were certainly well-meaning when they advised us; but unknown to them, they were absolutely wrong in their belief.

Allowing thoughts to pass freely without wanting them to stay or trying to stop them takes courage and time. But the courage is in you and the time is well worth it. Start now, find happiness and make your life more meaningful and productive!

To your permanent happiness,

 

 


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Just Who Do You Think You Are?

Most people constantly identify with a “persona” instead of their true selves… and are not even aware that they are doing so. Are you one of them?  I hope not…

What exactly is this "persona"?

The “persona” in this case is how you define “yourself”. Examples are:

“I am the sibling/spouse/child of so-and-so.”
“I am a powerful rich person.”
“I am the owner of ABC Corporation.”
“I am Jane/John Doe.”
“I am a lecturer at the University of ABC.””
“I am an accomplished engineer/lawyer/doctor/teacher/entrepreneur.”
“I am the Assistant Secretary in the Department of ABC.”

It is important to grasp the sense of what is described here.

You identify with one or more of the above personas, i.e., you think that that is who you are. The truth is that these personas merely describe what you have or what you do.

“I am the sibling/spouse/child of so-and-so” describes your relationship to another person.

"“I am a powerful rich person” and “I am the owner of ABC Corporation” talk about the assets you possess.

“I am Jane/John Doe” describes the name which the world attached to you.

“I am a lecturer at the University of ABC”, “I am an accomplished engineer/lawyer/doctor/teacher/entrepreneur” and “I am the Assistant Secretary in the Department of ABC” describe the job you perform.

 real-me.persona Now let us pause for a second to further understand this.

Clearly, when you were about a week old, you did not know about your relationships, you knew of no assets, you did not know what your name was and you were definitely not employed  🙂

Yet you existed!!

As a matter of fact, your mind was pretty much empty. YOU JUST WERE.

Therefore your basic identity has nothing to do with your relationships, assets, name or job. First you were. You had a sense of being. Knowledge of your relationships, assets, your name and your job came later.

The sense of being is who you really are. It is the basic you. It is there even today, buried under a ton of thoughts and identification with personas like the ones listed above.

It is the basic you that is watching all your thoughts and actions. In a way it is outside your thoughts. Since there is nothing in it to disturb or agitate it, it is absolutely peaceful.

To locate the long-forgotten basic you, the next time a thought occurs, find the answer to the question, “To whom did that thought occur?” The answer is the basic you. If you want some free help doing this, take my email course.

So why try to be something you are not? Stop trying to be a persona, get back to being the basic you and start experiencing life yourself… instead of a persona experiencing it!

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Submit your first name and email address, I'll send you full instructions in four installments for free.
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