This morning’s meditation session led me to do a curious thing. I was asked to deliberately summon negative thoughts. Thoughts that have historically made me angry, anxious, envious, sad etc. Thoughts that I typically try to suppress or escape upon contact. As you can imagine, as soon as I unlocked and opened the door the thoughts fell in. Once they were in I was asked to sit with them. Look at them. Listen to them. At first, my brain resisted. It’s job is to protect me so allowing these dangerous intruders in was already a security breech but allowing them to actually have a say? It seemed irresponsible. Dangerous. Almost suicidal.
My brain has began to trust Sam over the weeks so it allowed them in. And I learned a few things. First off, negative thoughts HATE having the spotlight on them. In fact, as soon as I shone the light on them they began to disappear. It turns out they do their best work under the cover of night. Where they can be felt but not seen. 3am is their preferred time. Secondly, as soon as the thoughts disappeared so did my usual over reaction. I learned that all I had to do to be free of negative thoughts/feelings was to invite them in and pay them their due attention. It’s counter intuitive but it’s absolutely true. When we bolt the door and turn up the music so we can’t hear them, we only increase their hold causing us to get even more triggered, distracted, and out of the moment. If we just let them in we’ll see the thoughts for what they are. Figments of our own imagination. Powerless to affect us in any way!
We are in control of our thoughts. We don’t manufacture them but we can choose how we relate to them. When we shine a light, we see a new way forward.