I was asked to write an article on “the power of your thoughts”, as I sat down to write it, I felt stumped.
I first thought that I was having some kind of writer’s block, so I took a break for a few minutes, to try and clear my head. As I sat back down at my computer I realized the problem.
The problem is THIS , thoughts have no power. In case you didn’t get that, I am going to write it again in capital letters THOUGHTS HAVE NO POWER.
I am going to clarify that statement, thoughts have no power unless you believe in them, once you believe your thoughts they will look and feel real to you, even if they are completely false, and untrue.
Let’s talk about thought. What is thought? The principle of thought gives a person an ability to interpret a circumstance.
Let me give you an example,
your boss comes in and says something really nasty to you, you could have a few different reactions to this.
You may think how dare he speak to me that way, what’s his problem… and you would feel really angry,
or you could think, I am so stupid I must have done something wrong if he is talking to me this way, and you would feel insecure,
or you could think, he really must be having a hard day if he is acting like this, and feel compassion for him.
Same circumstance 3 different emotions and reactions. Which reaction is true, or the right one.
What I am suggesting is none are true and right, or all are. It depends on what thought you believe in, in the moment.
Let’s take this further,
the same person could have all those emotions regarding that same circumstance in a span of 20 seconds. How is that possible?
If there is truth to my reaction than only one of them should look appropriate to me, but that’s not what happens.
We have all had times when someone is mean to us and we are confused about what our reaction should be. We feel 100 different things in the course of a few minutes. I am going to ask the same question, what is causing the feelings the circumstance (boss yelling at me) or something else?
I am suggesting that it is something else, that something being our gift of thought.
How do we know we are thinking something? It will come with a feeling.
We can only feel our thinking not anything else.
You may say to me, but my boss really did yell at me,
I am not just thinking that, it actually happened. That is correct, your boss did yell at you. But all that your are feeling is your own thoughts about that.
And as I said before, thoughts are fluid they come in, and they go out, I will think many different thoughts in the span o f a minute, and I will feel every one of them.
Think of anger.
If you are angry at someone, you level of anger doesn’t stay steady you go from burning mad to angry to semi mad to back to very angry.
Circumstance didn’t change yet you are experiencing different levels of anger. This happens because your thoughts are shifting automatically, depending on which thought is in your head that’s the intensity of anger you will feel.
Thoughts are illusory by nature, most come and go, unless we give them staying power by believing in them. Happiness, sadness, or any emotion you feel can’t happen on its own, try being happy without a happy thought or depressed without a depressed thought, you couldn’t do it.
Did you ever have a time when you where feeling really overwhelmed, right in the middle of your feelings of overwhelm, your husband walks in with flowers for you, and immediately smile and feel appreciative and love for your husband. My question is what happened to the overwhelm? Where did it go?
What I am suggesting is when you took your focus off your thoughts of overwhelm you stopped feeling overwhelmed. When you focused on your happy thoughts, you felt happy.
The “reasons” you felt overwhelmed are still there yet you where able to not feel overwhelmed for a while. You will start feeling overwhelmed again, as soon as you revisit your overwhelmed thoughts.
When I say thoughts have no power, I mean this,
to the extent that we understand that we are only feeling our thinking in the moment, is the extent that we don’t need other people to change or our circumstances to change.
My ability to be happy, sad or any emotion comes from within me, not from circumstances outside of me.
I am not saying that things don’t have to be solved.
What I am saying is that once we start to understand the role thought plays in our life, we will have a better ability to navigate which thoughts are true, and or helpful and which thoughts are unhelpful, and or destructive.
All thought once we believe it will look true to us, even if they are not, so how can I tell the difference? I am going to suggest that our emotions are the clue we need to tell us where our thinking is.
Anger, jealousy, resentment, depression… Those emotions are there to tell us, if we are feeling any of those things the thoughts and ideas on how to handle that situation are not going to be helpful.
Let me ask you, can anyone say they have ever solved a problem when their anger was talking? I know I haven’t.
On the other hand , if we are feeling love, curiosity, compassion.. those emotions would be there to tell us, our thoughts and ideas are more helpful and productive.
Understanding that our thoughts are illusory gives us the power to not take all our thinking seriously, the less we take our thoughts seriously the less “power” they have over us.
If I don’t believe a destructive thought I will not act from it.
If I feel angry and the thoughts in my head are saying yell at your husband.
If I believe that thought I will probably yell at him.
But if I realize that it’s just a thought, and I don’t have to listen to it, I may not yell at my husband, I may wait for a thought and idea that comes with a better feeling, and in that state of mind speak with my husband.
I can guarantee you waiting to solve a problem from a better feeling state is more conducive to actually solving the problem