"Becoming firmly grounded in the position of refusing to live in a state of emotional devastation and suffering because others do not conform to your wishes will require total, unwavering commitment, without interruption or intervals, over a long period of time, because immature ego demands cannot be eliminated overnight." Psychology of Mystical Awakening. Patanjalie Yoga Sutras.
I love this. I knew about this a long time ago but had no idea how to refuse. I was trying to make it too hard. The trick is simple. I learned to monitor my thinking - just noticing off and on all day long what I was thinking.
I discovered that I worried about what might happen, I obsessed about what had happened. I tried to figure out how to get control of whatever in order to protect myself. Those thoughts were making me miserable.
I practiced turning my thoughts to God, God's will, God's love. That helped a lot. I got better and better at it. Then I noticed that I had a lot of vicious self-judgment, and I practiced doing daily inventories of my behavior and making amends when I had made mistakes.
Eventually, my mind got fairly quiet except when I reacted in an extreme emotional way to something. Now I'm practicing noticing what I'm thinking and doing BEFORE I react emotionally to something.
What has been consistent is my absolute refusal to suffer anymore because of my previous beliefs that everything around me had to conform to my wishes before I could be happy. I'm too old - too little life left - to spend any time being miserable.
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