Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Serenity Project

Day 5:  Much of what I'm studying these days has to do with how we human beings think.  Nothing I've read yet even gives me a theory as to why and how we first started thinking negatively but research shows human beings have a bias toward negativity.  The Four Agreements and subsequent books focus on the action to be taken rather than the why and how of it.  Don Miguel Ruiz who wrote the Four Agreements says we have a "parasite" in our minds that lives off the negative energy created from negative thinking.  The "parasite" is composed of a judge and a victim.  The judge constantly tells us we are not good enough and the victim takes it on the chin.  Don Miguel says that we're the only species that constantly attack ourselves about our mistakes - not just once but over and over for life.  We also attack each other for our mistakes - over and over and over.

Byron Katie also focuses on negative thinking as the source of all suffering.  Most of our thinking is negative - either we're worrying about the future or judging the past.  And most of our negative thoughts aren't even true.  We think they are when we're thinking them, but if we examine them, we see that they are false.  Katie's method of fighting back is to question the truth of the thought and then find truth in an opposite thought.  For example, if I'm thinking that a friend should not be late, I would ask myself if that's true.  Actually, I'm not God so I can't really say what someone else should be doing.  I'm not the author of the rules for every human on the earth.  Plus keeping my mind on how wrong my friend is keeps me from finding a solution.  Of course, I can ask him/her to be on time.  But if he/she is still late, then what?  Finding something I can do to fill the time while I wait might be one solution.  Another might be telling him/her that I will meet him/her at a time earlier than I intend to be there.  (This one is tricky, though.  It's pretty manipulative and people don't like that.  Plus it would be my luck that he/she would show up at the time I said and I would be the one that's late.)  The opposite thought might be, "He/she should be late."  That could be true - since something very important may have held him/her up.  Or another opposite thought might be, "I should not be late."  That could be true also.  By questioning the truth of my thoughts the "parasite" may get awfully tired of attacking me and give up!

The necessity is for me to keep myself aware of my thoughts.  Off and on through the day I can check and see what I'm thinking.  Good times for noticing are when I'm stopped at a stoplight, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting at the dentist's office - anytime when there's nothing much grabbing my attention and I can just notice my thoughts.  Very soon I will notice that the same worries and judgments run through my head over and over.  Boiled down to their essence, the thoughts are usually about my own or someone else's mistakes or unworthiness, and regardless of what someone told you - none of us are unworthy!

No comments:

Blog Archive