In yesterday’s post, part 1, I talked about how we can be upset emotionally and physically by what someone else does. I mentioned taking a different perspective on that person and their actions. Now I will share some steps to take to stay peaceful in times of uncertainty.
In order to get some clarity, we need to stop blaming the other person for how we feel, and then we have the opportunity to look at how our incessant thoughts contribute to our unbalance. Yes, their actions caused us to feel uncomfortable, but the emotional intensity and the effects on the body are unique to each one of us depending on our perceptions, beliefs and past experiences. Noticing that we have unique experiences in similar situations, shows that the person we are blaming does not cause us to continue suffering long after the incident, we do that on our own. Otherwise, everyone would experience his or her feelings in the same way and for the same length of time and we know this is not what happens.
This shows us how important it is to start looking at why we are reacting the way we are. This is done through awareness, attention, and self-inquiry. It gives us the opportunity to shift from a reactive state into having a response that does not throw us out of balance.
Begin to pay attention to your thoughts and question them. Are you aware of any beliefs that come up because of what this person has done? Here are some examples of questions. What is the belief? Does it still hold true? Is your response right for what the other person has done or does it feel out of proportion or out of control? If it is, you will be out of balance and may experience discomfort in your emotional state or body. Are your thoughts supportive of your well-being or are they causing agitation? Thoughts will not cause agitation unless we have attached to them or ruminate on them.
As you continue the process of paying attention and bringing awareness to your thoughts and beliefs, you will start to notice what is not serving you. Over time, you will be able to let them go. Often it only takes the awareness of the thought to let it go and other times you will have to repeat the process until it shifts for you.
This is important to remember, the very thoughts that are not serving you will distract you from your intention. Each time this happens, gently bring yourself back to paying attention. You will find this easier to do with practice and over time, it will be harder for your thoughts to distract you.
There are times when working with your thoughts may feel impossible. In these times, working with the body is a more grounded process. Please refer to Body Scanning part 1 and part 2. These two short posts will give you direction in the body scanning process.
Do the best you can and remember to be kind to yourself, this is not about perfection. No matter where you are in life, you can have more balance and peace, you only have to look for them. They lie behind your thoughts, in the innermost recesses of your own being. Finding them anywhere else will only be temporary.