Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Changing The Meaning

It is inevitable that you are going to encounter some uncomfortable situations in your life, everybody does. Our untrained egos are very sensitive and can easily feel threatened, causing emotions of insecurity, worry and fear to develop in the center of our hearts. These emotions can quickly spiral out of control as our negative thoughts multiply in a chain reaction and tighten their grasp around the pit of our stomach.

I used to think that the trick to getting rid of such negative emotions was to simply stop thinking about whatever it is that’s bothering you, to just change the subject and block it out. Your thoughts have direct control over your emotions, so if you just start thinking about something happy and positive then your emotions will follow your lead. If only it was that easy! Sometimes it’s impossible to get such uncomfortable subjects and situations out of your head, not matter how hard you try.

But alas, the trick is not to rid yourself of these thoughts and just avoid thinking about the situation that is causing you pain. Instead you need to change what this situation means to you. Step out of your current position that’s creating these negative emotions and see things from a different angle. Don’t try to push your thoughts away altogether and sweep the dirt under the rug, for you will be missing a prime opportunity to grow! Allow yourself to reflect on whatever it is that is causing that discomfort at the bottom of your heart and ask yourself some important questions. How can I learn from this? What lesson is this situation trying to teach me? What virtues do I need to practice in the face of this discomfort?

It is true that our thoughts control our emotions, but instead of entirely changing WHAT you’re thinking in order to alter your feelings you can instead change HOW you’re thinking. And in having control over HOW you’re thinking you will exercise your power over your ego and become a stronger person within.

So the next time you encounter a difficult situation or thought pattern that you don’t want to face, rather than pushing it aside, look at it dead-on, change what it means to you, find the hidden lesson to be learned and give yourself a pat on the back for taking advantage of the opportunity to grow.