I thought it may be a good idea to help you take a closer look at your thoughts today, as I find this helps a lot of my clients in different ways.
A thought in of itself is harmless. It only becomes a problem when we believe it. So, it is not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts that cause suffering. Okay, so I know (on the surface) that statement may sound a little crazy – so let me just explain, imagine a lady called Lisa (Lisa is a very kind and caring lady normally) who has been with her partner Neil for almost 3 years now.
Neil can clearly see, (after being with Lisa for so long) he has said or done something that has really hurt Lisa, by her sudden change in mood. Neil asks Lisa, “Hey- what is wrong honey, you look a little upset, I hope I haven’t done anything to hurt, or upset you in anyway have I?”
Lisa simply replies, with a very stern tone, and straight look on her face “no”. Neil’s heart sinks, instinctively he knows Lisa isn’t being really honest with him. You see it was Lisa’s birthday, and Lisa was hoping Neil would have taken her somewhere really special for her birthday, and she thought he would have made a massive effort for her. But, instead of taking her out, he had decided to do something different this year, and he bought her a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a watch.
Lisa was absolutely livid – she was annoyed at Neil for 2 reasons. Number 1 – Lisa had an expectation that in her mind Neil failed to live up too, and therefore she was extremely disappointed in him. She was thinking “How could he even do this to her?”, and because of this, Lisa labelled Neil as a bad partner.
And to add to this, number 2. The thought Lisa believes to be absolutely true is – if Neil was truly “the one” then he would “definitely” have known for a fact, what I really wanted, and equally he should also know why I am so upset. And so, with all things considered– in Lisa’s opinion, the relationship is now over, and Neil is going to have to leave her house, now that she can really see exactly who he really is.
Here is my question to you – how many times have you been annoyed with someone for not meeting your “unspoken” expectations? And If people should be able to guess what is going on in your mind, and act accordingly, then why aren’t you capable of guessing what’s going on in other people’s minds? Is it realistic in the first place, to even assume your partner should be a mind reader anyway?
So, what has really just happened with Lisa? Well, Lisa created an expectation in her mind, and then got extremely annoyed at Neil because Neil failed miserably to read her mind, and live up to Lisa’s expectations, and so now, Lisa thinks of Neil as a bad person.
Yet it is Lisa that has created the problem, (by creating the unspoken expectation in the first place) and as a result of this, she has acted like a victim, and made Neil look like the villain. Whilst Neil is simply hurt and very confused.
If you ever want to start taking a deeper look at what is going on in your life and within your relationships, always start here and ask yourself these 4 questions.
- Is this thought true?
- Can you absolutely know it’s true?
- How do you react when you think that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
Is the thought true? Yes, Lisa would have preferred something else to happen on her birthday and she was defiantly disappointed in Neil.
Can Lisa absolutely know her thought is true? Well, there is no evidence whatsoever that can support that Neil is a mind reader.
How does Lisa react when she thinks this thought? She feels hurt because Lisa thinks her partner doesn’t love her (because he hasn’t read her mind or lived up to her unspoken expectations).
Who would Lisa be without this thought? Well, I guess Lisa would be a very happy person, and she could be in a deep and meaningful, loving relationship.
You see sometimes we can easily get hooked into the drama of the mind and sabotage our relationships by believing all our thoughts are really true.
So – the next time you get upset with someone – just put your foot on the brake – take a step back, out of the drama of your mind, and ask yourself the 4 questions, and look to see what may “really” be going on for you.
You see our thoughts are either harming to us, and harming to our relationships, or our thoughts are healing to us, and healing towards our relationships. And so, every day it is you that gets to decide which thoughts you buy into, because you really do have a choice.
So, what are you going to do from now on? Are you going to start to question your own thoughts? Or are you going to carry on believing that every single thought you have is true?
Are you going to continue to get annoyed at people around you, for not being a mind reader? You see, when you begin to really question your thoughts (especially the negative thoughts you have about yourself & the negative thoughts you have about others) this can improve your relationship with yourself. It can also help to improve your relationship with others, and help to improve your mental health (like it already has with hundreds of my clients).