Chapter 149 Don’t Believe in the Thoughts You have about Your Fears

The negative thoughts you have are just that…thoughts.  And your thoughts on the future are no different.  You can choose to believe in them or not.  Choose the option: “or not”.  Don’t try to pretend that you don’t have negative thoughts because you do and you will have those thoughts from time to time.  Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra often quote in their lectures as both are doctors that the average person has 50,000 thoughts that go through their minds every single day.  The problem with that is that it is the same thoughts as yesterday, and will be the same thoughts tomorrow.  Many of these negative thoughts recycle themselves over and over again, day after day.

You nurture your negative thoughts, and nurse them like a baby, and the negative thoughts cloud the positive thoughts like that you see in a solar eclipse.  There is then only darkness.  Again, you have two choices when your mind bombards you with negative thoughts.  You can choose to “think” more about your thoughts, which most do unconsciously.  They may think to themselves about the rude customer service representative who they felt insulted them, or they may remember when they did something stupid and embarrassing like starting a small fire in their chemistry lab when they were in high school. 

We all have painful memories like this, and they come up at the weirdest times, randomly.  It may come while we are dreaming, in the shower getting ready for work, driving to work, at work, driving home from work, at the house preparing dinner, then eating dinner, during commercials while unwinding watching our favorite TV show, during a late evening walk, and in bed with our spouses. 

We may be angry at someone close to us for what they said.  We may say to ourselves, “How dare they?” or something close to that for how they reacted or what they said years ago.  I have no idea why our brains do this to us, but I am sure it is tied subconsciously to our egos.  When the storms (negative thoughts) come, imagine yourself as a plane heading into a dark storm.  You have a choice, you can rise above the storm clouds (ignoring the thoughts), or you can do nothing but travel straight through them or underneath the clouds (which is the same thing).  Doing this is analogous to getting lightening to strike your plane and for your plane to descend and maybe crash into the ground.

When you feel the storm clouds coming, stay in control and utilize any number of the infinite ways to redirect your mind to peace.  If you choose to ignore the thoughts, then you are floating above the clouds, and you can see the sun shining again.  Again, when you feel your mind creating and brewing a pot of negative thoughts, do something to change the channel.  You can listen to music, go for a walk or jog or bike ride, spend some time in nature by a brook or stream, Pilates, Yoga, anything.  Choose to redirect your negative thoughts instead of paying them any attention.  The more attention you pay to them, you are in fact feeding them like putting manure on weeds in the hot sunshine. 

For me, when I feel negative thoughts come, I put on my headphones, and blast some classic rock feel good music like from The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.  Or, I read funny jokes on the Internet, or I watch a fun movie on the Internet.  Putting attention onto your negative thoughts and forcing a replay of those thoughts are like nurturing a giant poison ivy plant in your garden.  Don’t make the mistake of replaying sad events that have already passed.  You replay a tough moment, say it was your last firing from a job that you loved. 

Everyone remembers that.  You are called into a room, maybe with your immediate supervisor and the store owner, and are told “we can’t use you anymore.”  When this happens, your ego starts to bleed and thus like a slap in the face, you think to yourself so many thoughts all at once.  “How could they?  After all the work and difficulty I put up with?”  “What could I have said to them?  I should have told them off.  No, I should not have done that, they may have called security on me…”  “Maybe if I did not do this or that, then they wouldn’t have fired me.”  And so on.  And you remember as you walked out the look on people’s faces and your feeling humiliated. 

As such, even far far into the future, you feel that familiar sting, and countless other events like it, and you feed into it and nurture the discomforting thoughts, as if you could go back in time and change it.  Stop the madness!  Just tune out, drop out, change the channel, but don’t pay any more attention to it.  Calling all your friends and replaying the negative emotions will usually only heighten the pain and the brain’s ability to recall it.  If you need to let it out and talk to a counselor or a friend, do so in moderation and with the reserve that you will only let your brain tackle the situation once, and never again.  There are always old ancient sayings like “Let sleeping dogs lay.”  Let the dead memories stay in their tombs.  Don’t reawaken them.  You do not need dead flesh eating zombies crawling all over your present consciousness.


About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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