Tools for Dealing with Difficult Emotions Part 2
I've talked about loving yourself. How loving yourself is an active process.. .not just words. It is like loving a child, animal, or even plant. Loving somehow means caring for. We need to have that attitude with ourselves. One way of loving yourself is understanding that the world you create comes from your mind. Tending to the garden of your mind is Self-Love.
Spiritually, we are co-creators of our world.
What does this mean? We may not literally create the events in our life or the environment around us (or maybe we do) but certainly, we are responsible for how we respond to what happens to us. Actually, it is our response that creates the world we live in. One person can have a terrible childhood and for the rest of their life feel gypped and angry, whereas another can act on behalf of others in a similar plight and feel fulfilled and even a sense of thankfulness for the understanding and compassion they gained from their difficult journey. You might take a moment now, to reflect if you have ever looked at a great difficulty as a later source of growth and strength. If so, you are already on a spiritual path...tending your soul's garden.
Our thoughts and attitudes are great shapers of the life we experience. I tell most of my clients, at some time or another, to spend a day or so watching their thoughts. I ask many of them, to even write them down. They are amazed at how many negative thoughts fill their airwaves, We then categorize them...each person has their personal inventory of recurring weeds! A few garden varieties are thoughts of: anger, jealousy, envy, fear, lack of worth, pride, comparisons, lack of appreciation, to name a few. It soon becomes apparent how often these thoughts and attendant feelings arise and how much a person's life and view are affected.
We may learn, in traditional psychotherapy, where these thoughts arise from, however, I have found, that we need a sustained practice to combat them. They are like Dandelions in a field, unless vigilantly attended to, they just sprout up and spread again. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a system developed over a thousand years ago, called LomRim. In these practices, one learns methods to tame the mind.
One is given practices or meditations, according to one's particular mind tendency. One then must practice this meditation consistently to eradicate it from the mind.
If one is consistently envious, one may be instructed to read the paper each day focusing on the less fortunate. Practices on Gratitude may also be given. I have found this very helpful for my clients, moving past the understanding phase to one of real change. I feel certain, after all my years as a therapist, that a practice is needed for this type of change.
For this week: Spend some time looking at your thought patterns.
Are you insecure, envious, proud? Experiment with creating your own practice to work with these feelings. You may cut something out of a self- help book, if insecure; or think of the plight of so many others, if envious...and practice gratitude. Do this practice often during every day. You will see that creating your own practice and sticking with it reward you with such a sense of the possibilities of spiritual growth.
Good luck! You have the support of all those working to heal their mind for the sake of this planet!