How to Deal with Stressful Thoughts

Nature inspires me. I can see how Life is living all of it, including you and me. I don’t always trust Life. I can worry. I can get caught up in thought storms, believing that the sun of my wellbeing will never rise again, believing that the turbulent waves of my stressful thoughts and emotions are permanent.

I forget the true nature of the ocean. It is constant, still in its vast depths, and unmoved by surface waves. I forget that the sun never sets, the earth simply turns. Our true nature is the same. Our essence is whole, good, and constant. The waves of life crash on the surface and have no impact upon our essence. Our wellbeing may be obscured but the light is always there.

I caught myself right before turning from the sun of my wellbeing the other day. I was happily basking in the joy of the day when I received a text message. Stressful thinking began moving through me immediately. Interestingly, I could see it for what it was. It’s unusual for me to catch it so quickly. More often, I find myself well into stressful thinking before I see it for what it is.

On this occasion, however, I watched the stressful thoughts move in and try to convince me to take them seriously. They were quite compelling! They were telling me why I should be upset, take it personally, and get angry. But I wasn’t! I could see so clearly that I wasn’t upset or angry. The stressful thoughts kept coming at me, presenting persuasive evidence. I laughed!

The stressful thoughts began to ease and move through me. Then they took another go at me and another. I found myself considering buying into them. After all, I had a right to be upset! I could feel myself beginning to spin a story, all from a simple text message. My stories can be quite compelling and dramatic. I can find all sorts of evidence to back them up. Can't you?

In this instance, I didn’t take the stressful thoughts personally and they moved through fairly quickly. That’s how it works. When we don’t take the continuous stream of thoughts personally and seriously, they are able to move through us, without the need to fight, change, or resist them. They will move. If not today, another day. That’s what thoughts do.

I could see it so clearly. I could see how thoughts can trick us into buying into them. Yet, that is the beauty of this human system. We create our experiences, our lives, through our thinking. It is powerful! We are boundlessly creative! “The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” John Milton

Thoughts move through us continuously. Some we take seriously and some we don’t. Once we see how it works, we can wake up to it, even in the middle of a story we’ve spun.

If you can't see how it works in this moment, that's OK. I don't know of anyone who can see it all the time and many don't see it all. I’m in the throes of a stressful story right now. In this case, I didn’t see it coming and now I’m living it, even though I know it’s just a story (such a relief!). I keep the story alive by reliving the past and worrying about the future. Sometimes I get caught up despite having some understanding of how our psychological functioning works.

Sadhguru said, “You cannot suffer the past or the future because they do not exist. What you are suffering is your memory and imagination.” Yes, I’m caught up in the turbulent, surface waves of my imagination for the moment. Even though I didn’t catch myself before spinning such a compelling story that feels oh-so-real, I know it's a story. It's like a truly good film. I’m totally engrossed in it. I do know, like all films, that it will end even if I can't wake up to it right now.

Your essence is untouchable, whole, and good despite what terrible storm may be raging. It will pass and you will fly once again. As much as possible, come back to the present moment for that is where you can meet yourself and see, once again, the sun of your wellbeing. It always has been and always will be shining.

I always welcome and appreciate your comments. The comment box is below.


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