Lately, there has been some conflict in my life. I have witnessed the behavior of other people and become upset by their words and actions. In turn, I have seen my own thoughts and behaviors and have realized that I am no better. When one goes through a 12 step program, there comes a time to write out all resentments toward others and in doing this, there is also the great opportunity to look at how we have done the same things in our own lives. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves in this process. I now see more clearly how the very things that have upset me about others are behaviors that I too have within me. It is a humbling realization.
I have found myself lying in bed at night unable to sleep, eyes wide open, feeling stressed. Worried. Angered. I have found myself praying for guidance, inspiration, direction, and upliftment. After the challenges of 2017, I have decided that I have had enough suffering, enough fear, and enough negativity. I’ve been reading two books by Eckhart Tolle and his teachings are profound and deeply meaningful. He says that no matter what situation you are encountering in your life, that it is always neutral and it is only our reaction to the situation that creates our suffering. In his words:
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is.”
As I work on putting these insightful teachings into practice, I find that there is a clearing that occurs. First, I allow myself to sit quietly in a room by myself where I will not be disturbed. I allow the thoughts and feelings to arise, and then I sit with the pain. I pray and ask God to help me to let go of my reaction to what I often mistakenly perceive to be the injustice of what other people have done to me. After I sit with that for a bit, I send love to that person and then do some tapping (also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique). I find that going through this process really helps. As I am doing this, I can literally feel the stress, fear, and negative emotion being lifted from me.
After a short time, I do find that those persistent thoughts of anger, fear, injustice, etc., do come back with a vengeance and it is my responsibility to catch them and tell them NO. If a negative thought enters my mind, am I going to engage with it and feed it so that it can grow or am I going to stop it in it’s tracks? I am the only one who can make this change. And this change will change your life.
It is empowering to go through this process. When we deeply recognize that other peoples actions are not about us, but about them, we can let go of the hurt and anger. When we release the story that we have told ourselves about what is really going on, we are no longer bound by negative emotions and we set ourselves free.
The moment you take responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the moment you can change ANYTHING in your life. ~Hal Elrod
Jenna Sullivan Pritchard