We each get to choose the thoughts we think. That sounds like an obvious statement. Where that statement gets complicated is in living it. If it’s true we are the chooser, then why is it we choose to be other than at peace, happy and joyful all the time? Here’s my theory.
My intention is to live my life in a place of inner peace. I’m serious about this intention. I decided to live in this way about 3 years ago. It’s amazing how much my life has changed so that I can be in alignment with that intention. I became very aware of what disturbed my peace. I discovered for the most part it was my own thoughts.
In my every day world, friends and loved ones would say or do something that triggered emotion in me. I would get hurt, or afraid, or angry, or sad, or feel sorry for myself. In my heightened state of observer I watched the triggering event (someone out there in the world) and then I would watch my emotional reaction. I realized I have no control over the triggering events in my life – and, I have total and complete control over my emotional reaction.
So, the only trick was to figure out how to change my thoughts when I encountered a triggering event. It occurred to me I needed a guiding principle – some thought to replace the fearful, angry, etc. thoughts. I decided to just be at peace and happy. Now, when I sense thoughts that are taking me down a road I don’t want to go, I stop. I realize the negative thought is not consistent with my intention and replace it with a new thought – “I am at peace and happy.”
I’m not talking about repressing emotions or not being authentic – I’m all for authenticity and expressing emotions. I’m simply pointing out that you have a choice about what you think.
Next, I looked around at who and what in my life were the major triggers. Now, I rarely place myself in a position where I’m with those people or in those situations. I cleaned up my life. Sort of like cleaning out a closet. I still have a few old things back there in the back of the closet – they will go eventually.
I wonder how your life would change if you just decided to be happy?