Here is the second installment of the Child Abuse Prevention Month series, and today's contribution is a pretty important piece. It's valuable for all folks, not just parents. It's called "Don't Believe Everything You Think."
See the text below the image for a more in-depth discussion of this concept.
What causes suffering? We may think our suffering is caused by what other people do, but that's not entirely true! Our suffering is caused by what we think about what other people do (or should do, or should not do) or what we think about what we should do or not do.
Here's an example to illustrate:
You're driving in your car down a quiet country road, enjoying the peace and serenity of the day and the drive. Coming up fast behind you is a red Ferrari. In no time, that car is right up on your rear bumper. You don't even notice that your calm is all gone and now you're fixated on the self-important arrogance of the driver in that sports car!
You fume as she flashes her headlights, and you, annoyed and feeling abused, refuse to pull over. In a couple of miles, the road straightens out, and she passes you. You resist the strong urge to flip her the bird and tailgate her in retaliation. But, she speeds off and she's gone.
Even though the whole event lasted only minutes, the rest of your day is pretty much ruined, as you relive and rehash and retell the atrocity.
But...who ruined it?
Well, consider this: Your belief in the thought that she shouldn't have been speeding, that she was self-important and arrogant, that she had the ability to ruin your day...your belief in your thoughts is what ruined your day. You picked a perspective, a story, and you bought it, and the expense of that purchase was your happiness.
You have no idea why she was speeding or even who she was. She may have been rushing to the hospital (in a borrowed car) to say goodbye to her husband, whom she learned had been in a terrible accident and wasn't expected to live through the night. Or, she may have been a self-important, arrogant person on her way to a nail appointment! But...so what? How will your suffering change that? Is it worth it to sacrifice your joy to the belief that someone else sucks?
When you catch yourself suffering, ask yourself if your errant beliefs may be the root cause and see if letting go of the story could bring you back the peace you love. It's easier to let go of a story when you can see that it is the cause of your pain.
So what? is a great question!
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Thanks for reading! Go ahead and share this with your friends and loved ones, if you think it could be helpful!
Be well and be kind,
P.S. Visit this link to learn more about upcoming classes that are starting up soon! To honor Child Abuse Prevention Month, I am offering a 10% discount off all classes.