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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: May 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

Light Switch

"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."

I know, you've heard it a thousand times, but it bears repeating.  We don't sign up for our resistances, our fears, our defenses, our unconscious obstacles.  Our defects, our defenses (and they are often one and the same) are not things we actively and consciously chose.  But if we don't actively and consciously attempt to know about them they will continue to function.  Which is fine.

Except when its not.

Its not fine if our quality of life is suffering.  Its not fine if we are screaming at our kids, or abusing substances or money or food or someone else, or our self.  It's not fine if our mood is dark more than light, or we live in a lot in worry,  frustration, despair, overwhelm or hopelessness.  Its not fine if we blame others or  we are waiting for external circumstances to change so that we can feel better.
It certainly is delicious and relieving when they do, or when someone changes for the better, but if we are putting all our eggs in that basket, we will never eat.

Sometimes we are so immersed in certain beliefs that we cannot even see what might need to be changed or shifted.  We keep going, doing the same thing, driving down the same road wishing we would end up in a different destination.   And if we are not willing to talk about it, to keep the conversation going, nothing will change.

The mind does not work like a light switch most of the time.  I wish it did.  I wish that when we got an insight, we could just implement it and voila, a new feeling, a new circumstance, a new life. Sometimes we have to hear something many times in order for the switch to flip and for us to see that things were not what we thought they were.

Many times we are afraid that what we don't want to see is a moral issue, or problem with our value or self worth or ability.  Sometimes it is, at least in part.  But mostly, and even then, its just a matter of time and talking and faith and willingness.  We do have the ability to discover which of our thoughts are reliable and which are not, and just looking at that can point us in a new direction.

When we have a new thought, we have a new feeling.  When we have a new feeling we have new possibilities.  And when the light does go on, and things start to change and look different, we make better choices. And we we make better choices, we feel better.  When we do good, we feel good.  Even if the whole story doesn't change right away.

When we get caught in the hopelessness, the overwhelm, the "I can'ts" or the fear of being wrong or criticized or judged or devalued, when our egos are up and our self esteem is down, we don't even want to look.  But if we don't look, if we are not willing to look, for the light switch, if we don't at least know its there, we will just keep living in the dark.