You have been reading about how you should focus on what you want rather than your fears and worries. In other words don’t focus or allow your mind to dwell on what you don’t want. This month we will take the concept even further. Some of you are not only focusing on fears and worries but are spending time and mountains of emotional energy focusing on what you can’t change.
Beautiful thoughts make beautiful lives, for every word and deed lies in the thought that prompted it, as the flowers lie in the seed.
A.E.Godfrey It’s your thoughts that determine your future. Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Your physical world as you see it now is the result of your thoughts. Your thoughts yesterday, created your today.
I mean other people. You can only change you.
You can learn and apply so many things to your life and this series of articles is designed to give you an insight into yourself therefore allowing you to make changes.
You need to focus on yourself to create the things you want and the situations that are beneficial to you. When your focus is on others you attempt to change them. If your peace of mind depends on what others say and do then you are in for a bumpy ride.
Just recently I had a discussion with a client, lets call her Mary.
(I am a business and lifestyle coach)
Mary was in a difficult situation. The same situation is mirrored in some of the emails I get from the readers of Spiritual.com.au.
This is Mary’s story. I will start with some facts to set the scene.
- Mary has a boyfriend (Lets call him Fred) and they love each other.
- Fred has children to another woman (lets call her Dorothy)
- Fred’s children are under the age of ten.
- Fred sees his children at least once per week.
- He sometimes drops into Dorothy’s house to, as he says, ‘check on the children’.
- Dorothy wants Fred back and she has made this clear to Fred.
- Fred does NOT want to go back to Dorothy.
Mary is extremely emotional, unhappy and upset. She is scared and anxious in regard to Fred going back to Dorothy. Mary also fears and distrusts Dorothy because Dorothy has made it clear that she wants Fred back. Dorothy has made overt attempts to win Fred back.
Mary thinks that the cause of all her emotion and upset is both Fred and Dorothy.
There are several issues that Mary needs to look at.
Emotions are your own. They are not caused by other people. They are the result of your own thought process in regards to events that you experience.
Their purpose is to show you the way in regards to the way you are processing experiences. From emotions you can see where you are processing experience incorrectly. The experience allows you to have the emotion and this in turn allows you to correct the underlying thought pattern.
The cause of Mary’s emotions are the way she interprets the events she is witnessing.
Your fear is an emotion. Fear comes from thoughts that involve the future loss of something that you have decided to be valuable. Fear is only possible if you extrapolate a line of thought into the future and determine that you will experience the loss. You do this because of past events. There is often no reason for it to happen in the future.
Past events do not determine what the future holds. You can overcome this by realizing what you are thinking. Watch your thoughts. If you don’t see them you cant do anything about them.
Fear, the emotion does not stop you doing anything. It just means that you have a bodily sensation that you know as the emotion of fear. Many people function and participate in events that create fear. It’s your decision if you allow fear to stop you.
Focus on what you want
You have the ability to focus your thoughts on whatever you wish. Try it now. Think about tennis, now think about your furniture. It’s that easy. In order for you to hold those thoughts on any one thing you need to exercise the process. Exercise concentration.
In this case the fear is built on some assumptions. Mary is holding her thoughts on these points.
1. Fred will leave.
2. Dorothy is likely to win Fred back.
3. Dorothy, because of the children has more to offer than Mary does.
Another person in a similar situation may not experience fear because their thoughts run like this,
1. Fred loves me and will stay with me.
2. Dorothy is unlikely to win Fred back because of their history together.
3. I have more to offer Fred than Dorothy does.
Impossible to determine fact from fiction. It is all opinion and perspective. It possible to focus on a particular line of thinking.
Everyone has personal boundaries.
Physical boundaries are easy to see. If someone sits to close to you, you feel uncomfortable and you look and see that physically someone is too close. You move away.
Other types of boundaries are harder to see because
1. You have not defined them.
Physically this is like being invisible. Someone sits too close but they don’t know because they can’t see you.
2. You have not enforced them.
Physically this is like NOT moving away when you feel uncomfortable with someone siting too close.
In Mary’s case defining a boundary involved telling Fred that it is unacceptable for him to continually drop into Dorothy’s house, Fred was involved with her now and the relationship with Dorothy was over. Fred has many opportunities to see his children without Dorothy present and away from Dorothy’s home.
Defining a boundary only works if you enforce it. In this case Mary said that she was prepared to leave Fred if his behavior did not change. Fortunately for them both the situation did not progress that far. Mary and Fred successfully communicated after weeks of deliberation on Mary’s part. When Mary explained what she was felt was inappropriate behavior Fred listened. Fred realized that he was treating both parties unfairly. He was encouraging Dorothy by sending the wrong signals and he was creating unnecessary cause for suspicion to Mary.
If your defined boundary is repeatedly crossed then your only option after communicating this fact may be to leave the relationship.
Self Esteem is an opinion. An opinion is an evaluation and it is subjective. Your self esteem is based on your past. To form the opinion you have on yourself you may select any series of thoughts that you wish. So choose some good thoughts that build your self esteem.
Mary was thinking a series of negative thoughts that led her to believe she was not as valuable as Dorothy.
One of the underlying sponsoring thoughts was – Mothers are valuable.
This then led to some other thoughts that were built on the first.
Dorothy is a mother and I am not, therefor she has more value.
Fred must see that Dorothy is a mother and a mother of his children therefore Fred sees Dorothy as more valuable than me.
These types of thoughts led Mary to devalue herself.
Once Mary observed her own thinking process she was able to successfully climb out from this destructive cycle.
You need to communicate what you feel to your partner. Without communication Mary was caught in a thinking loop. Continually thinking thoughts in regard to a future that may never happen. Communication with Fred cleared up some area’s of concern very quickly and could have saved her weeks of thinking.
Mary was unable to communicate with Fred because her thoughts prevented it. She projected into the future
1. A Fred who would not listen.
2. A Fred that valued Dorothy’s company more than her own.
3. A Fred that wanted to go back to his old life.
This created fear. The fear prevented her from communicating.
The reality was entirely different.
Happiness comes from within, this has become a cliché. Don’t let that stop you from applying and exploring this concept. If you are looking for someone else to provide your happiness then you will never find it.
Happiness is an attitude. An attitude is a leaning in one direction. That means that you can focus on the best or the worst of your situation. I mean the situation that you are in now.
You may not have all that you want but right now in this moment it is what you have. You can be happy right now.
Happiness is not about arriving at the right set of circumstances. “I will be happy when I ….”
Happiness is about seeing the best in your current circumstances. Your current circumstances are perfect. They enable you to learn exactly what you need in order to progress.
To be happy you just change your focus. Think about all the good things that you are experiencing not the bad.
Don’t send me an email that says –
“Yeah sure, I am in a jail in a country that has no civil rights. I am locked up for ever. I have committed no crime and done nothing wrong and they torture me for 5 hours per day and restrict my food which is impossible to eat anyway and they only allow me 10 minutes of sunshine every week.
If that is your circumstance and you can not doing anything to change it then you can still focus on the positive perspective.
You are alive, not dead, which means you may be released eventually. You have 19 hours per day without physical pain. There are many people who as a result of accident or disease are in pain all day. You are being fed when others are starving. You see the sun every so often and you get to read when many are illiterate (otherwise you couldn’t read this)
I think you get the point.
Things can be a little more complex than what is described in this article. However when you start observing your thoughts you will see that behind the complicated projection you create there are some very simple thoughts and assumptions which you have used for the foundation of your thought patterns.
It is possible to predict the future, it depends on what you are thinking.