They have this elaborate house of horrors type thing here that is open for a few months near Halloween.
I don’t go near it, but people tell me it is legitimately scary. The workers are allowed to scare people in any way they can, within guidelines and boundaries. From what I hear, they are even allowed to touch people and bump them a little bit. It sounds terrible and I cannot understand why anyone would subject themselves to it.
Our thoughts are very similar to this.
They are allowed to terrorize us and torment us, but their power and reach is limited. They can suggest and imply, but they cannot actually do anything to us. The only power they have lies in our perception of their realness.
I often encourage people to label whatever floats through their head as a thought.
You don’t label them as “good thought” or “bad thought” or “happy thought”. No sad thought, mean thought, ugly thought, true thought or false thought. Just “thought”.
This is akin to going through the house of horrors and simply labeling everything that comes near you as “costume”.
Not “chainsaw killer costume” or “clown with bloody teeth costume” or “little girl with white eyes costume”, just “costume”. Before long, you would be able to walk through the house of horrors without being scared or bothered and just enjoy the show.
I’m still not going.
This is even more effective with our thoughts.
When we see that everything that goes on in our head, from memories to plans for the future to judgments about what we said in that one conversation to our assessment of another person or situation are just thoughts, it becomes easier to avoid believing in them.
It also starts to help us separate the things that are intentional and worthwhile and helpful from the noise and garbage. It is unfortunate that everything that runs through our head addresses itself as “I” because that makes it a lot harder to sort it all out, but as we simply name thoughts for what they are it gets easier and easier.
Today is going to be a tough day.
There is no way this turns out well.
They don’t really like me.
Things are really getting crazy in this world.
I deserve better than that.
Looking for something more?
I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
Want to know when I post something new, subscribe to my newsletter and never miss a beat!