A terrible thing happened
It turned my world upside down
I wonder if it will happen again.
My thoughts go around and around
It wasn’t my fault
But that doesn’t mean it won’t repeat
I can’t trust that it will never happen again
Maybe it was my fault?
I should stop trusting
Will they stop trusting me?
Around we go; off to the blame-go-round
There is no doubt that the human imagination is a powerful thing that can be used to help or hinder. Consider this thought from Thomas Troward an English author whose works influenced the New Thought Movement and mystic Christianity (Wikipedia).
“The law of flotation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things, but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally, and then intelligently asking why they did so”.
Look back at the poem. The inner conversation about the terrible thing sets off doubting thoughts regarding what may or may not happen in the future because of the experience of past events. In a sense it’s as though the speaker was setting up a prophecy for what will transpire. Something sank and the person in the poem expected it to sink again rather than asking how it might float or become something positive.
In “One Minute Wisdom”, Anthony de Mello (1985) remarked,
“Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere”? The inner-voice replied, “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside”.
The character in the poem became lost in a loop of “what ifs” and projected them into the future until they manifested once more in the present, the circle continues, and blame is added. There is no goodness or beauty in this situation. The over-protective ego closes the door on positive possibilities, only negative thinking thrives inside because of the way we choose to process events and experiences. If we project negative thoughts, we can expect negative results. Things become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Directing The Mind
What we think determines much of our experience. If we think we are not worthy of love, success or anything we seek, it is likely that we will never have it. It seems crazy that life teaches us self-harm and we prove it by holding onto negative thoughts about ourselves and others. It’s as though we have a store of handy acids we use to condemn. If we hold onto past grievances, they eat away at us and cause anger and resentment. They keep the flow of positivity out of our lives.
The Past is A Wind Gone Down
Of course, there are things we can learn from the past, even the events that blew us off course. We are surrounded by possibilities if we care to look for positive solutions. Successful people are never successful because they dwell on negative events. They learn from them and move forward with thoughts fixed on what they can do in the present moment.
Can You Predict The Future?
I mean truly, accurately predict. We do seem preoccupied with what will be.
- Can I afford to live after retirement?
- Will I be able to pay the bills?
- What if I fail?
Our preoccupation leads to building obstacles that inhibit success.
Change The Thinking
- The past is gone
- The future is not here yet; it’s only in mind
- If we predict a negative future, we will probably be right
This moment is the only thing of certainty. If we learn to focus on the present, we give ourselves the gift of freedom.
How To Focus On The Present
This love-based thought system might help because it is impossible to feel negative thoughts and love at the same time.
When you experience negative thoughts, say to yourself:
“I am not at peace because I am looking at things through a distorted filter of the past. I find peace in the present moment”.
By identifying with the past, you effectively preoccupy your mind and create positivity blocks.
Break The Cycle
Sit comfortably and close your eyes
Observe your mind and note each thought as it comes and goes. Don’t dwell on your thoughts, try to watch without attachment. Don’t analyze but do give each theme or thought a name.
“I am now thinking about (xyz theme or central figure). Now I am thinking about (xyz theme or central figure)”.
Note how many of your thoughts are based in the past. After a few minutes, say to yourself,
“My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. The past is gone and today I am willing to let it go. In this, the present moment, I look upon myself with love”.
Repeat this each time a negative or challenging thought from the past arises. You are not a victim and it is your thoughts and beliefs that determine what you see and experience.
Choose the present; it’s a gift!
Here’s an ancient Hasidic saying that I carry on a credit card sized card in my phone case. I look at it every day.
“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you”.
It’s a work in progress
I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
We need a box of tools to challenge our limits and move forward toward success. If you feel that you may benefit from help, please leave your contact details in the comments section below and you will be contacted by your preferred method. Please understand that your contact details will never be published, and your privacy is assured.
Comments and Questions
Please leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.
I wish you a wonderful day.
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.