don’t convince yourself

Rorschach - what do you see?When developing your te or making personal changes, you may experience a thought-trap that you shouldn’t have any negative thoughts or feelings. This can lead to self-criticism and an insincere rejection and repression of the difficult thoughts.

Personal change takes time and effort, and there is an element of fake it ’til you make it, but there’s nothing fake about behaving as the person you wish to become.

If you find yourself returning to negative thoughts or obsessing about something, first, have compassion for yourself. There’s no benefit in punishing yourself for cyclic thinking, and you needn’t pretend that you’re not bothered by your concern. Recognise the thought, reflect on the root cause, and then take action to end the cycle.

While the action you take would ideally satisfy or eliminate the root cause, it doesn’t have to; the action you take can be as simple as writing the concern down, or saying it out loud. Assuage guilt, shame, and worry (which have little use) by apologising and forgiving yourself out loud. Say the words – say that you understand why you acted in that way, and that you forgive your past self.

There is no need to convince yourself that you don’t have negative thoughts and feelings – these experiences are your internal events and they’re real enough to you, but no more real than a wish or a nightmare. Recognise any wisdom from your feelings and move on from the repetitive messages that seem to surface whenever you stretch yourself or threaten your ego.

Compassion, simplicity, humility; the three jewels will guide you whenever uncertainty or doubt plague you.

Image credit: _Gavroche_

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