When I found myself writing similar messages to clients who were experiencing distress and who reached out for support, I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts with a wider audience. Let me know in the comments if what I am sharing is helpful or if you have questions.
When you are upset it looks like another person or a circumstance is the cause of your distress. Your emotions make this feel very real. It does not occur to you that your experience is created inside of you. It is hard to have perspective and see that your thinking is the cause of your suffering, not your husband, wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, ex-partner, or the loss of job, financial burden, something not working out etc…
When you lose perspective, be gentle with yourself. Know it only takes one new thought for your experience to shift. See if you can remember this in the midst of reactivity. When you are upset, it is not the time to be thinking about the person or situation that is bothering you. This just keeps the disturbance going. See if you can recognize that focusing on the upset or any of the behaviors that stem from the upset, like what you wish you had said to them or what the disastrous consequences are going to be now this event has happened. All this does is keep the upset alive and prolong the suffering. If you can see this, it will make it easier to be kinder to yourself and to not engage with your reactive thinking.
And, if you can’t help yourself from engaging with your reactive thoughts, know it is only a matter of time until you stop. You don’t control your thinking. Anything you do to try and change your thinking or your experience will bring you deeper into the quagmire. It is inevitable that your thinking will settle and your suffering will lessen and then stop even if only briefly. That is a certainty. The question is, “How do you want to be with yourself in the meantime?” Do you want to look in the direction of truth or play with the shadows of illusion? There is no right or wrong, but it is good to know what you are doing.
Turning toward peace of mind is natural. It is a by-product of understanding. If you want to stoke the fire of reactivity fine but know that is what is happening. It will help you to not take your thinking seriously while you do it. Peace is ever present. There is nothing for you to do to get there. It will reveal itself to you once the reactive thinking settles.
The cause of suffering is a misunderstanding. It is the mistaken belief that you are separate from your true nature and separate from your loving essence. That is what causes suffering. It doesn’t matter that this can never be the case. Your thoughts and feelings will at times tell you a different story. They will look and feel real to you. This is the miracle of consciousness. You bring your thoughts to life and create your reality. That is magnificent no matter what your experience is. Knowing this is helpful. It allows you to see that your moment-to-moment experience is not “the” reality. It changes. It is not constant.
For now, I encourage you to not dwell on your upset. This is not denial or by-pass. It is common sense to not put your hand into the middle of a fire. Why do that with your focus? Instead, indulge the yearnings of your soul. They speak to you real-time. With loving kindness, gently open your ears and listen. Look towards what is constant — what is true. Only you can know that for yourself.
Rohini Ross is excited to present The Soul-Centered Series in Santa Monica starting October 2018. She is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a transformative coach and trainer, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com.