What You’re Fighting Against is the unconscious delusion that negative thoughts can control the universe
In essence, worry had become a powerful superstition—with no more real benefit than a rabbit’s foot. But superstitions have a powerful appeal because they give us a magical sense that we can affect the future. Of course, this is an illusion—most of life is beyond our ability to predict, much less control. From a picnic getting rained out to a sudden heart attack—anything can happen at any time. Still, we insist we can control the uncontrollable.
We assume (because science tells us so) that the universe is indifferent to us. Based only on what we see around us, this is a reasonable conclusion. But it makes us feel alone in a universe that doesn’t care about us. Feeling we won’t be provided for, we become obsessed with controlling our future. In that context, worrying seems to make sense.
But what if, on a level we can’t see, the universe is interested in our welfare, supporting us in ways large and small? It’s not that much of a stretch to be able to perceive this. Start with your physical body. It extracts oxygen from the air, it digests complex foods, it allows you the miracle of sight and hearing. All these things work amazingly well without your even understanding how. There’s more—the earth supplies us with food, the air we breathe; and it gives us the raw materials with which to build things. And these are just a few examples of the infinite number of ways our existence is sustained by the universe.
The Grateful Flow
Pick out things in your life you can be grateful for—particularly things you’d normally take for granted.
Say them to yourself silently, slowly enough to feel the value of each one. “I’m grateful for my eyesight; I’m grateful I have hot water,” etc. You should do this until you’ve mentioned at least five items—it takes less than thirty seconds. Feel the slight strain of your effort to find these items.
You should feel the gratefulness you express flowing upward, directly from your heart. Then, when you’ve finished mentioning the specific items, your heart should continue to generate gratefulness, this time without words. The energy you are now giving out is the Grateful Flow. As this energy emanates from your heart, your chest will soften and open. In this state you’ll feel yourself approaching an overwhelming presence, filled with the power of infinite giving. You’ve made a connection to the Source.
Stick to things you’re truly grateful for, not things you feel you should be grateful for. These are often minor things that you might not notice unless they were taken away—like the fact that you had a nice lunch with a friend, for example, or that your electricity works. Patients often ask why we emphasize these minor items. The answer is simple: although we tend to take them for granted, they’re always there
You should also make it a daily practice.
What Elizabeth had gained was that priceless quality we call perspective. Without perspective, any disappointment can take over your whole life; like a drop of ink in a beaker of water, everything looks dark. Even the smallest setback tends to overwhelm you. Perspective is the ability to see whatever is happening at the moment without losing sight of the enduring, positive nature of life.
When your mind is filled with worry, self-hatred, or any other form of negative thinking, you’ve been taken over by the Black Cloud. It limits what you can do with your life, deprives your loved ones of what is best about you. Life becomes a struggle to survive instead of the fulfillment of great promise.
What You’re Fighting Against is the unconscious delusion that negative thoughts can control the universe. Because we think the universe is indifferent to us, we cling to the sense of control negative thinking gives us.
1. Start by silently stating to yourself specific things in your life you’re grateful for, particularly items you’d normally take for granted. You can also include bad things that aren’t happening. Go slowly so you really feel the gratefulness for each item. Don’t use the same items each time you use the tool. You should feel a slight strain from having to come up with new ideas.
2. After about thirty seconds, stop thinking and focus on the physical sensation of gratefulness. You’ll feel it coming directly from your heart. This energy you are giving out is the Grateful Flow. 3. As this energy emanates from your heart, your chest will soften and open. In this state you will feel an overwhelming presence approach you, filled with the power of infinite giving. You’ve made a connection to the Source.
The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity, and Willpower--and Inspire You to Live Life in Forward Motion
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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