Maybe it's just a thought
True or False: Everything we think is true.
The answer may be obvious: FALSE.
But whether you realize it or not, many of us believe it. We believe our thoughts are TRUE. That they are irrefutable facts.
The vast majority of our thoughts are automatic. They happen by default. They cause us suffering because we don't believe things can be different.
Not the case.
You have thoughts about CIRCUMSTANCES. A circumstance is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. It is something that everyone can agree on because it is a fact. Examples of circumstances:
- It is raining outside.
- My feet are a size 10.
- My 3 year old is having a tantrum on the floor of CVS.
Your thoughts about the circumstance are what give it meaning. They are what cause you to feel a certain way about it. But they are not THE TRUTH. How do we know this? Because people can have different thoughts about the same circumstance. Not everyone thinks and feels the same way about the same things. To prove my point, I'm going to take the above three examples of circumstances, and rewrite them as how they might translate into thoughts that we believe to be true:
- The weather today sucks.
- My feet are huge.
- My 3 year old is insane and out of control.
All three of these thoughts are refutable:
Circumstance: It is raining outside. Your THOUGHT is that the weather sucks. We know this is not the truth because it is possible to love rainy weather and to believe that it is beautiful.
Circumstance: My feet are a size 10. Your THOUGHT is that a size 10 means your feet are huge. We know this is not the truth because to some, a size 10 might be positively tiny (lookin' at you, Shaq)!
Circumstance: My 3 year old is having a tantrum on the floor of CVS. Your THOUGHT is that means he is out of control. We know this is not the truth because this could just be a normal thing that 3 year olds do.
The point of all of this is to show that you can CHOOSE what you believe to be true. You don't have to believe all of the thoughts you have and quite frankly, you shouldn't. You can choose thoughts that serve you and make you feel better.
Start paying attention to your thoughts. Ask yourself if it's an irrefutable fact (circumstance). If it's not, ask yourself if you want to believe it. Because in the end, maybe it's not the truth. Maybe it's just a thought.