What if I just accepted things as they are, without placing them into a category of positive or negative? Would my world operate differently?
I’m one of those people who is super hard on themselves, always looking and striving for better and to be the best. I often process life and experiences into categories of good, bad, positive or negative as a way of understanding, always striving and pushing for better outcomes and learning.
But could this be holding me back? Now, I’m not saying that labelling is necessarily a bad thing. It can be a useful means of understanding our world. However, labelling becomes problematic when we internalise the labels we place on things and events and they turn into internal judgments or guilt drivers. When the mean voice takes over the perspective and it becomes your truth.
Could the answer be in changing our attitude of judgment into acceptance. Not trying to understand or fix our thoughts but instead to observe them, acknowledge how they make us feel and then let them go. A few years back I participated in a 8 week mindfulness course, and one of the most profound learnings from this course was acceptance of thoughts without the need to fix, resolve or understand them. Instead to just observe.
For me this has been something I’ve had to practice as it hasn’t come easy or natural with my tendency being to resolve and ‘peace keep’ at all costs. A thought is a thought and unless we give it fuel it is just simply just a thought. The only difference between a good and bad thought is your attitude to it.
The truth of who we are lies much deeper than the external circumstances and events and the thoughts, behaviours and feelings triggered by these external judgments. Who decides what’s good or bad positive or negative? And if we didn’t have options and reactions, would they affect us so profoundly? Or is the notion of good and bad silently driving people to justify choices and behaviors?
If you are local, check out the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course being run at The Spa from Friday 6 May.