As I worked with an anxious client I realised something: Most of my inner work and my work with clients is about unschooling us from the inaccurate and unhelpful narratives they have been indoctrinated into. We have all been brainwashed by well meaning adults before us. They were brainwashed too, it’s not their fault. It isn’t anyone's fault, but it is our responsibility.
IT'S NO ONES FAULT - IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY
It’s my responsibility to notice when a thought is negative, that is to say, it depletes energy by arguing with reality. A negative thought is always inaccurate, wrong and untrue. It argues with facts because a part of me is too afraid to slow down and look at the truth of the situation, and because I have been schooled this way by so many people in my childhood and in my adulthood. Our culture is rife with poor quality education. An example from my life is that I was told I was lazy, so many times, and by so many people, especially key people (like Dad) that I started to believe it. In fact the whole concept of laziness is wrong. Laziness is healthy - it is a response to being tired. What most people call laziness is actually fear. We are laden with fearful thoughts and no one taught us how to manage that. In their own mis-education they just called us lazy.
THE TRUTH IS OK
The truth is simple. We are a happening, a process of continual change and sometimes that can be scary, because we are vulnerable organisms. Nothing is wrong with that. It’s all OK. It’s OK to be scared and for things to hurt and for change to be happening. Everything we ‘think’ on top of that is just thoughts, or ‘narrative’. These thoughts are powerful. They shape our experience. Some of them helpfully, others of them cause us to suffer. The key is to notice you are thinking and discern if it’s helpful or not and then to make a choice.
MAKE A CHOICE
Decide. Do you want to be a slave to an unhelpful narrative? Do you want to be liberated by admitting the truth? This too is a process of gradual re-schooling, re-parenting, both to ourselves and to others. If we decide to follow the path of liberation then we are free to choose how to live. We begin to consider what is helpful and important - principles to live by. We naturally find our way towards principles like kindness, honesty, trust, wisdom and corresponding behaviour like slowing down, rooting out bad habits and installing healthy habits and welcoming ourselves and others with love in our hearts.
SUFERING IS ALSO OK
Or we choose to let our fearful thoughts take hold. This is the dark path, which is also part of the process. Stepping back we can see a perspective where this suffering is necessary in the grand scheme of things. As Eckhart Tolle said “We suffer until we realise that we don’t need to suffer any more.”
Neil Morbey is a meditation teacher, group facilitator and inspiration guide for Positively-Mindful.com