Friday, August 19, 2011

Managing Desperate Thoughts/Addictive Thinking

from Oprah's O Magazine, August 2011 issue
I don't know why they don't teach this stuff in schools. I really don't. Especially when, more and more, we see the youth culture today exhibiting signs of deep emotional need that is being covered up and "dealt with" through the dangerous avenues of binge drinking, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse and worst of all, suicide. But none of these ways of coping are health-ful or life-giving. They subtract. They take more away from you than you had in the beginning. They make things worse. They complicate matters. They reinflict old wounds and old patterns. In short, they are self-destructive and generate more pain.

We cannot deal with desperate thoughts this way. They will get worse. We also can't deal with desperate thoughts by "thinking" more. Desperate thoughts are exactly what the word sounds like they are "de-separate" - they seperate us from ourselves and from reality. They are not real. As soon as we have a desperate thought we are - for sure - no longer connected to ourselves. We are separated and splinched. We are bolting. We are no longer in the room, no longer in the here and now. We are in la-la-la land and it's a dangerous place to be. You. Do. Not. Want. To. Stay. Here. So what do you do?

1. Call or text someone you trust.

2. Name the feeling to your trusted friend. Whatever it is. For example, is it sadness, guilt, fear, loneliness, desperation, anger, shame, worry, anxiousness....? Is it nameless? (I used to have a recurring feeling and I never found the right words to describe it so I would always call it "hippopotamus grey feeling")

3. Describe the feeling and where it is located in your body. If the feeling had a color what would it be? Is it blue, green, red, orange, purple, yellow? Is it multi-colored? Speckled? Streaky? Is it round, soft, hard, jagged, furry, fuzzy, slimey, gooey, thick, watery? Is it in your heart, chest, tummy, abdomen, shoulders, stomach, legs, groin? Is it moving? Stationary? Stuck? Throbbing? Be creative and don't limit yourself to the words I just used.

4. Share the thoughts running through your head. Remember, we are only as sick as our secrets.

5. Do not be discouraged if your friend does not understand or is concerned. The point is you are telling someone else. You are sharing the thoughts and feelings with another being who is alive on this earth. You are sharing your story. This simple act of truth-telling and sharing brings us back to ourselves and to reality.

If you do not have someone to call, do this exercise in a journal or call a helpline. Also keep in mind that when in doubt, disengage the mind. Stop thinking. Be aware of your body, your in and out breath. Take note of the sensations in your body. Invite someone in before you spiral down.

"In all instances, you need to examine your addictive thinking. Virtually every spiritual tradition teaches that your higher self is the presence of God within you. When you know this power within yourself, you no longer think in terms of anything that you must have or do with reference to external needs. In Christianity, this inner knowing is referred to in the commandment that says "... for behold, the kingdom of God is within you". In Confucianism we are told, "What the undeveloped man seeks is outside. What the advanced man seeks is within himself." In Buddhism we are reminded, "If you think the Law is outside yourself you are embracing not the absolute Law but some inferior teaching." In Shintoism we are implored, "Do not search in distant skies for God. In man's own heart He is found." And finally, in Hinduism we are told, "God hides hidden in the hearts of all."  Within each and every one of us is a divine power that needs no substance or anything external to know bliss."- Wayne Dyer, via The Daily Love

No comments: