What was he thinking?
No really, what went through his head when he decided to do that? How dare he? And what should I do now? and think about it… ok?
Do you remember those first few days with your newborn? first steps? first words? Remember when you taught him how to walk? paint? build brick towers? eat by himself? wash his hair?
But wait a sec, who taught him how to think for himself? and who taught you how to think? Did you ever just stop to think about your thoughts… sounds like a clutter? It sure is! It’s not just clutter… it’s the clutter that drives our life – Thoughts!
And why should you even think about your thoughts…? Well if you haven’t yet read this post I highly recommend you to and no, don’t worry, I won’t repeat the amazing research and surprising resolution that followed but I will just summarize and say that if you rather not think about your thoughts – then think again! (and yes, I’m going to use a lot of the word Think and Thoughts today… sorry!)
But really darling, if it turns out that thoughts are processed before emotions, then that means that I first think, then I follow that thought with feelings (whether it be good ones or bad ones) and eventually I act upon them -then can you see where this all leads ..? you know what, let’s go back to the beginning of this post and test my theory out.
What was he thinking?
No really, what went on his head when he decided to do that??? how dare he? And what should I do now?” and no, I don’t really know what did he do? Between you and me I don’t even know who HE is? but let’s assume for this matter that HE is your dear son, and what he did is that he is late again coming home from his friend’s house, his phone is off and your heart is racing, and your mind is going a million miles an hour with hundreds of thoughts. I personally don’t really know you but I’m sure 99% of those thoughts are negative and that at least half of them are about what you will do to him as soon as he walks through that door.
And what’s the problem having these thoughts you ask??? one problem lol? Are you kidding me? I could just name a few before you come up with a comeback and that is because they are troubling, burdening and stressful (And if you haven’t yet read what stress can do to you then you are more than welcome to read this post as well).
These thoughts cause anxiety, prevent you from a good night’s sleep, working or even doing regular chores, they boil your blood and make you think horrible thoughts about your beloved child, thoughts that even your neighbor, that one who can’t stand him or us for that matter wouldn’t dare to think of herself… should I keep going? I think I made my point; which is, these thoughts suck!
Being In charge of your brain/ Owning your thoughts
So, what do you do? Quick answer, long explanation (Don’t say I didn’t warn you :))
Answer: you learn to control your thoughts, prevent them, channel them, change them!
Long explanation: Yes, and without excuses, you can learn how to do that! and your mind isn’t different than anyone else’s! On the contrary, our minds are all essentially the same, and if you were ever at one of those hypnosis shows, then deep down you know it’s possible! our mind with all its complexities is trainable. It’s all just a matter of habit, and here’s the thing with habits: Habits only become habits if you continually perform them on a regular basis and turn them into a way of life! In any other way they are just nice attempts and usually not very affective. And in order for any action (from sport through diet and all the way to controlling your thoughts) to turn into habit, you need to perform it and exercise it for a considerable amount of time (some say 60 days straight) But the great bonus of it all is that when an action turns into habit, life changes!
And usually for the better! And for this reason my answer is divided into a few parts, which may sound the same but there are not at all. So let’s go back to the beginning of the paragraph: Prevent Them!
“sure, right” you are probably muttering to yourself “Of course my thoughts could have been prevented, if that big dummy would have just shown up in time, or left a message, or making sure he had his phone on, and maybe bothered once in a while listening to just a bit of what I ask of him, this could have been prevented And I tried, I really did try, do you know how many conversations we’ve had about this subject alone? If he only cared! But no, why would he care about his mother… c’mon, Preventing my thoughts, you make me laugh” So just before you go on an abandon me and taking your anger out on some ice cream or your husband (or both :)) Let me just say this:
…No, dear, this is not the way I am talking about when I use the sentence you could have prevented your thoughts. When I say prevent, I mean this:
Every thought that you think about is only a thought and it’s completely yours!
This means that thought is most defiantly not the actual event! And why is that so important? Because if you understand this simple principal you could also understand that every thought you have is first and for most your personal interpretation, that isn’t necessarily true to reality, also with dear Albert’s contribution (Einstein) you could also say that in a reality like this existence it’s all relative :))
And that is why you, darling, can react differently and feel a bundle of feelings towards a certain event while someone else might not care at all, and further more even your son, your offspring, your love, will look at you all pale, angry and flustered and say:” What’s the matter? Why were you even worried? We were just playing a cool game and I left my phone in their kitchen and…”
The right order: Web of past feelings, event, interpretation, thought, emotion, reaction.
If you could remember the order, you could (with a little practice and effort) stop one second before your mind goes racing and ask yourself: Which of these thoughts are beneficial positive thoughts and which is simply interpretation? And speaking of interpretation, why is it coming up now and specifically in relation to this event?
And most importantly: What effect did my past feelings have on my interpretation of this specific event? So good, let’s assume (for matters of progress) that you understand and agree to this theory, now you will probably ask “well so what? Even if we assume this big dummy didn’t mean any harm and that he does love me (although there are days I’m not so sure about that anymore) and that he didn’t plot on making my hair gray and go to an early grave – then tell me the truth, as a mom and a sister, do you really think it’s OK being so irresponsible? And what about all of these talks we’ve had where I repeatedly told him what to do? Is it so hard to be considerate and listen?
You know what- that is the exact question around every discussion in this house and starting from a young age too… Taking a shower, brushing your teeth, eating candy and god knows what else, and in my opinion the way to get out of that boring conversation clutter that never leads anywhere is by what we call: Nonviolent Communication (See Dr. Marshall Rosenberg) and it’s also referred to as :win win situation which I wrote extensively about.
And yes, I did call this post BFF & win win situation, and if that name makes you giggle, or if the thought that we shouldn’t waste time on this more then we need to and that it’s our kids job to drive their parents crazy (just like we did to our parents) well then darling I think you have no choice but to read this post too!
By the way, If you thought that we are done discussing thoughts with this post then think again… OK?
Last but not least if you need a break from that thought clutter then Allan watts has a great method for you… Really just click on the link and see for yourself…
To yours and our success! Love,