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Yesterday, as I wrote more for the Eating Peace class curriculum (I’m trying not to go overboard) I remembered the concept that many teachers, including Byron Katie, mention about addiction and recovery.
It’s not the substance or the actual behavior that needs to change in order to feel peaceful.
Although….it WILL change and become more peaceful if you get to the bottom of it all.
But the core root of the “problem”, the actual addiction, the uncomfortable, distressing, out-of-control, compulsive experience that throws us off kilter, is our addiction to stressful thinking.
“Addictions are always the effect of an unquestioned mind. The only true addiction to work with is the addiction to your thoughts. As you question those thoughts, that addiction ceases because you no longer believe those thoughts. And as those thoughts cease, as you cease to believe them, then the addictions in your life cease to be. It is a process. And there’s no choice; you believe what you think, or you question it.” ~ Byron Katie
Don’t start thinking that this means you have to question every single thought that ever entered your head that felt difficult or painful, or every thought that ever felt bad, or every imagined fear that could happen in the future.
I saw you going there! Come on back!
THAT is a thought in itself, that you can’t stop thinking (and you should) and you’ll constantly believe your thoughts, forever.
I’ll never stop thinking of uncomfortable or troubling possibilities in the future. I’ll never stop remembering sad or traumatic things that happened in the past.
My mind is a maniac…I’ll never get away from…..THINKING!
Is it true?
Well, have you ever noticed the gaps between thinking, or between difficult experiences? Have you ever noticed there’s slow times and fast times and times in-between?
Do you sometimes sleep? Can you look out the window for a sec? Do you take a deep breath?
Have you ever been thinking something, but not really BELIEVED it? Like some part of you really knows all is well, and you can relax?
Maybe it’s not absolutely true that you’ll never stop thinking fearfully, ruminating, repeating things, seeing the same things over and over in your mind.
It may be possible that you have stopped sometimes.
How do you react when you believe that you’ll NEVER stop thinking, you’ll always believe your thoughts?
Deep despair and discouragement. Longing. Not satisfied. Problem-solving.
Hunting down whatever can stop the thoughts, or appease them.
Sometimes, this means drinking, eating, smoking and doing whatever “works” for you to interrupt the pattern.
Seeking teachers, solutions, whatever you can find that help offer lighter thoughts, fun thoughts, loving thoughts.
And who would you be without the thought that you can’t stop thinking, and you can’t stop believing your thoughts?
Seriously. Who or what would you be?
Without the thought that you have to believe what you think?
Can you imagine not believing everything you think?
So very, very exciting! Curious. Spacious. Free. Wild. Mysterious.
Just to enter the state of not automatically believing everything running through your brain is true. Not the images, the words, the pictures, the ideas, the visions of the future or past.
“You don’t have to destroy the character called ‘me’ to wake up from it. In fact, trying to destroy the character makes it very hard to wake up. Because what’s trying to destroy the character? The character. What’s judging the character? The character. So you leave the character alone. The character called you, just leave it alone.” ~ Adyashanti
Turn the thought around: I’ll always stop thinking of uncomfortable or troubling possibilities in the future. I’ll alwaysstop remembering sad or traumatic things that happened in the past.
Oh. This is just as true. It’s truer.
I don’t have to believe what I think?
Noticing this is enough.
And if those terrible, worrisome visions aren’t 100% true, if those bad feelings aren’t staying permanently…
…you may be able to wait, to rest, and see what happens.
Your craving may pass.