Turn Your Thoughts Around
A few weeks ago, I had a thought that stopped me in my tracks. I thought “I hate Bob.” (Ok, it wasn’t Bob. The name has been changed to protect the innocent and I bear no ill will toward anyone named Bob.) It caught my attention because after so many years of working on feeling my feelings and focusing on thinking positive, I don’t normally have thoughts of hating anyone. I feel a range of emotions, but I usually don’t resist them and I feel them when they come along so my thoughts rarely get to this point and I found it very interesting. And by interesting, I mean disturbing. I’m the person who is always preaching to love and bless others, so if I start hating that would make me the H-word. Yep, a hypocrite and a hater. Not very good alchemy there.
Why was I having such a strong reaction to this person, we’ll call Bob. Bob hadn’t done anything really bad. He was just behaving the way he normally did and had for years. He is a high-need person, who often needs more help than I want to give. I felt like I had let go of worrying about Bob and how he acted years ago. I would just send him love and know that his actions didn’t really effect me. I had learned how to deal with him and I didn’t know why all of sudden I was feeling hatred towards him.
I decided to investigate this thought and do a thought turn around. I learned this from Byron Katie’s The Work. She has a series of question that you go through to see if you thoughts are really true and if they serve you. It’s a great process for seeing how your thoughts affect you and changing your thoughts. But sometimes I’m lazy and I skip to the very last step, which is the turn around. I’m pretty sure she says never to do this, but, again sometimes I’m lazy and I find I get the biggest aha’s from the turn around’s so I just do the end of the process.
To do a thought turn around, you either switch the names of people in the statement or you replace everyone else in the statement with you:
I hate Bob.
Possible turn arounds would be:
Bob hates me.
I hate me.
Then, you look at the turn arounds and see if one of them resonates with you and what the real problem could be. When I look at the first possible turn around, “Bob hates me,” I know this is not important for my growth, because it’s none of my business or concern whether or not Bob hates me. Then, I look at “I hate me” and Ouch! that’s one’s a bit tender. I defend myself and I remind myself that I do lots of work on self-love and I’m sooo much better at it than I used to be. That’s true, but I am aware I still have some places where I don’t always love myself. One of those places shows up when I have difficulty creating boundaries around people like Bob. I sometimes times agree to do things for Bob because it’s easier than listening to him whine. Then, I feel anger towards him, but I’m really angry with myself for not enforcing boundaries and letting him have more control in my life than I want to give. I realize the more I love myself the more I will be able to lovingly, but firmly enforce these boundaries. Relief, I no longer feel any hatred to Bob and I know what to do to change the situation.
Here’s some random examples of other ways to turn your thoughts around:
Thought: He should love me.
Turn Arounds: I should love him.
I should love me.
Thought: She should help me.
Turn Arounds: I should help her.
I should help me.
Thought: Why is he so mean to me?
Turn Arounds: Why am I so mean to him?
Why am I so mean to me?
Thought: How can she not stop embarrassing me?
Turn Arounds: How can I not stop embarrassing her?
How can I not stop embarrassing me?
These turn arounds don’t work for every situation, but sometimes they set off a big ole light bulb for me. You have to open to finding a meaning behind your thoughts that you aren’t aware of yet.
My apologies to Byron Katie for twisting her work around. If you have a lot of pain from thoughts about others, I would highly recommend reading her books or going to her site and learning to The Work through the work sheets. They are fabulous and life-changing. There are even coaches certified in The Work the can help you through the process and point out any blind spots.
However, if you just have a random thought that makes you go “Hmm” maybe just try turning it around and see if it brings you any insights.
I’d love to hear how you shift your thoughts, or any other comments you may have. To prove it, I’m giving away a bottle of Stress Away Essential Oil blend to one of my commenters during the month of March. This is my favorite oil. It has a wonderful lime and vanilla scent and I wear it as “happy” cologne. I’ll put everyone’s name in random.org and choose a winner to be announced here around April 1st. Then the winner can e-mail me their mailing address to claim their prize. Watch this space as I’ll be changing up my give-aways this year. Some months it’ll be oils and maybe crystals and some months it will be some of my new products and classes that are coming soon!
Transforming through Love and Joy,
Michelle Martin Dobbins