You Have The Power To Keep Your Inner-Peace – Part 1


rainbow2I have come to understand that I have 100% control over the degree of suffering I experience.  Suffering can be a constant slight annoyance or escalate to an all out rage about something or someone.  But one can argue “how can you control your suffering if you can’t control those around you and the unexpected events that sometimes life throws your way?”  Exactly, we can’t control life.  We can’t control reality.  However, consider the possibility in controlling your stressful thoughts and/or beliefs about a situation or person.  Additionally, what if we commit ourselves to learning to become a “lover” of reality.  Which means we STOP arguing with reality; with what is!

This concept and awakening came to me via Byron Katie’s work called “The Work”.  She is the author of many books including Loving What Is (see the Recommended Links page; great video examples as well).  Katie states “You create your own suffering, and you can end it.  It’s as simple as that…The fact is you are the wisdom you’ve been seeking.”   Basically to end your suffering you first need to truly investigate and question your stressful thoughts and beliefs.  How many of us ever step back, stop and say to ourselves “whoa, wait a minute, is what I’m thinking true?”

“The Work” is a process if inquiry. It has you ask a set a questions regarding any painful or stressful thought or “story” that we are creating about a specific person, situation or about ourselves?  Inquiry helps us discover which “story” would be beneficial to rewrite.

The following questions when taken to heart open you up to a powerful “truth” regarding your thought or belief.  Inquiry can lead life altering results.  KEY: Write down the stressful thought/belief as well as what awareness arises through inquiry.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?  Be still and see what begins to surface.
    • If you emphatically say “it is true”, then add to your statement “and it means that ____”  Example:  “My mother lectures me a lot”  and you say “that’s absolutely true!”.  Now add “and it means that she doesn’t respect (or love, trust) me.”   Is that absolutely true?
  3. How do I react when I think that thought (which argues with reality)?  i.e. stressed, annoyed, angry, hopeless, sad, lonely…etc.
    • Can you see a reason to drop that thought or story (so as to regain your internal peace and balance)?
    • Can you find a stress-free reason to keep this thought or story going?
  4. What would I be or have without the thought or story?  i.e. feel freer, have greater inner-peace, be kinder/more understanding towards that person…etc.

I used this inquiry to examine a stressful thought regarding a relative of mine.  We differ quite a bit in how we view religion and spirituality.  I do not impose my understanding and views on this person, but they insist on imposing there’s on me and invalidating my experiences.  Consequently, I would always feel very uncomfortable around this person yet I could not pin point why.  Finally it dawned on me that my belief was “he disrespects me”.  Through inquiry I discovered that only I can disrespect myself.  Additionally, by my getting upset about his “disrespect”, in essence I was disrespecting him as well.  How?  Because internally I was not allowing his disrespect to be.  Just like he was not allowing my views and experiences to be.  Now I do not feel uncomfortable because my underling belief is gone.

After a true examination of a thought/story or belief you replace the thought (story or belief) with a “turn around” phrase.  Example of turnaround phrases are as follows. Notice the energy and feel behind each thought.

  • “They shouldn’t have laid me off”  -vs-   “I lost my job; so what can I do now”
  • “My Boss should recognize my value” -vs-  “I can recognize my own value”                                    and sometimes it’s true that “I can recognize his/her value as well”
  • “He/she shouldn’t have left me”  -vs-  ” I shouldn’t have left myself. I can be present for myself”
  • “My child should appreciate me”  -vs-  “I can appreciate myself”                                                   and sometimes it’s true that “I don’t appreciate my child”
  • “People should not discriminate”  -vs-  “There is discrimination.  Even I discriminate against the discriminators.  And I have preferences on who my child should marry, types of neighborhoods, animals, food, clothes…etc.”
  • “I don’t like war because it frightens me”  -vs-  “I don’t like my thinking -especially about war- because it frightens me”

Notice how the second phrase (turnaround phrase) in each of the examples is much more self-empowering.  It is “closer” to the truth.  Therefore it is more freeing.  I’d like to also interject another notion; our thoughts have a vibrational frequency.  An energy which emanates from the thought.  It either has a low energy frequency or a high energy frequency.  The higher the frequency the more uplifting and harmonious. The lower the frequency the more of a “block” or “stuck” feeling it creates.

As we consistently have more “higher vibrating” thinking patterns, it casts away and does not allow the lower vibrating thoughts to live in our consciousness.  For example, the realization that “the world” is not the cause of our suffering  but instead it is our uninvestigated thinking which pulls us away from our inner peace, joy, love and harmony is a “higher vibrating” awareness.  

“We don’t attach to people or to things; we attach to uninvestigated concepts that we believe to be true in the moment.” – Byron Katie

Another great tool for moving stuck energy and obsessive thinking or emotions about something is to utilize EFT; Emotional Freedom Technique. There is a great Youtube Channel by Brad Yates that teaches you about this tapping and talking through technique (click to go there) Intro to EFT

Click PART II to go to the continuing article of You Have The Power to Keep Your Inner Peace.

My desire to share this work also goes back to my desire to keep illness at bay. Firstly it is wonderful to feel tranquil most of the time, additionally, many of us understand that constant stress eventually manifests itself in illness and dis-ease. May you have the same desire for yourself as I have for you and me.

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