My Mother’s maiden name is Head. My Grandpa used to say, “Wherever you are, you’re a Head.” How nice it would be to know with certainty that you are always ahead. I know that at any given moment, there’s a story I’m telling myself about where I am. Although I can’t necessarily argue with my actual physical placement, I decide if I’m ahead or behind in my conceptual placement. And what I think will trigger a feeling and an action and that’s how our life’s days go.
What if I choose the “I’m behind” story more often as a way to make myself feel badly? What if my progress report is a way of always choosing to see myself on the loosing side? Or I Judge myself and say I should have been so much farther along with my career or family planning or retirement investments than I am now. That’s the Thought. The Feeling that may follow is shame. And the Action may be to go eat a chocolate cake or down a bottle of vino. There is always a three part equation to these life patterns.
Our perceptions acting in tandem with our repetitive behaviors govern our days. And our years. If we choose to perceive the worst of our life at any given moment, we may pave the way to the same trio of Feelings , Thoughts, and Actions, thus creating a perpetual hiccup of behavior patterns we may not even realize.
The trick to correcting a perpetually misplayed series of notes in music is to start at the end and keep replaying them backwards one note at a time. If you change the sequence in your brain, you disrupt the auto play and reprogram it. So if you choose to abstain from your given action at the end of your sucky life sentencing, you may find yourself in a different place. Don’t drink so much and see what happens. I did that.
If you can stop yourself from interpreting the facts of your life into thoughts of failure and instead decide to maybe re-frame where you are and be compassionate, you may not have the same bad feelings. How do you show yourself compassion? You say I’m sorry I treated you that way, I’m sorry I told you that sad story about yourself, and I’m sorry that I have punished you because you are a good person and don’t deserve that.
The triangle of Feelings, Thoughts, and Actions does not continue to make sense if you change one of the sides. It’s up to us to decide where the change in our perception will happen. And to learn from our hearts what the truth really is. Because self-created mental hell moments are not made of truths. And only we have the power to disrupt the pattern of perpetually recreating these.
(Check out any of my pieces on Cognitive Distortions to find out the power you truly have at your disposal.)
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