This is the 3rd of 6 ways to discover for yourself that your unwanted emotions are created by thoughts.
Imagine that you went to the doctor for a routine medical test, and when you got back the results, you found out that you have a harmful disease. How do you think you would feel in that moment? You might feel anger, sadness, despair, or anxiety.
What would have created your emotions in that moment? It would surely seem as though the disease itself created the emotions. But, if the disease itself created sadness, then you would have felt sad as soon as you developed the disease. If you didn’t know that you had the harmful disease, would you still experience sadness, anger, despair, anxiety about it? No.
If you already have the disease, but yet don’t experience an emotional reaction to it, this must mean that the disease itself (the circumstance) isn’t what creates your emotions.
You can’t experience an emotion until you start thinking about an event
While it seems that circumstances directly create our emotions, we actually can’t experience an emotion unless our minds know about the circumstance. In other words, we can’t have an emotional reaction to a circumstance until we have thoughts about it. If an event itself directly created an unwanted emotion, the event would create the unwanted emotion as soon as it happened.
If a loved one is injured in a car accident while you are asleep, when would you experience an emotional reaction to this event? You would only start to feel sad once you found out what happened and could have thoughts about it. If your loved one’s injury (the circumstance) directly created your sadness, then you would immediately experience sadness as soon as the event happened. If you wouldn’t experience sadness until you started to think about what happened, then it has to be your thoughts that are creating your sadness.
In direct “cause and effect” relationships, when something happens, the reaction is immediate
In comparison, if you were asleep and someone poured water on your head without waking you up, your hair would still get wet. Your hair would get wet because water directly causes wet hair. If your hair didn’t get wet until you woke up and thought, “Someone poured water on my hair”, you would know that your thoughts were necessary in creating your wet hair. Clearly, a circumstance cannot create an emotional reaction without thoughts.
You can react to an event that never happened
Even though you may recognize that your thoughts are creating your unwanted emotion, it may still seem that your thoughts are somehow related to the event itself. But, lets look at a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that you get a call in the middle of the night from the police, and they tell you that your son has died in a fire. How do you think you would feel? Well, you would probably be devastated.
But, then imagine that the police call you back an hour later and tell you that they made a mistake. The boy who died in the fire was not your son. If your son didn’t die, why would you have had such a strong emotional reaction? It is simply because you were reacting to your own thoughts and not to any event. The only thing that ever creates your emotional reactions is your own thoughts. Regardless of whether a “bad” event happens or not, you are only reacting to your thoughts and not to the event in any way.
Discover that your unwanted emotion is created by a thought, and not an event
Now, I would like you to take a moment to pick an unwanted emotion that you believe was created by an event in your life. Please take a minute to do that now. If you want to discover the true cause of your unwanted emotion, then I invite you to ask yourself the following questions.
The Questions: Would I be suffering if I didn’t know the event happened? If the circumstance wouldn’t have created an emotion without my mind knowing what happened (thoughts), then can I admit that the circumstance itself doesn’t have the power to create my emotion? If my thoughts can create my emotion with no event happening now (e.g., thinking about past or future), but an event can’t create an emotion without my thoughts (mind knowing what happened), then can I admit that my thoughts have created my suffering, and not a circumstance? Would I be suffering right now if the event didn’t happen, but I believed that it did? If so, then can I admit that my thoughts have the power to be creating my emotion?
If you would like to disbelieve the thought that is creating your unwanted emotion… you can click the following link to try The 5 Steps to The Present Moment … or you can contact me for help.
It can be difficult to recognize that what we thought was to blame for our suffering actually wasn’t to blame
Thank you for reading and engaging with this blog post. I know that this topic can be sensitive and can bring out defensiveness, so if this happened to you, I understand and it’s definitely normal. It can be really hard to admit that what we thought was to blame for our suffering actually wasn’t… and it can also be really difficult to stop blaming the person we thought was to blame. If you would like to address these thoughts, you can try The 5 Steps, wait until I do a blog post about it, or just contact me.
But for now, please let me know your experience or discovery from interacting with this blog post.