STONE NINE CONTINUED
Transform: By changing my thoughts, I transform my life. I choose to change my thoughts concerning past experiences that hold me in pain. I choose to see them from a higher perspective.
Instruction: Release thoughts that hurt.
Thoughts can hurt. Think about any scenario in which you have been hurt by something someone said and evaluate the circumstances as if you had no ability to think positively or negatively about the situation. Consider the circumstances as if you could not feel the hurt. It is not the words that are said or the emotions given off by someone else, but our thoughts about the words and the emotions that cause us pain. If we think we are being verbally abused or attacked by someone, we will be hurt. If we were told the individual had Tourette Syndrome, our mind would most likely take a different line of thinking, make allowances, and the hurt that we might have felt would probably be much less or not at all. We have the power to change our thoughts by simply practicing different responses until we find ones that allow us to release thoughts that bring hurt with them.
A lot of what happens in life is more of conditioned responses instead of intentional behavior. After someone retires, it is not unusual to find them automatically turning into their former place of business when they are in the vicinity. They have done the same thing for years, and the mechanics of doing the same thing are like being on autopilot. The same goes for our emotions. Once we have conditioned ourselves to respond to situations in a certain way, our natural go-to maneuver is to do what we know best, even if that brings us pain. It takes effort to break those conditioned responses, but it can be done. Our lives can be transformed by the power of our thoughts, and when we replace thoughts that bring us pain with thoughts that bring us joy and happiness, we are in the process of letting go of the past with its learned responses and creating a future in which we are aware of our thoughts and are able to make positive choices about what we want to think.
At this point, some words of caution are in order. When someone comes from a religious background that requires total submission and servitude from their followers, trying to make allowances by changing the way they view the past might not work. If not understood correctly, it could actually keep them in an abusive situation. They probably need to disentangle and remove themselves first, especially if the abuse is ongoing. If you are in this position, before trying to forgive by changing your thoughts — which is just a tool to aid in our forgiveness — sit with the situation first and determine if the right course of action is to stay or leave.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.