All pain on this planet occurs for one reason. The reason is that people believe their thoughts. The mind believes what it thinks until those thoughts are questioned and changed. The thought “I am alone” is just a thought. When it becomes painful, is when it becomes real to us. When it becomes painful to us is when we believe that it is true and we act as if it were true. If we pay close attention to how we feel and react when we believe a thought and then we can know whether that thought is helping or hurting us. If it is hurting us, we can know that the thought is not really true. Objective truth (the perspective your higher self offers) will never feel painful to you. If you are feeling bad as a result of a thought, that is your indication that the thought does not reflect Objective truth. Instead, it merely represents a subjective truth and a harmful one at that.
If we imagine what kind of person we would be, how our life would look and how we would feel if we did not believe the thought (or better yet did not have the thought in the first place), we can begin to see the practical value in questioning and changing our thoughts.
This process helps you to question your thoughts in a way that causes the firm belief in your thoughts to dissolve. When this occurs, you can start to look for evidence that the thought itself is not true. When your belief in the painful thought dissolves enough to allow you to realize that it is not true… the pain subsides. Not only does this process work to dissolve pain, it is a process that also enables you to see just how mutable and subjective reality really is.
To begin this process you start with a thought. Any thought. For example: He/She made me feel bad. Then you ask yourself if you can know that “he/she made me feel bad” is 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt true? When you ask yourself this question, you will most likely feel doubt begin to seep up into your surety. Even though you may still believe he/she made you feel bad now you aren’t completely 100% sure! If the answer is yes, let it be yes. If the answer is no, let it be no.
Then you take the original statement and you reverse it. There are multiple ways you can reverse a thought.
- You can reverse it back on yourself,
- You can reverse it back on the other person,
- You can reverse it to the opposite
- You can reverse it to a statement of allowing/wanting (This is a particularly good reversal technique to use on feeling statements like “I feel embarrassed” or “I don’t ever want to feel embarrassed again”. Given the above example of he/she made me feel bad, you can reverse it back on yourself by saying: “I made myself feel bad”, you can reverse it back on the other person by saying: “I made him/her feel bad”. You can reverse it to its opposite which is: “He/She didn’t make me feel bad or he/she made me feel good.” You can reverse it to allowing by saying “I’m willing to feel bad”. “Or/And I look forward to feeling bad”. When you’re dealing with a particularly strong belief, it is good to apply every reversal technique to the one statement. Once you’ve come up with the reverse statement, you look for as many genuine examples that you do believe of how that reverse statement is true for you. Come up with a minimum of four examples. The reverse statement we are going to use for this example: He/She didn’t make me feel bad or he/she made me feel good. If I was to come up with examples to substantiate He/She didn’t make me feel bad or he/she made me feel good. It might look something like this:
- In reality it’s my choice to believe what he/she said so it was my choice to hurt myself by believing what he/she said.
- He/She gave me an opportunity to see a belief of mine out in the open that I want to change and this means that they are an integral part of my future happiness
- He/She gave me an opportunity to be the person that I know I want to be and ultimately I am which is someone who does not simply react, but who seeks to understand the full truth of a situation.
- He/She said what they said or did what they did because of ________. They had no intention to hurt me. I took what they did and turned it into hurt.
- Their action actually had nothing to do with me it had to do with ____________.
The above example was a very “general” example. We can use this process to reverse much more specific thoughts. Here is another example:
Thought: Ted Bundy was a terrible person.
Question: Can I be absolutely 100% sure that is true?
Reverse statement: Ted Bundy wasn’t a bad person Or Ted Bundy is a good person.
- Just because someone takes a bad action doesn’t mean the whole person bad. The action is bad. The person behind the action is like the universe… benevolent.
- No baby is born wanting to kill someone. Babies are all born, like the universe… benevolent. His suffering created the conditions of what he did so he is not a bad person as much as he is suffering. And we all know suffering creates more suffering.
- When Ted Bundy was thirteen years old, he discovered “dirty magazines” in a dump near his home. He was instantly captivated by them. In time, Bundy became more and more addicted to violent images in magazines and videos. His brain became addicted to seeing women being tortured and murdered. When his brain could no longer get a high off of the sensation of looking at images… His addiction created a biochemical urge to graduate the violent scenes from being fantasy to creating them in reality. He was the victim of his own addiction, an addiction which was not publicized at the time he was alive and an addiction which there was little help for.
- Ted Bundy specifically granted an interview with James C. Dobson the day before his execution. He explained that felt he owed it to society to warn of the dangers of hard-core pornography and to explain how it had led him to murder so many innocent women and girls. He explained that while he took full responsibility for his actions and did not blame pornography for his actions, his craze to kill was always inflamed by violent pornography and his inhibitions were removed by abusing alcohol. Because of this honesty in his final hours, the dangers of pornography addiction were brought into the limelight for the world to see. He is now therefore responsible in part for potentially saving many, many lives because society became aware of this addiction and started learning about it and now there is so much more help for people who suffer from pornography addiction today. So in a round about way, he ended up helping the world.
- Ted Bundy went on record as saying “I hope that those who I have caused so much grief, even if they don’t believe my expression of sorrow, will believe what I’m saying now; there are those loose in their towns and communities, like me, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in and day out, by violence in the media in its various forms - particularly sexualized violence. What scares me is when I see what’s on cable T.V. Some of the violence in the movies that come into homes today is stuff they wouldn’t show in X-rated adult theatres 30 years ago. That (in reference to slasher movies) is the most graphic violence on screen, especially when children are unattended or unaware that they could be a Ted Bundy; that they could have a predisposition to that kind of behavior. There are forces at loose in this country, especially this kind of violent pornography, where, on one hand, well-meaning people will condemn the behavior of a Ted Bundy while they’re walking past a magazine rack full of the very kinds of things that send young kids down the road to being Ted Bundys. That’s the irony”. Potentially enough of these circumstances where in society clearly sees the link between violence in virtual entertainment and violence in reality, will lead to a society which instead used virtual entertainment to fuel a peaceful reality. If this is the case, Ted Bundy and his victims were co creators of a future that is good.
- Ted Bundy felt very powerless and empty in general which meant that moving from that space into violent actions where he dominated his victims felt like relief to him. What that means is the entire reason for doing what he did came from one desire… to feel better. He wanted, like all of us to be happy. And while he was “wrong” about what would ultimately cause him to feel better, one can not say that the motivation at the deepest root of all of his crimes (to feel relief) was a bad motivation. It is the same motivation all of us have.
Pay very close attention to the way your emotion and pain changes when you shift your perspective to consider the reverse of your thoughts. When you do this, you will begin to notice that when you’re thinking changes, the pain you feel changes. The reason for this is that emotion is the biochemical reflection of the vibration of a thought. Emotion reflects thought! If you change a thought, the reflection of that thought changes.
We all have thoughts in our life that remain unquestioned. We all have thoughts which we simply accept as true. But an unquestioned thought… is the fertile ground for suffering. Most of us alive today, do not prioritize changing our perspective and beliefs regarding what we are thinking. Because of this most of us do not know the value of changing our perspective and beliefs. We do not know the relief it can bring. But if we do consciously set out to try a different perspective and change our beliefs, we quickly discover how life changing the process is. After this, clinging to our painful thoughts is not only negligent, it is self abusive. We do not need to identify with our thoughts. Our thoughts are not us. Our thoughts either create the kind of world we want to be living in or a kind of world which we want to escape. When our minds are closed, our hearts are closed. But the reverse is true, when our minds are open, our hearts are open. This revelation leads to a very interesting conclusion which has great implication in our spiritual practice… If we want to move through this world with an open heart which is an integral part of cultivating happiness, we much open our minds by questioning our thinking.
Some other examples of thoughts which you might want to address using this reversal process are:
- My children should do what I say
- He/She hates me
- Life is hard
- I should_________.
- I made a mistake
- The world needs to be saved
- I’m not good enough
- I don’t deserve________ .
- Something bad is going to happen if________.
- My parents didn’t love me
- Success takes hard work
- Money doesn’t grow on trees
- The world is a dangerous place
- He/She should_________.
- No one appreciates me
- ________ is bad.
- People are hopeless
- It’s my fault
- It’s ________ fault.
- I hate___________.
- I’m the victim
- I need to protect my child
- I need____________.
- I’m sad
- I’m angry
- I’m depressed
- I deserve to be punished
- I don’t deserve to be happy
- I can’t be happy if__________ isn’t happy.
The sky is the limit regarding this particular process. There is no such thing as a belief that can’t be undermined. (Yes… including the one I’ve just put forth). But the purpose of this process is to help you find alignment by removing the strong belief you have in the thoughts that cause you pain. The thoughts that cause you pain are the ones that do not resonate with your higher self. The thoughts that cause you pain, are the ones to let go of.