421. Get Rid of the Poison

Diving right into my reviews of previous posts for my upcoming Guide about Inner Power … here is my ever-growing list of points for what it takes to create peace and happiness:

  1. Acceptance that the first and best course to feel happy and at peace is to try to consciously change our experience of events – not events themselves. (Post 415.)
  2. Setting future goals that don’t give you stress in the present.  (Post 416.)
  3. Controlling what goes into your mind. (Post 417.)
  4. Controlling the manner in which you think. Or speed. (More on that in post 418.)
  5. Making it a habit to cultivate positive thought patterns. (Post 419.)
  6. Only do major problem solving when you are rested and nourished, physically and mentally. (Post 420.)

More about why I am doing these posts now, and not diaries and reflections as usual … here. For now let us move to the next reflection worth repeating and, well, reflecting on …

From post 291. The Most Dangerous Thing:

These tendencies to spend too much time (isn’t all such time ‘too much’?) berating others or myself … they are dangerous. Perhaps more dangerous than just coming to a feeling that nothing can be changed in your life anymore, nothing that is truly important anyway.

Or perhaps they are related, for I have felt at times – and that brought me close to depression – that I had indeed reached a point in my so called middle age (or mid life) where nothing really fundamental could be changed and my joy rapidly diminished as a result thereof.

It is hard to feel joyful and enthusiastic when you feel stuck on so many levels. But what if a major reason I am stuck is that I – despite my experience – have allowed other insidious thoughts to reign for too long?

Those thoughts that berate? For truly, this morning as I ate breakfast at a nearby cafe, getting ready for work, I felt … lighter. More joyful, if only ever-so-slightly.

In fact, I felt a little … younger.  Just like when I was actually … that young.

So in a nutshell, and directly derived – I suppose – from my considerations about cultivating positive thought habits … this is it:

Don’t go berating yourself. Don’t go berating others.

Berating is another word for criticizing. I mention this because you may think you are not spending time criticizing, merely judging, or evaluating, or ‘being a little annoyed’. Words are important, and words used to hide true meanings.

But it is insidious, this particular negative thought habit. It takes tremendous time and energy. And accomplishes next to nothing. It is a relic, I think, from childhood when learning to hit yourself on your head before others did was important. Or something …

I honestly don’t know. I only know that it thrives – this poison of the mind … in almost all of us.

Get rid of it. The sooner the better.

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