Thoughts Are Just Thoughts

Last Thursday I experienced something amazing. An epiphany if you will. I didn’t want to write about it because despite how positive I felt I wanted to make sure that this was serious. I do believe it is.

Another fight had happened last Wednesday night. I remained calm for the first part of it but as time went on and I saw (or felt) that the situation was going downhill I began to become extremely upset. I was sobbing, hitting myself and truly didn’t want to discuss the matter further.

The next morning I felt bad for getting so upset. I decided to call upon meditation to  help me out. I wanted to focus on what was happening in the moment; no one was fighting, no one was angry, there was just me remembering what I had done and causing myself pain. I opened my computer and found this meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

I had heard his name in my Mindfulness Meditation class and oddly enough we had listened to a meditation (by someone else) the night before who shared the same message as Kabat-Zinn in the above meditation: thoughts are just thoughts.

When I first heard that message on Wednesday I really struggled with understanding how thoughts could be “just” thoughts. How can thoughts not be what defines me? How can thoughts not mean anything? I can’t accept this! But, there was something about Kabat-Zinn, in this meditation, that hit me so hard I started to cry while meditating.

He told us to envision ourselves by a stream, a thought stream….

I was sitting myself my thought stream, watching all the words of my thoughts floating along the water. I could identify words and phrases but then they’d just carry on down the stream and out of sit. I watched for a little awhile and suddenly it hit me that the thoughts were gone and I was ok. I decided then that I had to climb into the thought stream. I waded in, the water full of my thoughts up to my waist. I stood in the center of the stream and despite how quickly the water moved I was not dragged with it. I stood solid and firm in the thought stream while all my thoughts rushed by not affecting . I began to cry and smile and raised my arms in the air. My thoughts weren’t hurting me. I was free.

I do not think I have ever felt so free in my life than in the moment I realized that my thoughts do not have to affect me. I had been waiting for that moment for 11 years and it had finally come. I understand that I could think something and it not be attached with emotion or action until I deemed it need be. I understand that I make my thoughts and I can undo them. I can chose. I have never chosen before.

Even recounting this event I feel so fantastic, so light in my body. I am so grateful to have experienced this and I know it is a turning point for me.

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