Dealing with "Bad" Thoughts
We are constantly, even incessantly, thinking. But, it is often helpful to remember that we are not our thoughts; rather, we experience them. While mindfulness can be a useful tool for remembering this, for many, this is a hard lesson to learn. Our thoughts can be our greatest ally, or they can be our worst enemy. Thoughts can be like spectators at a sporting event which can either boo us or cheer us on. Thoughts can be amusing and enjoyable. If you've ever smiled to yourself about something while sitting in a boring meeting or class, you know what I'm talking about. But, thoughts can also be scary. They can be repugnant. They can also be hateful. What comes as a surprise to many of my clients, however, is that everyone has these types of thoughts too, although hardly anyone talks about the experience. Having a "terrible" thought that you would not dare to say out loud is the norm among individuals that think (which is all of us). A trap forms, however, when we draw a negative conclusion about ourselves as an individual because of such thoughts. The truth is we all have them.
One of the most amazing aspects of thoughts is that they are completely private. For some, they can be a wonderful, perfectly secure play space. For others, they can be terrifying. But they do not define you. So, let's not get too caught up in what your thoughts might say about you, because everyone has "bad" thoughts. I'll say that again: everyone has them. To be absolutely clear, this is not to suggest that we should not take unpleasant thoughts seriously. But, having such thoughts do not make you a bad person. If you'd like to talk more about what your thoughts mean to you, and how to move past them, I'd be happy to have that conversation. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-222-6436. I provide a free 15-minute phone consultation.