Being with instead of being against
Along Our Journey
It’s easy to get caught up in the chatter in our mind. The agenda, judgment, and pressure we can put on ourselves and others when we’re attached to thought extracts us out of the present moment. The minds job is to think and there is no shortage of data. Ignoring or discarding thought is a short lived practice of relief. It’s like the whac-a-mole game, all your energy is spent in defense in never ending combat.
Being with and observing your thoughts offers compassion. Noticing a judgmental part come in allows you to witness it rather than jump on board and begin to create a wall between you and others. Being with judgmental thoughts meets this part of you from a different approach. Offer yourself acknowledgment, allowing that part of you to be witnessed and maybe even calmed by the attention. Alternatively, you might judge yourself for having the judgmental thoughts which only leads to more discomfort. We think all day long and rarely talk back to our thoughts in a curious or compassionate manner. Many times it’s a full-fledged war in there.
When you practice being with yourself it supports the most authentic part of you to navigate the process. Calming and soothing those parts that manifest as critical, wounded and dominating. Those parts are quite familiar after all, many of them have been with you for years.
Some of them even a lifetime. Meet them with familiarity and compassion for the long time patterns they hold. When the part comes that thinks this practice is dumb or futile, be with that part too. Acknowledge it’s pessimism and let it know you’re just experimenting to see what happens. Being curious is a sure fire way to find yourself smack dab in the middle of something new and wonderful.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.