Roger Harty: Loving Kindness (Thoughts)

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rsz_roger_hartySOMETIMES in life we have to put ourselves out there, be forthright, and say what we truly believe.

What our elders meant when they said ‘Calling a spade a spade’. I am going to make my own radical statement by saying that I truly believe that the only thing that separates us from true happiness is our thoughts.

If you are standing by a fire and you suddenly decide to put your hand into the fire and you get burned then surely you will learn (by the hard school of knocks – i.e. direct experience) to stay away from the fire and all that it entails.

It is true for many things in life – we can only know calm when we experience turmoil, we can only know safety when we have experienced danger, we can only appreciate real joy (happiness) until we have experienced real suffering.

Just like the fire I have learned this at first hand as for many years. I suffered from severe depression. Thanks be to God that I learned from the experience and I now use the word suffered (note past tense for over 10 years  now!).

Once I became the master of my thought process I became the master of my life. I coined a phrase at the time which came to the notice of a friend of mine – it goes as follows;

“If my mind could make me sick, surely my mind could make me better”

My friend went to the trouble of printing that slogan out, getting it framed and sending it to me. Putting the substance of that slogan (staying away from my thinking mind) into practice has been the essence of my very recovery and I am sure it will also apply to many people who suffer from any type of psychological difficulty.

Side note : What I mean by the mind is ‘the thinking mind’ in other words the thinking process!

Another very good slogan to bring to the table right now is the following (author unknown by me)

“We cannot control what happens in our lives – But we can always control how we react to what happens in our lives.”

This is probably the most important sentence that I can make as it means that we truly can take control of our own destiny by our reactions and our reactions are always controlled by our thinking process.

Here we are again back to the basic facts which need to be repeated that our thought control is a direct link into bringing  peace, joy, freedom from suffering to our lives – Now how good is that.

When we learn to control this (i.e  practice meditation/mindfulness) we are in control of the peace and harmony we can bring to our own lives.

Not only will it bring peace and harmony but it will also result in better decision- making as our choices will be made with a background of freedom from fear. (Remember fear paralyses).

Using the breath as an anchor can play an extremely important role here – See previous article here.

You may often have heard the phrase – “We are our own worst enemy”.

In a nutshell what I am saying is that when we take control of our own thinking process

“We can become our own best Friend”.

Please note I refer to ‘thought control’ not ‘thoughts’ because the essence of our happiness can lay in restraining ourselves from our very own thinking mind i.e. connect with the breath!

Our thoughts (thinking process) can be the very thing that caused the suffering in the first places so surely staying away from them is the answer

See the connection with the ‘Fire’ image above !!

This is what Jesus meant when he said: “Love One and Other as I have loved You”.

We cannot truly love another until we become our own best friend first.

Next week I am going to write about resilience.

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