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If I can’t change my thought and I’m “stuck” with a feeling, how do the principles help?

QUESTION: If I have a feeling (like I’m tired or irritated), how does it help me to know that’s coming from my own thinking? I’m still stuck with that feeling, so how does understanding these principles help me?

ANSWER: To whatever degree someone understands that their reality is crafted by their moment-to-moment thinking, that person will have a different relationship to their experience. For example, when we’re under the weather or we’re upset by something, we can focus on how bad we feel and we’ll feel worse, or we can put it out of our minds and focus on finding a parking space, and the bad feeling will fall into the background or completely disappear from our experience. Sometimes simply realizing we’re stuck in thought makes us able to completely change our thinking, like when we decide to be open-minded about someone after forming a bad first impression.

Yet quite often, realizing we’re stuck in our own thinking doesn’t give us any way out and we’re stuck with feeling tired or upset or closed-minded about someone. Speaking for myself personally, that’s more the rule than the exception. But what we’ve found for our colleagues and our clients alike is that the more a person honestly sees that life as they know it comes from their own thought, the less concern they have for the feeling they’re in because it’s temporary, distorted, and subject to change. That understanding takes a lot of the threat out of life no matter how bad life looks or seems because if you step back far enough, it all comes from our imagination.