It seems my entire adult life has been a process of befriending my mind.
It began in an EA 12 step group in Winston-Salem North Carolina with the Just For Today’s. (It’s interesting that, in this brave new connected world, I could find them most easily on an EA website in Cheshire UK!) These snippets of positive thinking gently turn the mind toward:
Today. If I am not mulling over the past or getting anxious over the future, life gets better.
Letting go. When I don’t try to control circumstances or other people, life gets easier.
Happiness. Over and over, the promises bend toward taking responsibility for and choosing in favor of my own happiness. This was a revolutionary choice, for someone who, until then, valued productivity above all.
I found EA at a dark time in my life. I was just entering adulthood, carrying the baggage of a shame-based perfectionistic family, diagnosis of a progressive illness and a disappointing debut into the work world. The depression that had set in during my teenage years was not lifting (in fact, it was worsening).
I was believing the messages from my “monster mind.” Those messages that tell me that I am not enough and will never be enough. They are similar to the damning messages about body that I received from the culture around me and my family, but generalized to include my whole self. It was not until years later that I would learn that those messages are not the truth.
Practicing the JFTDs in a small, supportive group was the beginning of my rebirth. Every time I read those promises, I feel myself relax into life. Now that I think about it promising and practicing has become a way of life! They have become the journey.
How have your thoughts worked to inhibit or enhance your well-being?