Stop for a moment and consider this thought: “Everything from my skin in, is my ‘inside-world’; And everything from my skin out, is my ‘outside-side world’. The ‘outside-world’ is only a stimulus that I decide how I want to ’respond’.” If I’m walking past a bakery and I smell the sweet smell of coffee & donuts, I have to decide how to respond to that stimulus. Unfortunately, if you have browsed this web-sight, you know that 94% of our actions are controlled by our conditioned responses. If I usually step into the bakery, then I’ll do that again as my automatic, conditioned response. So the first step is to recognize that we do have conditioned responses, brought about by our thoughts while we are alone or by our thoughts regarding our interaction with the ‘out-side-world’.
As long as those conditioned responses are positive and allow me to feel good and act in a positive way, then that’s OK. However, if those automatic, conditioned thoughts are causing me to feel emotional pain and act in a negative, hurtful way, then that’s not OK, and that’s why we continue to hurt ourselves. But I can change those negative thought patterns by asking myself, “Am I feeling happy or sad, good or bad (positive or negative)?“, – because I can step back and objectively judge my thoughts.
If I can judge my thoughts, then I am not my thoughts. I am the ‘observer’ of my thoughts. Recognize this! “You are not your thoughts! You are the observer! The one who focuses your awareness on the thoughts.” When we observe that we are having negative thoughts, we must learn to detach, step back and make a decision as to ‘how do I want to respond to this?’ Recognize that if we choose to respond in a negative way, it will cause us emotional pain and suffering. However, if we step back as the observer and decide to respond in a positive, compassionate way, then we won’t cause our own emotional pain. So, no matter the situation, whether in the ‘out-side world’ or just in our thoughts, we always want to think the most positive, compassionate thoughts that we can – just to feel good and avoid causing our own emotional pain. Don’t get stuck in a ‘negative mindset’. Lighten-up! Hopefully, our response is no more negative than recognizing the pain we feel from the situation and then walking away. The situation is not what we want it to be, but it is what it is, part of the ‘outside-world’ that is out of our control. But we can control our ‘inside-world’ of our thoughts and decide how we will respond. Recognize that it may be a difficult ‘negative conditioned response-pattern’ to break if we have been repeating the negative response for a long time, but we know from (link) understandIng neuroplasticity, that we can choose to condition our ‘negative emotional responses’ to be (link) ‘positive emotional responses’ and, thereby, enable ourselves to feel good, as opposed to feeling bad. And we do not have to continue to hurt ourselves by thinking negative, hurtful thoughts. We do have the power to change our negative thought patterns because as the ‘observer’, we can take control of our thoughts, and we can choose to focus on a positive alternative thought instead