Cheers Sexy People!
I fucked up last nite. Well sort of. My brain fucked up. But it’s my brain, so… I like to go with the assumption that I can control my own thoughts in my head, and therefore my own feelings. Sometimes this doesn’t go as planned. Last nite, while on an awesome date with my beau, I started out happy, and then I started to get frustrated and eventually sad and depressed. Who wants that? Not me, especially on a date. What happened? Well part of it is I allowed myself to believe non-positive thoughts as we were talking. That’s my fault and no one else’s. I partially ruined my own evening (but I/we salvaged it, so it was great in the end).
Being polyamorous has its challenges as well as its rewards. A challenge that I have felt over the last few days is the pressure (albeit self-imposed) that I feel to really be there for my lovers (my husband and my boyfriend). I want them to know they can count on me. I want to be there for them when they are happy, and when they are sad. I want to love them well. I want to communicate well and get all of the stuff that we might need to talk about on the table. I want to run, and jump, and sing and be joyful with them. All of this takes time and some work. And I am only one person. So sometimes I feel like tearing myself in two so I can be two places at once, all things to all people. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with my own determination and desires. The reality is I CAN’T be everywhere at once. It’s impossible to be all things to all people that I care about. Life is sometimes about choices. I choose to be polyamorous (partly because I think that’s simply who I am inside). But I can also choose to be happy. Choose to stay positive. Choose to appreciate what I have (instead of focusing on what I don’t have, or what I can’t get done, etc – the “scarcity” mentality). Life can be full of joy and abundance if we just choose to look at it that way.
I feel like when I am struggling with something like this, I improve the most when I get really “zen” about things. One of the authors and teachings that has really helped me is Byron Katie. She has written many books including I Need Your Love: Is That True? where she teaches what she calls “The Work”. This “practice” which involves asking yourself four questions when you have a thought that causes you suffering, is for everyone who wants to end their own suffering and whose mind is open to questioning what they believe to be true. If you’d rather be free than right, I invite you to The Work of Byron Katie. Let’s take a look…
From Byron Katie’s teachings:
The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, “what is” is what we want.
If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow.” Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless. You can spend the rest of your life trying to teach a cat to bark.
And yet, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you think thoughts like this dozens of times a day. “People should be kinder.” “The line at the grocery store should move faster.” “My partners should agree with me.” “I should have more quality time with my partners.” “I should be thinner (or prettier or more successful).” These thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different than it is. If you think that this sounds depressing, you’re right. All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is.
People new to The Work often say to me, “But it would be disempowering to stop my argument with reality. If I simply accept reality, I’ll become passive. I may even lose the desire to act.” I answer them with a question: “Can you really know that that’s true?” Which is more empowering? — “I wish I hadn’t lost my job” or “I lost my job; what can I do now?”
The Work reveals that what you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened. It should have happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change it. This doesn’t mean that you condone it or approve of it. It just means that you can see things without resistance and without the confusion of your inner struggle. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in a car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don’t know how to stop.
I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don’t feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.
Use the following four questions to investigate a stressful belief – for example, “My partner doesn’t love me enough.”
- Is it true? (Close your eyes, be still, go deeply as you contemplate your answer. If your answer is no, continue to Question 3).
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react when you think that thought? (When you believe that thought?)
- Who would you be without the thought?
Lastly, turn the thought around. e.g.: “I don’t love me enough.” (Statements can be turned around to yourself, to the other, to the opposite, and to “my thinking,” whenever it applies. Find a minimum of three genuine examples in your life where each turnaround is as true as or truer than your original statement.) The turnarounds allow you to see the best course of action for you.
The key to experiencing The Work is to go beyond the quick answers of the intellect and tap into a deeper wisdom. Ask, then be still and wait for an inner voice to respond. With practice, this will become easier. You will learn to rely on yourself – not the world – to see what’s true for you.
This is powerful stuff, my friends. It really does take practice, but it is worth the effort. It can be a challenge to apply the teachings when you are in the moment, but it can get easier and easier. Be conscious of the principle that says our thoughts cause our feelings, and then your words and actions will reflect this understanding. Free yourself from your self-limiting and negative thoughts. They are not serving you well. I promise you that. Try it and tell me how it goes.
If you are interested in learning more about questioning and re-framing your thinking, I highly recommend Byron Katie’s books and her work at:
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too)