Have you ever tried to control your thoughts?
Perhaps you have tried to think only positive thoughts – love, kindness, compassion, optimism, joy, gratitude. And you have tried to banish negative thoughts – judgement, worry, fear, anger, guilt, jealousy.
Does this strategy work?
When you meditate, you may notice that thoughts just arise, all by themselves.
Where do those thoughts come from? Who is making those thoughts happen? Who is in control?
Have you noticed that you cannot stop or start certain thoughts by sheer force of will? The more you try to stop a thought, the bigger it gets. The more you try to hold only positive thoughts, the more frustrated you become.
You are not in control.
Have you noticed that you have no idea what your next thought will be? You cannot plan, predict or decide your next thought.
You are not in control.
You are not making your thoughts happen.
So, if you are not in control, then who is?
Who is the thinker?
Perhaps, there is no thinker, because thoughts arise spontaneously, effortlessly.
So, where are you among your thoughts? Where do thoughts happen?
Perhaps you have noticed that thoughts appear in a vast and silent space of awareness. An awareness which is always with you, whatever you do, and wherever you go.
That vast space holds the thought, and embodies the thought. There is no separate ‘I’ to think a thought. Thoughts arise and fall in that space of awareness. Where do you end and your thoughts begin? Can you find any separation? The thought that ‘I’ exist and ‘I’ have thoughts – that is just another thought.
What if you are not your thoughts? What if, instead, you are that vast space of awareness in which all thoughts arise?
What if you choose to allow all thoughts to arise, without labelling some as better or worse than others. They are all just thoughts, equally and unconditionally accepted, already allowed to arise, because they do arise.
Why resist a thought that has already been allowed to arise? Any thought can be accepted, when you understand that your thoughts don’t belong to you.
And, paradoxically, in accepting all your thoughts, in knowing that they are not you, there is a radical shift towards self-acceptance and self-love.
Because, thoughts are what dictate if someone is good or bad, worthy or unworthy, loved or unloved, success or failure.
But you are not your thoughts. You are the awareness in which all thoughts arise.
Can awareness ever be labelled as good or bad, worthy or unworthy, loved or unloved, success or failure?
No, awareness simply exists, unconditionally arising in a single timeless moment of now.
And you are that unconditional awareness.
So let your thoughts be, let go of control, let go of ‘I’, and your thoughts will let go of you.