One of the most important things I have learned is to pay attention to the feeling tone of my thoughts and not allow their logical content to determine whether I should put energy into them or allow them to pass through me. The mind and the negative emotions (fear, shame, guilt, rage, etc) are often codependent. The mind provides the “logical” structure or justification for such emotions, while the emotions (often barely conscious) provide the fuel or juice. This can be a very potent combination because, unless we have learned to observe what our thoughts feel like, we can be easily seduced.
As someone who has had to deal with my share of obsessive thoughts, I have had to learn to pay attention to what a particular thought feels like, not simply its intellectual content, before I decide to put energy into it. I can’t say that I have mastered this, but I am getting pretty good at it. When fear has got me in its clammy grip, I have learned to stop and ask myself one simple question. What do these thoughts feel like? Regardless of how justified my mind would like me to believe they are, I have learned that if they feel fearful and paralyzing (unless it is a rare moment of real physical danger) ; it is always best to let them go.
The mind would like you to believe that something terrible will happen if you allow the fearful thoughts to pass through you. Ironically, the exact opposite is true. When you allow the illusion of fear to dissipate, you get back into the flow of your being, which allows you to experience things with a far greater clarity. You may (or may not) eventually address the issue that you were in such a tizzy about; but you will do it from a place of peace. The great irony is that from this new perspective, the solution to your problem is usually quite obvious; it was your fear which was actually preventing you from seeing this.
Sometimes I have to simply admit that fear has got me in its grip, and that the best thing that I can do is completely forget about the issue, until I get a clear impression from the river of life as to what I should (or should not) do about it. If I really let the issue go, and trust that the answer will find me, it always does. I have seen this work, over and over, down to the tiniest detail.
A simple principle I was once taught would have saved me a great deal of grief if I had had the courage to consistently apply it: ”Any fear, let go of in faith, shall manifest for the highest good”.
A simple principle, difficult to grasp; but the river is strong and I am learning.