I’m certainly not the first person to think of feelings as an internal guidance system. When I was first introduced to the idea, it thrilled me to consider that I could trust myself. I loved the thought that I had an internal mechanism to guide me and wanted to learn how to use it. I began to look for evidence that this internal guidance system existed, and I found it when questioning the thoughts that were causing my suffering.
Using the Byron Katie method of self-inquiry, I found that how I thought about the circumstances in my life had a direct effect on how I felt emotionally and energetically. If my thoughts about a circumstance were negative, fearful, critical or pessimistic, I immediately felt the emotional and energetic equivalents. I would feel edgy, fearful, sad, worried or angry. My energy would drop or quickly spike to respond to perceived threats, slights, hurts and disappointments. Those internal emotional and energetic changes would then affect my behavior.
My perception was often out of focus and distorted. I reacted to circumstances inappropriately and created unfortunate and unwanted outcomes. I wasn’t aware that my thoughts and beliefs were the source and cause for my misfortunes. But once I learned to question my thoughts, things changed quickly. If I could slow myself down long enough to look at my thinking before reacting to it, I could break the cycle I had been stuck in most of my life.
I found that questioning my thoughts and seeing the truth about them liberated me. Each time a belief was exposed as invalid, I experienced inner freedom. It was as if a space opened inside, giving me a sense of openness and peace. My emotional and energetic response to this was invigorating. The more I challenged my thinking, the more freedom and peace I found.
Although I don’t understand the biology behind this, I am now convinced that I can trust my internal guidance system. Now, when I feel my energetic and emotional state dropping, I move my focus away from what I perceive to be the external cause and look inside. What are my thoughts about what I am giving my attention to right now? Are those thoughts accurate?
When I do this, I can quickly reverse the disempowering impact of erroneous thinking. Soon the momentum shifts, and I feel energized.
A belief is a thought that seems true. A few hundred years ago, everyone believed the earth was flat and was at the center of the universe. Anyone who saw things differently was considered crazy or dangerous or both. But eventually the facts won out and we all know that we live on a round earth spinning around the sun.
Challenging your thoughts and beliefs might feel a little crazy and dangerous at first. But once you make self-inquiry a habit, you will realize how crazy and dangerous some of your unquestioned thinking is.
Once you know the truth, you can never again believe thoughts that argue with that truth. These untrue thoughts form the basis of beliefs that create the results you are trying to change. By questioning these thoughts, you will remove the resistance to seeing things as they are. And in the absence of resistance you will find the clarity and confidence you will need to trust your internal guidance system.
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