The idea that our thoughts create, or at the very least influence, our reality is becoming ever more mainstream, but I’ve noticed an interesting disconnect happening for many of us. A disconnect between what I’ll call our real-time thoughts and our “special,” mindful thoughts. Let me explain.
Sara’s a big believer in the Law of Attraction and the power of thought. She spends time meditating and focusing on what she wants, and she has positive affirmations taped to her bathroom mirror.
Sara also has a really stressful job, and most nights after work she finds herself complaining with her friends over a glass of wine about work meetings, project overload, and irritating coworkers. Throughout the day, she finds herself resentful of the fact that she’s doing more work than the other people in her department, and she knows that if she tries to cut back on her work load, things will fall apart.
When we see this scenario described in two short paragraphs, it’s easy to spot the opposing forces at play, but often, when we’re in the midst of our lives, it can seem like the two are separate and unrelated.
All Thoughts Have Power
We often think that the thoughts we have when we’re consciously working to generate positive thinking are the true blueprint for our reality. They’re what I call the special, mindful thoughts, and they feel special simply because we’re paying attention when we create them.
But the fact is, all of our thoughts are shaping our reality. Our “real-time” thoughts that run throughout the entire day, whether we’re aware of them or not, are also woven into the blueprint of our reality. Our after-work complaint sessions that feel oh so hard to resist are shaping our reality just as much as those positive affirmations.
There is no separation between the thoughts we’re mindful of and the thoughts that mindlessly fill our minds. And I would argue that because the latter typically takes up the bulk of our thinking, they’re even more powerful.
Doing the Energetic Math
Think of this in energetic terms: If you spend a good portion of your day worrying about how you’re going to get everything done, resenting people for not doing more, mulling over fears about x, y, and z, focusing on things that trigger anxiety, feeling guilty because you’re not doing such and such–this is a massive amount of energy that is being generated and directed at unwanted things.
Is it any wonder then that these unwanted things take up so much of our lives? Our positive affirmations, done maybe a few times a day at best, are working against a tsunami of opposition.
So, while it’s tempting to think, “Well, maybe my thoughts don’t have that much of an effect on my reality, because those affirmations sure don’t seem to be working,” instead we discover that our thoughts are massively powerful–we’re just thinking way more about what we don‘t want than about what we do.
Waiting for the World to Change
Let’s look at this disconnect from another angle. We might think that if only we could change our external circumstances, then our thoughts would follow suit. If Circumstance A were no longer an issue, then we wouldn’t “have to” worry. If Annoying Person would just stop being so annoying already, then we wouldn’t “have to” think about how annoying they are all the time.
We wait for external situations to change before we are willing to change our minds.
And we will be waiting a very long time, indeed.
When we realize how truly powerful our thoughts and words are, we don’t take them so lightly. We see complaining for the powerful act of reality-shaping that it really is, and we aren’t as quick to indulge in a “harmless” complain-a-thon to blow off steam.
We see all of our thoughts and words as potent spells that create the world we live in.
We begin to see the connection between the ever-present, nagging thought that we’re not doing enough and the reality of our jam-packed work load. (If only I could get all of these things done, then I’ll feel like I’ve done enough–that I am enough.)
We see the connection between thoughts that our body is the enemy and hating all of the ways it doesn’t work and the reality of our health issues. (If only my body would work better, then I’d stop hating it.)
We see the connection between thoughts that we can’t rely on anyone else to get the job done and the reality of feeling unsupported and surrounded by people who aren’t pulling their weight. (If only people would step up and do their share, then I could stop doing everything myself.)
The Ego Always Wants Proof
The ego will challenge us when we work to change our thoughts in absence of “proof” that the change is justified. But our ego isn’t concerned with whether or not we’re happy; it just wants to feel safe and secure, and the best way it knows how to do this is to deliver up more of the same–even if more of the same is making us miserable.
Our ego will have us stick to our thoughts until the day we die, railing against all of the external circumstances that just never seem to change.
Our soul, on the other hand, is ready for something so much bigger.
While the ego is busy fortifying the walls of our prison, the soul is peering out the window, marveling at all of the wonders we’ve yet to experience.
The soul is ready to trust that life can be so much more fulfilling than anything the ego has to offer. That there are options in abundance, even when the ego feels defeated and choice-less.
The soul knows that no matter how impossible external circumstances might seem, there is always room to shift and change within ourselves, and that this is where our true power lies. Not in resentfully waiting for or trying to force others to change, but in changing ourselves. For when we do, we no longer see things in the same way. We can’t. We’ve changed.
When your ego is hellbent on focusing all of your energy on trying to change your external circumstances, press pause.
Allow your soul to speak. Your ego certainly has been allowed more than its fair share of air time. Your soul will invite you to change the way you think, to change the way you speak, even when the external circumstances remain the same.
Your soul is wise. Allow it to change your mind.
Permit your soul the honor of using your precious thought energy to create your reality. Trust me, your soul is much better suited for the job than your ego ever will be.
P.S. Check out this powerful method for nipping complaining in the bud.