Three Principles Living

Judith A. Sedgeman, EdD

A Simple Gift

A Simple Gift

“So I’m making up my whole life? It’s that simple? It’s up to me how it turns out?”

A young client asked me that recently after I explained to her how we create thought that we experience as our reality, in that moment.

Yes, it is that simple. Yet within that simplicity are so many surprising gifts:

Nothing and no one can make us sad, mad or happy. We can only do that for ourselves.

Nothing and no one can put limits on us. We can only do that to ourselves.

Nothing and no one can get in the way of our dreams. We can only create the illusion of obstacles.

Nothing and no one can spoil our present moments with memories from the past or worries about the future. We can only look back or look ahead and miss right now.

Nothing and no one can make us frightened and insecure. We can only become trapped in our own frightened and insecure thoughts.

Nothing and no one can change us. We can only change ourselves with one thought, at any moment.

Nothing and no one can take away our power to think for ourselves.We can only give it away, and then forget it was, is, and always will be ours.

How do we inadvertently and innocently hurt ourselves? The gift of thought allows us unlimited capacity to make up absolutely anything, from the horrific to the transcendent. The gift of consciousness brings every thought we pause upon to vivid life as our experience, the reality of that moment. If we don’t know that our own thought has created that reality and it will dissipate as soon as another thought comes to mind, that reality seems so “real” that we start wondering “What’s causing that?” Then we look at the circumstances and pick out something to blame.

It’s that simple.

As soon as we turn around and recognize that we caused it and we alone can change it, there is no thought that can hurt us. If we don’t like what we see, we can allow it to pass, as all thoughts will when we’re not holding on to them trying to deal with them. Other thoughts will come to mind. Other realities will appear. Life is like a kaleidoscope in our hands, always giving us a new present moment image.

I have several clients who believe they are rightly “suffering” the effects of soul-searing events from their pasts. Given what they’ve been told about cause and effect, they believe they are “damaged” beyond repair because of past events. They know they can’t change the past, or persuade themselves it was different from what it was. So they feel doomed to a lifetime of suffering and coping. They are at best disheartened, at worst, depressed.

I also have several clients who are so fearful and worried that they are frozen in indecision or inaction. Every time they take a tentative step forward, they are beset with imagined worst-case scenarios, or negative outcomes. So they hesitate, to try to figure it out. But the more they think about it, the worse it seems.

It is astonishing what happens when they see the simple gift of thought and realize they are re-creating the past and bringing it back to their reality every time they try to “deal” with it. The furrows of suffering dissolve from their faces; their eyes light up. They are free to be who they are, right now, in this present moment, and free to create what’s next, without fear of any random thought that might pop into their heads.

It is that simple. I think. It looks real. But I can think again. Reality shifts. And again, and again, and again. We are always holding the rudder of our own ship, always making it up. The gift of thought is the most powerful navigational tool in the universe of humanity, and it is the birthright of every human being. It guides us past the Scylla of our most disturbing memories and the Charybdis of our most distressing fears.

“Thought is the missing link between mental sickness and mental health. Thought is also the missing link between happiness and sadness.”
– Sydney Banks, The Missing Link

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