Posted 13 February 2017 by Sal
Self-blame and self-judgment
I see that I'm not in control of any of it - negative feelings, guilt, shame, physical pain, ups, downs. I also have beat myself up over things for years. So this is a big relief that there's no blame or judgment. How do I stop judging myself? Just seeing that I don't have control over anything?
I wonder where all of these negative thoughts come from, that so many people have them. I know that for years I was concerned that I was not positive and saw that positive affirmations don't work AT ALL, so I gave them up. But I had no substitute or way to handle the negativity.
Now, with you, I see that the thoughts just flow through this vessel. I would like to get to the point of not caring what I think. Unfortunately, I take thoughts personally (how can I, if there's no person?) and seriously and I don't know how to stop. This is a very big lesson for me.
The only way to stop taking them seriously is to see that they are only unreal, ephemeral appearances and they appear in that spacious knowing-awareness, which is the only permanence. It's just a new habit to work with after so many years.
You don't stop judging yourself. You are not judging yourself. There are only thoughts, which are highly habitual, created from impressions in your mind from years of input, and the belief that those thoughts mean something about you and that you need to value them and attend to them.
Does it really matter where the thoughts come from? I know you were being rhetorical, but it is still a good observation. It doesn't matter. You could go the psychological route and trace the events that may have created them in your mind, negative experiences etc, but that is an endless and ultimately fruitless exercise.
And also see, are these thoughts true? Here and now, when you stop and recognize what is, know that you exist here and now only, in no time. The stories that play in your mind are not actual now, they are not existent, but YOU are! Then see if they have any actual truth or value. Other than causing suffering, do they serve any purpose?
As I always say, truth is true, so continue to value that. See the value of truth. Hoping to get to the point of not caring is looking towards a future when things will be better, presumably. What about now? Freedom is now. The only thing you can concern yourself with is now. Freedom is not in the future.
Having said that, and although it sounds paradoxical, this work takes time. After a lifetime of these habitual beliefs there is no reason to expect them to stop immediately. However, they can stop immediately now. For a moment, in a holiday, when you are recognizing that here and now, none of that is true. By being authentic to truth, you firstly, are free now, and secondly, are allowing these unresolved beliefs to resolve, of their own accord, without you having to do anything about them.
Yes, this is a new habit, that will, with authenticity and valuing, become your default habit, just as the opposite has become the default habit because of knowing no other alternative.