“There are no new thoughts” Byron Katie
None of us have got it all sorted out. None. Some just appear on the surface to have things more sorted than the rest of us.
When you scratch the surface though, no matter how successful in whatever way, a person might seem, we all live with our minds.
I listen to clients who have been wrangling with issues that very often have been my own issues at some point in time. Issues of guilt, of sadness. Difficult relationships that are hard to make sense of. Confusion, imposter syndrome, lack of real connection. Longing, for all sorts of things or people. Take your pick, because at some point, you’ve probably known at least some of these.
We don’t get a choice about some of the things that happen in life but we do get some choice about how we meet them. We also get a choice about how we meet our emotions and thoughts. The journey of taming the mind, or at least, changing the relationship with it, is an ongoing journey and an important one.
One of the first steps in this journey is coming to see that thoughts and feelings are universal. Byron Katie has a phrase she uses often which is “there are no new thoughts”. All the thoughts and feelings that you’ve had, have at some point been had by someone else. There is comfort in this realisation. If we can accept this, really accept this, then it becomes easier to make peace with our thoughts and feelings. They become like a dance, that everyone is part of. You can choose to dance or to find a chair, or lean against a wall and just watch as the dance does its best to whip up a storm.
When we do this, our thoughts and feelings begin to seem more innocent. Feelings of sadness, confusion and even fear, loosen their grip and we develop a sense of sitting beside these feelings rather than drowning in them.
None of us get to live with an empty mind that is permanently peaceful, or at least very few. But we can choose which dances we enjoy and can move to and which dances we would rather sit out.