Hello all. Yesterday when helping a friend work through his issues, I had a breakthrough in this healing process we are all going through.
One of the principles of therapy is to uncouple your feelings from your actions. Essentially:
1. Your feelings / emotions are real, can come up at any time or with triggers, and you cannot control them. Bodily pain too.
2. What you can control is your actions in regards to these feelings. Often it is the actions that result in negative behaviors which are holding us back from living a beautiful life.
2a. And here is my breakthrough. I always thought of the "actions" as physical actions, whether it is tension or seeking mind numbing addiction.
2b. BUT actions can also be our thoughts. Those negative thoughts that arise from our feelings and can be all encompassing. This is what we have control over.
I'm sorry if I butchered CBT. But in summary, when those painful feelings come up ... acknowledge it / label it / accept that it is real ... but then identify the negative thoughts that arise from them ... logically deal with it or know that you can let the thoughts go ... one way is to then focus on positive actions or thoughts that you can do presently to move forward. I'm going to try to re-read Ekhart Toll's The Power of Now to see if I can understand it better. By no ways do I think this process will be magically easy ... it will require practice, but I do believe that it is the way forward. I'm not sure how many of you are stuck in this process too ... and ,maybe my nuanced breakthrough may help you too. Good luck and take care everyone.