“The primary cause of unhappiness never the situation but your thoughts about it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
We don’t have to think thoughts that make us suffer.
Thoughts are optional.
You may argue with this concept. I know I did! I didn’t believe it.
I did for the easy stuff like being cut off in traffic. When I was cut off, I used to think “What a jerk. No one should do that.” Once I became aware that those thoughts were optional, and it did not make ME feel good when thinking them, I saw it differently. I actually had more compassion. The new thought was “He seems to be in a hurry and is not paying attention. I think I have been there at times. Like when I was worried about a sick loved one, or super late for that big meeting at work.” I let him go and I let my suffering about the situation go. This felt better.
The BIG things proved to be more challenging. For example, when another family member gets cancer. My thoughts were “Cancer is attacking my family. We are being ambushed. This is not supposed to be happening. Cancer is evil.” Those thoughts felt like truths that could not be dethroned… and they caused me to suffer.
Then I had a revelation that changed my life. I coached myself. I realized I was causing more suffering by thinking that way. I realized those thoughts were not ‘truths’ , just optional thoughts.
I took Eckhart Tolle’s advice and separated from the situation, as he says, “is always neutral, it is as it is” when I did this, I realized that “cancer is just being cancer. It’s doing what cancer does – growing where conditions are optimal” For some reason, that includes many people dear to me. I did not want that to be happening but it was.
So now, the cancer is there, loved ones diagnosed, but my new way of looking at it brought me some peace, some relief.
Do I love cancer now? NO!! I will do all I can to make it go away, to make it small, not have anyone be effected by it. But I have a calm that helps me to be centered and present. And that is a gift ️