Questions haunt us and they take a lot of energy....
WHAT did I do wrong?
WHAT could I have done differently?
Pondering on these questions can drive us crazy. These questions can form a loop in our minds and take up a lot of "free to air space"! Often there are no answers to these types of questions. Even if the person concerned could give you an answer, it could be emotionally loaded or distorted.
The good news is that with a bit of effort on your part, there is a way to make them lose their grip and stop their obsessing.
Step 1. Every time you go back to an old thought (which may include he WHY or WHAT questions), write it down in a notebook. When it repeats again, give it a tick and have this conversation with yourself:
"Yep, got that thanks. I can’t change this and at this stage there is no answer to it. Maybe one day in the future I will know the answer, maybe I will never know the answer to it. I do know that the question has already been asked, and if I am meant to know the answer it will come to me in its own good time. Thinking about this question is not helpful to me right now. In fact, I think it so much it is becoming boring”.
This kind of self-conversation can be quite helpful as it helps the mind change its focus.
Step 2 is CHANGE THE RECORD. By this I mean:
- Do an activity that absorbs the mind: garden, cook, make something, play an instrument, sing
- Do some positive thinking. I love the books on positive thinking
- Let gratitude give you a lift: giving thanks for what you have changes the way you feel and the chemistry in your brain. Giving thanks for even the smallest of things can make a big difference, especially if you are sincerely grateful. For example
"I give thanks for a comfy warm bed, a hot shower, food in the fridge, a roof over my head etc".
Step 3. Every time you get a repeat thought do Steps 1 and 2 again. Before long it will begin to change. The periods of obsessive thinking will get less, and the “I am feeling okay” time will get longer.
Many years ago a friendship ended suddenly. There were lots of “whys” floating around in my head, I kept thinking about the person, even though I didn’t see them any more. So I found a photo of that person, said all that I wanted to say to them and thanked them for the lesson. I told them I wanted to be free now. I then said “I let you go” and asked for them to be surrounded in love. I didn't have to love them myself, but I knew that there is some kind of benevolent love out there which could go to them. I then changed the record in my head by saying affirmations, getting involved in an absorbing activity or giving thanks for what I have.
Whenever this person came back into my mind I did the same process again. In fact, the first day I did it a lot of times – such was my habit of thinking about them. I was very strict with myself and stuck with the programme. The second day it was less, and by the third day it was considerably less. It was such a relief to stop thinking about that person. I felt free!
In time some answers did come to me - often unsolicited and out of the blue! I realised it wasn't all their fault and that I had a part to play in it too. By releasing my grip on the situation things began to open up and come clear.
If you have trouble letting go and would like some help, please contact me.