We may think it is our husband’s cancer, his pain and suffering that are causing our emotions… but we are wrong!
Overcome By Grief
Have you ever been overcome by an emotion? Maybe you’ve cried so hard you couldn’t stop. Or were so angry you couldn’t see straight. Emotions can often overpower us. Grief, anger, sadness are feelings that can come on so strong we may feel we have no control. We feel we are at the effect of our emotions.
Sobbing Uncontrollably On The Deck
When my husband was going through a new treatment scheduled, he was weak, tired and in pain much of the time. He could barely eat and was not sleeping well. It was too early to even know if this treatment was working so all we had was his suffering. At one point, I remember just going out to our deck where he couldn’t hear me and I just broke down and sobbed. And sobbed and sobbed. I felt the weight of all we had gone through over four years of dealing with his cancer came crashing down on my shoulders.
I Was Creating This
Strangely, what kept me anchored was that I knew it was my thoughts that were causing my grief. I didn’t know exactly what it was I was thinking and really didn’t care. I knew however that my thoughts were the source of my grief. I was creating this emotion and that awareness lessened the impact of my grief just slightly.
Our Thoughts Cause Our Emotions… Not Cancer
Emotions are not caused by all the things/events/circumstances “out there” in the world. Even things we perceive as terrible, like cancer and disease. Emotions don’t just happen to us. They are caused by our thoughts about those things. Even when you may not realize it, there is a thought you are having that source of your emotion.
When you start paying attention to those sentences in your head, you can bring some awareness to your suffering. That day on the deck, my driving thought was “I can’t do this anymore!” My thoughts that day were all about me and my suffering while dealing with the ups and downs of my husband’s cancer.
Once you notice your thoughts, its important that you don’t judge them. Observe yourself with compassion. I needed to sob that day. I also knew my grief was caused by my thinking which allowed me to detach just slightly from the impact of my emotion. Becoming the compassionate observer will change your experience of those strong emotions and lessen their impact.
Start noticing your thoughts when you are feeling strong emotions. Really pay attention. This can take some practice at first. Ask yourself, “what am I thinking that is causing me to feel this way?” Just noticing will bring awareness to how you are thinking about your situation.
Join me for a free mini session and I will show you how to gain awareness of your thoughts.