Journal

When Thoughts Become Beliefs

“Be aware – deep down you are really attached to your negative emotions. They are your ego.” – Osho

It’s a strange thing how thoughts can control your emotions and how simple it can be to believe everything you think. Being able to separate yourself from this process of believing everything you think is so key to maintaining happiness and balance.

Gandhi said that your beliefs become your thoughts but how can one believe something without having a thought our feeling beforehand?

I’d argue that thoughts lead to emotions that lead to beliefs. When coming across a new concept I analyze it, I feel something about what I’ve just processed and then I decide if I want to follow this as truth or not. This process allows me to go from something abstract to something tangible.

Once I’ve thought something I move to the next stage of emotion – where whatever I’ve conceptualized can be felt all over my physical body. This is the stage I have struggled with for a long time. For many years I would have a thought and when the emotion came, I allowed it to consume me. I believed that because I felt something physical, it must exist. It must be truth.

What I didn’t understand was after moving from thoughts to emotions we then have two options:

  1. Run with this emotion – allow it to consume and become a truth.
  2. Ask why this feeling has overcome. Analyze. Reject or accept the feeling &/or idea.

We can say this feeling has been validated because it has been felt physically (moved beyond an idea to a physical sensation of anger, sadness, worry, etc.) but we cannot forget that does not make it a truth. It does not make it real. It does not make it valid. It is allowed to pass through you. You are allowed to release it and move on.

It’s crucial to discern and use discretion when dealing with thoughts and emotions. What is a truth? How many times do we have to feel a certain way for it to be labeled a truth?  Are emotions caused by thoughts? Can we feel an emotion without experiencing a thought?

When you sit quiet and watch yourself, many things may come to the surface. Do nothing about them, do not react to them. As they have come, so will they go.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

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