Obsessing

 

When I eat certain foods (sugar, wheat, dairy) my mind sometimes goes a little haywire, meaning that old wounds, fears and beliefs surface. It’s happening right now. And I see the tendency of thoughts to obsess on the same topics.

This surfacing of wounds, fears and beliefs is of course a gift, and even the beliefs I sometimes have about what’s surfacing is a gift. It brings it all into the light.

And the obsessing is the same. It brings beliefs to the surface so they can be seen, inquiries into, and find liberation from being taken as true. (In a conventional sense, it’s an invitation to explore the topic and potentially learn from it.)

I also notice that obsessive thoughts happen in quite different contexts. Sometimes – more earlier in life – there was an active engagement and agreement with the thoughts. Now, they are more allowed to have their own life and it feels they emerge on their own accord, supported by their own energy (the emotional component of the beliefs still there).

Rumination

 

Rumination. It has a bad reputation in the psychology world, but where would we be without it?

Whenever is unresolved and important enough for us, attention goes there. Again and again.

It is an invitation to find a resolution, even if it is to a past event that only lives on in our minds.

We may find a resolution through talking about it with others. Especially if they don’t agree with us and offer a new and fresh viewpoint.

We may find a resolution through tiring of our old and habitual ways of approaching it, and finding another that works a little better. Such as taking responsibility for our own choices, actions, and how we relate to our inner and outer situation. Or exploring the beliefs behind it and finding what is more true and honest for us. Or even welcoming and allowing the stress that comes from it, with some compassion for ourselves.

I wouldn’t be surprised if rumination is not built into us by evolution.

If we stubbornly insist on approaching the topic of rumination the same way, then rumination is not so helpful for us.

But if we tire and change our approach, or are receptive to a new approach from the beginning, then rumination can be very helpful.

It is one of the ways we find resolution. Learn. Grow. Embrace more of our humanity.

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