Everyone does it.  Daydreaming.  Letting our minds wander.  Sometimes thinking of something pleasant as a way to fall asleep.

What’s wrong with it?

Nothing.  Thoughts do come and go all the time in a 24 hour period.

Except when certain thoughts overpower us.  Take us away.  Cloud our ability to see the world in front of us.

Like the time, when I was living in Houston Texas in 1998 about 5 years after my divorce (if you are counting it would be divorce number 3) and I was consumed with mean and nasty thoughts. Full of hate and lots of conversation of what I would say, given the chance to see my ex again.

These were full blown scenarios, with conversations going both ways.  Of course, that is in reality IMPOSSIBLE as it was just me, just my mind.  How could I really know what he might say?

But boy,  could I get worked up.

And so one day, while driving to my favorite grocery store, rather than take a left hand turn and go beyond the medium, I made a hard left into 4 lanes of fast moving on-coming traffic.

Some angel must have been watching.  No one crashed into me.  Traffic stopped, allowing me to back up and try the left hand turn again.  This time going beyond the medium.

THAT was a defining moment for me.  I knew then that thoughts were extremely powerful and could ruin or end my life.

I set about, that day, with a plan.  Rather than say, I would NEVER think about him again, I would change what I was thinking WHEN I realized I was lost in thought.

I would consciously put my attention on something else.  It took me 3 months before a day would go by that I wasn’t lost in thought and obsessing about my ex.  My thoughts were no longer dangerously running my life.

Shortly after the traffic experience, I discovered one of my favorite books:

The Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha

Choices

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.

Speak or act with an impure mind and trouble will follow you

As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

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