Today I'd like to share my thoughts about living with doubt. If you have mastered being able to do that - being able to live with doubt - you will have removed one of the greatest impediments from your daily well-being. What a blessed and hopeful way to live!
Isn't it true that when you doubt, you suffer? Think of doubting that you will be able to keep your job, or be able to bring your marriage back to a viable position, or that your health will improve, or that your child will get into that school you have your heart set on because of the academic advantages it offers.
All of these doubts - and as you see I've attempted to choose from a wide panoply - attack your well-being. But they're understandable doubts, and of course you can think of dozens - even hundreds - more.
So what can you do? Doubt leads to stress, to worry, to fear, pain and suffering. Doubt is most definitely not your friend. Further, doubt eats at your well-being, bringing in its wake depression, lethargy, anxiety, panic, not to mention all the physiological consequences of such negative emotions: high blood pressure, acidic body, headaches or other pains in the body, chest pain, stomach problems, or digestive issues, etc.
First, please understand that doubt is composed of thoughts. Thoughts create doubt that then may lead to other negative emotions. As you have read on many occasions in these newsletters and in my blog articles, it is entirely possible to take charge of your thoughts. Reiterating, taking care of your thoughts does not mean shoving them under the carpet, pretending the problem no longer exists, but being able to manage them by choosing where (and how long) to focus your attention. (For further information, please read Get a Grip on Your Thoughts & Get a Grip on Your Life! from my Nov. 2011 newsletter or How Your Thoughts Change Your Body from my March 2008 newsletter). For instance, if your thoughts are about your health and a worrisome diagnosis you have just received from the doctor, choosing where to focus your attention would imply that you would be very consciously aware of how long or how often you are entertaining the specific thoughts that create doubt. You would also be aware of the feeling state such thoughts and such potentially lengthy dwelling on precisely those thoughts and the circuitous thinking (going around and around the same issue over and over again, like a hamster caught on his treadmill) this would provoke. Hence, you would, assuming you are aware of yourself in the healthy ways we have discussed over and over again, be able to focus your attention elsewhere by utilizing simple mindfulness exercises that move you into the present moment as opposed to finding yourself in the past or the future (for further information on this, also see from my blog, for example, Your Choice of Reaction to Stress).
The moment you find yourself fully in the present, you are no longer suffering, and no longer entertaining doubts because in the present there is only the present, and thoughts of past and future (doubt, fear, worry, suffering are always involved in the past and/or future, never in the present) pass by your mind in a way that allows you to remain unaffected by their potential emotional weight. There is a caveat however: this 'moving consciously into the present' needs to be practiced. You can't expect this to work simply by doing it once, moving into the present moment, and then noticing that seconds later your thoughts have moved back to doubt, worry, or fear. As always, this can be compared to muscle building or body toning - it simply doesn't work if you only go to the gym once.
And there are such endlessly marvelous benefits: living a major part of your life in the present moment by consciously taking charge of your thoughts implies:
- greater well-being
- greater peace
- greater continuous state of conscious awareness - simply being present implies this (just as being awake means not sleeping)
- greater inner harmony and equanimity which leads to greater ease in choosing your reactions in any situation and circumstance you can imagine
- grater connection to your own self (among other reasons because you are not seeking to distract yourself or to find ways to feel better due to those nagging doubts)
- greater ease in finding in within yourself to be
- greater ease in seeing the connectedness of all beings
MOVING INTO YOUR OWN SKIN
We might say, therefore, that vanquishing doubt, learning how to take charge of your thoughts, remaining consciously aware, and living mindfully in the present, all allow you to move into your own skin. Although I will write another article about this in the future, I'd just like to say that this - moving into your own skin - is the closest that I have been able to come to understand the true meaning of Joseph Campbell's famous follow your own bliss, seen from the position that it implies inner contentment because you are involved in a life purpose and it implies being involved in a life purpose because you have inner contentment, which again, can be laid to rest at the door of vanquishing your doubts by being in charge of your thoughts and living consciously and mindfully.
Using these ideas as your own personal Leitmotif promises you greater riches than any you will find in your portfolio, and certainly greater satisfaction than any you may find in professional, academic, or social success. All these mundane and more material matters form part and parcel of our lives, and so they should, but if the underpinnings to the delight and joy those outer successes may bring us are not based on the principles this article espouses, then the satisfaction and contentment the outer success brings will never last. But the inner connection, living life in your own skin, following your bliss, and finding peace, harmony and joy there, offers you the possibility of enduring well-being.
Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.
Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)
If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.
My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram
Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015
Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.
Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.