All humans have an internal monologue, self talk, intrinsic chatter, whatever you prefer calling it. In 2005 The National Science Foundation concluded that a person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day (I wouldn't be surprised to find out that my racing brain laps those numbers with ease). Amongst those thoughts, they determined that 80% were negative and 95% were exactly the same as the previous day. Our bodies are literally filled with more negativity than water.
While this may seem rather bleak, this primal instinct is actually what keeps us alive. The gift and curse of the amygdala “a section of the brain that is responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events.” It’s like a safeguard preventing us from mindlessly walking off a cliff. It also instills fear to inhibit hurtful events of our past (don’t try picking up that cute porcupine again).
Here lies another complex yin and yang concept, what are hurtful events to the modern human? Getting bit by a dog? Recieving an F on an important exam? Having your heart broken by a lover? I would say all present different realms of hurt. Each lasting for different periods of time and invoking unique painful experiences. So how do we, humans, cope with this pain and negativity? (Don’t look at me…)
I’m not sure. I’m still learning and plan to continue. I have an idea of what has helped me. I have read countless books, wandered the internet, practiced a variety of different methods that seek to “lessen the load”. I have learned, failed, and prevailed immensely.
Instead of typing out my personal wins and sob stories, which I have scattered throughout my bedroom, Today, I will let some others throw in their two cents. Here are some of my favorite book excerpts:
[Lakota] guided me to find compassion for the “evil” people in my life. He taught me to consider their possible perspectives, reasons, and wounds that may have caused them to behave as they did, rather than assuming ill intent. Lakota helped me to realise that others’ behavior towards me has very little to do with me (Hampton 221).
The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life (Frankl 76).
I believed that happiness, fulfillment, and completion could be found in the arms of another. This myth of love that I’d been fed since I was a little girl turned out to be dead wrong (Hampton 194).
Humans are just inches away from paradise, but that last inch is as wide as an ocean. That inch is forgiveness (Myss 28).
Just by shifting my perception...the world became a kinder place with less suffering for me, and the past was forever changed because I could now view it with compassion (Hampton 221).