The Danger of Using The Principles to Avoid Your Feelings

I had a client recently, whom I shall call Sarah, who was stuck in her life, and had been for years.  A successful artist, Sarah’s marriage had also been stalled out for many years.  When she found me, Sarah had been studying the Three Principles online for several years, and while it had helped her in many ways, she was also using the Principles to avoid her uncomfortable feelings about her marriage.  “I can use Thought anyway I want,” Sarah would tell me, “and I’m not upset about my marriage unless I think about it in ways that upset me.”  Not only did the marriage continue to remain stalled out, but so did the rest of her life.  She was isolating herself from friends and social activities, and hadn’t been in her art studio in years.

I finally told Sarah that what I sensed from her when she talked about her marriage was fear.  She was startled but very interested.  “Fear!” she said.  “That’s something I’ve never been able to have.”  Given her background and growing up experiences, I understood why Sarah felt that way about fear.  Simply becoming aware that she was afraid in that moment was the beginning of significant change.  She knew that the fear was coming from her thinking in the moment about her marriage.  Knowing that gave her confidence and a sense of calm about her fear.  Her head cleared, and she began to get good ideas about the challenges she faced.  She had some good, hard, honest conversations with her husband that allowed them to adjust their marriage so that it worked for both of them.  Then she began re-connecting with friends and getting involved with community events.  She even got back in her studio and started painting again.  The last time we talked, Sarah said:  “I’m tasting joy in everyday moments.  I’ve never had that experience before.  I’m making a point of noticing that.”
It doesn’t get better than that!

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