Do you ever listen in to the conversations you have with yourself?
If this strikes you as an odd question, let me ask another one. Has there ever been a time when there’s not chitta vritti - what we call chatter - going on in your head? A time when there's no self-talk about things that have happened to you and your responses to them; about what you should have said or done in a given situation; about good and bad choices and mistakes you’ve made, stupid things you’ve done; about your hopes and dreams, successes and failures, about your feelings of pain, pleasure, sorrow, regret, happiness, elation, self-worth, self-doubt?
How often have your internal ramblings been on the negative side, and how often uplifting? How often have you turned on random noise from some audio or visual source to try to drown out your internal conversations? We all do at times. We all have difficulty facing ourselves at times, and may want to escape from who we are, especially if we are in the habit of giving ourselves negative feedback. But if we listen carefully enough to what's being said, we understand that we can change the conversation, change the messages we feed ourselves – that despite all the troubles, fears, pain and anxiety, we can always find the good, the true, the beautiful, and reason to hope.
Change your tune; change the mantra:
Where there’s a will there’s always a way… I have good intentions and a strong will…I am stronger than any affliction… I am fortunate… I am alive…I am grateful… I enjoy life…I am worthy of a good life…I have all I need to live a good life…I am kind… I love and am loved…I forgive myself and others…I pay attention and make sound decisions…I am responsible and dependable…I do all the good I can… In my own way, I use the talents I have been given to help make the world a better place…I am unique and irreplaceable…I am in control of what I think and what I feel.
The Dalai Lama had said, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
So, change your words, both external and internal and you change your life. Choose your mantras carefully.