I almost lost the will to live last week...
It felt like I'd spent weeks on end, trying to sort my garden out so that the kids could enjoy it as much as possible during the heatwave we were having. All I needed to do was have an outside tap installed, get a garden hose and pressure washer, clean it all up and then fill with toys and a paddling pool. Simple right?
Except it was far from.
My kitchen got flooded after the plumber had an accident.
The garden hose my mum gave me was just a pile of crap for want of a better phrase.
And the pressure washer would just spit out a few measly drops of water and refused to work.
I'd already spent so much time running around the shops trying to get all the bits and pieces I'd need, so when I got home I just wanted to connect everything up and get to work.
But no, that would be too easy wouldn't it?
Every time I thought I'd get something done today, I'd be faced with another problem, something else that wouldn't work correctly - and with no husband at home to just 'fix it' for me, I started to get slightly annoyed...
OK, that's an understatement, I got really annoyed!!
And the only person I could vent to was my brother, as I knew he wouldn't hold the barrage of swear words that I sent to him over text message against me once I'd calmed down...
Suddenly everything was against me, why was I even having to do all of these 'man' jobs anyway? Why don't things just 'work' when you plug them in? Don't they realise I don't have time for all this crap? I still have to bath and feed the kids, I don't have the time to figure out why the pressure washer won't work correctly!
So yes, suffice to say that I was a little Outside-In (OK, a lot!)
In that moment, or moments, I'd lost the plot and started to believe that my feelings came from somewhere other than my own thinking. I believed that all of this malfunctioning garden equipment was the cause of my feelings - I believed I was annoyed because nothing was going to plan. And my brother was quick to tell me that I needed to take my own advice and practice what I preach when it came to my thinking and feeling - LOL!
And this is something important that I really wanted to highlight.
Because as we start to learn about the Inside-Out Paradigm of Psychology, as we start to see that we’re only ever feeling our own thinking and the positive effects this understanding is having on our relationships; we can all too easily start to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves to always be Inside-Out. If we fall into the Outside-In illusion, where we innocently but incorrectly believe that something other than our thinking in the moment is causing our feelings; then we can easily slip into beating ourselves up and feeling down about the fact that we've 'lost' it and have gone back to our old way of thinking.
But this isn't the case at all.
We will always fall prey to the Outside-In illusion, where we believe that people, situations or circumstances are the cause of our feelings, because it's so deceptive.
But the problem here isn't falling into the Outside-In illusion - this happens to everyone.
Knowing we've fallen into the Outside-In illusion is what helps us to quickly self-correct and start to see things again from the Inside-Out.
We know that falling into the Outside-In illusion means we're not seeing things clearly and for how they really are. We know deep down that our feelings are only ever coming from our thinking in the moment - we know this to be 100% true, so even when we do fall into the Outside-In illusion, it doesn't have the same hold over us anymore.
We understand the Inside-Out Paradigm - we understand the truth of how we really work psychologically.
And so when we do feel annoyed and frustrated and we innocently but incorrectly believe that it's because of a situation we're in, or because of a certain person's behaviour or words, this Outside-In thinking and feeling doesn't last very long.
Because we know that feelings can only ever come from our thinking, we end up naturally dismissing our Outside-In thinking that is telling us otherwise, until we're no longer experiencing it.
We basically 'snap out of it' very quickly and whatever we went through no longer has any kind of hold over us.
Can you see how this would have a hugely positive effect on your relationship with your partner?
The opposite of this happens however, when we don't have the knowledge of the Inside-Out Paradigm and we don't fully understand how we work psychologically.
It ends up being a lot harder to make sense of our thoughts and feelings. If we feel annoyed, frustrated or upset, this can drag on for days, weeks and even months, because we're not clear on where our feelings are actually coming from. We innocently but incorrectly believe that something needs to change in order for us to feel OK.
We’re giving people, situations and circumstances the power to dictate how we feel - but it just doesn’t work that way.
And if we're holding onto this Outside-In thinking and feeling in our marriage, it can have a detrimental effect on repairing our relationship with our partner - and with ourselves - moving forward.
We end up becoming stuck in our Outside-In thinking and find it almost impossible to see a way out of the challenges and situations we’re facing.
If you’d like to permanently free yourself of this emotional suffering, so that it becomes easier for you to return to your natural Inside-Out state, where you’re much better able to deal with the challenges in your marriage clearly and logically, then click right here and let’s get started insha’Allah.
I recently came across this meme on Instagram which I instantly shared with one of my siblings, as it was funny and rang so true, as do so many memes these days.
Memes are funny and entertaining, but we like them so much because there is always truth in them, truth that we often don't reveal unless it’s in an entertaining format such as a meme.
The comments section for this meme was filled with people saying that they thought they were the only ones that did this - my sibling included - and then it reminded me of something I used to fall prey to so much, before coming across the Inside-Out Paradigm of Psychology.
We can sometimes without even realising, spend so much of our time and mental energy, preparing for situations in the future. The meme highlights this perfectly and as evidenced by the comments section, thousands of people every day spend time acting out situations in their minds as if they were real and preparing themselves for the various outcomes a situation could take.
Sounds like a wise move no? What's wrong with being prepared?
When we find ourselves doing this regularly in our relationships however, what we're missing is the following:
So there really is no need to stand in the shower or lie there in bed acting out or worrying about all of these future scenarios and trying our best to prepare ourselves for them. It's totally unnecessary, because Allah has already blessed us with insight that will help guide us through everything as and when it happens. IF something does take place in the future, you can deal with it there and then.
As for right now, empty your mind of these concerns and focus instead of what is actually happening, right now, in this present moment, because that's the only moment that actually exists.
If you'd like help with learning how to dismiss more of these unhelpful thoughts and ways of thinking, in order to have a clearer mind and not waste so much of your mental energy unnecessarily, then you’re going to love my Inside-Out Paradigm 5-module Beginner’s Guide - an online video training programme that you get completely free when you register for a 1-1 Relationship Breakthrough coaching session with me.
Click here to learn more and to use your time and energy for something that’s actually beneficial, insha'Allah :-)
I used to love nothing more than being on holiday and lying on a beach, staring at the clouds and the blue sky and listening to the waves crashing against the shore. To me it was heaven; an escape from the day to day grind, with little on my mind other than what I would wear or eat that day. It was pure bliss.
I felt so calm and at peace with myself… and so relaxed. It’s no surprise that in that state of mind, my best ideas came about how to move forward with my life over the next few months. My summer holiday became what the New Year is to many – a chance to reflect on where you were in life and think about what you wanted to achieve in all areas of your life over the coming year. I always felt so refreshed and so clear.
However, as the days passed, a feeling of dread would seep into me as I saw that my return flight home was looming ever closer. Slowly but surely, I would fall out of that beautiful, chilled place in my mind and return to the busy-ness of life and everything that came with that – most notably a chaotic mind. Once that plane landed back at London Heathrow, it was as though I was being greeted by my ‘real’ life – which was far from peaceful and relaxed. A big sign seemed to be awaiting me in the arrivals hall saying ‘Welcome back to reality – the holiday is over! Deal with it.’ As much as I desperately tried to hold onto that positive outlook and renewed energy, within a couple of days I’d started to wonder if I’d ever experienced it at all. It felt like nothing more than a distant memory...
Being forgetful really cost me one week..
On the Wednesday, I'd done all my grocery shopping, packed it away in my car and returned my trolley to the trolley park. I drove home, took my shopping indoors and then wondered where the hell my handbag was? A quick search in the car found nothing and then it hit me. I'd left it in the bloody trolley!!
Thankfully my phone was in my jacket pocket, so as I quickly scrambled to get back into the car with my one year old, I frantically called the supermarket in the desperate hope that someone had handed in my bag. Although I knew it was a (very nice) copy of a Prada bag purchased in the lovely bazaars of Istanbul, I was filled with dread at the thought of a stranger believing it was real and thinking they'd won the handbag lottery that day.
The lady on the phone could hear the desperation in my voice and alhamdulillah, thank God, the trolley assistant had found it shortly after I'd driven away and handed it in.
I was saved. I couldn’t believe my luck and bought him a big box of chocolates to say thank you. Phew - I will never do that again I thought...
I shared the story with my mum friends that Friday at school pick-up, as we joked about how forgetful we can be sometimes. As I said goodbye to them, I failed to realise that I'd left my iPhone on the roof of the car, and proceeded to drive along the open countryside roads, back towards home.
And yes, I only realised what I'd done once I'd got back home. And no, I never found it again even though I drove back up and down those country lanes desperately searching for it. It had gone forever, most probably smashed to smithereens by another vehicle. Oh and did I mention, it wasn't insured either...
Why was I so stupid? How could I be so forgetful to do something like this twice in a matter of days? What was wrong with me?!
Was it just really just general forgetfulness? It's easy to blame it on this yes.
But more often than not, what’s really happening is that we're just not present enough. We're not focused on what we're doing right now, on really living whatever it is we're doing in this moment. Sure, we're physically going through the motions, but in our minds, we are far, far away, somewhere else completely. We're living in our own little wonderland, so whilst on the outside, we're going through the motions and appearing to be present in our surroundings, we're actually paying most of our attention to the constant stream of thoughts that are passing through our minds, to the point where we end up living in our thoughts and not actually being present in what’s really happening right now, in this moment, at all. We're too busy thinking ahead, or thinking about what's passed, or worrying about that niggling issue that just won’t go away. We are literally lost in thought.
So, it's no wonder at all that we forget our phones on the roofs of our cars, or that we put the kettle in the fridge instead of the milk, or that we leave our handbags in supermarket trollies. Because we're really not paying attention to what’s happening outside of our thinking - we're not paying attention to reality. We're too busy giving all of our attention to our thought-created reality, which often has very little to do with reality itself.
So how do we snap out of this before we lose something far more important than our belongings - our relationship with our partner and our own emotional health.
Understanding the role that all these thoughts really have on your experience of life and seeing the direct relationship between your thoughts and your feelings, frees you of the emotional suffering that we can all too regularly find ourselves falling prey to. When we're so caught up in living in our own thinking, we fail to see the true reality of situations and therefore fail to see our way out of them.
But once you do start to see your thoughts for what they really are, once you start to understand how you work psychologically, everything becomes clearer and instead of that nonstop stream of worried and anxious thinking that we suffer with, we instead experience more calmness, more understanding and way less stressing. And with that comes the natural consequence of never being distracted enough by your own thinking, that it takes you away from what's really happening, right now in this moment.
You're better able to work through the challenges in your relationship and to see the beauty in things, instead of giving all of your attention to your own thinking, which could be unhelpfully pointing you in a different direction.
To experience this for yourself, click here to book in a free relationship breakthrough session with me, where we'll get to the bottom of what exactly it is that's keeping you living in your own little wonderland and figure out the best way to free you from it, insha'Allah.
Road rage is so easy to slip into.
I was driving home the other day when a woman started crossing the road without looking in both directions, completely oblivious to the fact that I was just metres away from her. She was only focused on the cars coming from the other direction.
Needless to say, I put my brakes on and held my hands up at her in awe - that she could be so, I don’t know, stupid I guess, to cross the road without looking.
And she sensed the patronising attitude that was seeping out of me, and although she tried to explain that she wasn’t actually going to carry on crossing the road, my judgmental face must have said it all and as I drove off I could hear her swearing and shouting at me, supposedly for being so unreasonable.
I shook off the incident very quickly and couldn’t understand why she’d started swearing at me like that. And then I remembered something I’d heard about road rage - that momentary feeling of annoyance that arises because we all of a sudden forget about all the times that we’ve made similar mistakes and instead focus on the other person's flaws. We forget that when it was us in the wrong, we hoped that we’d be quickly forgiven by the other motorists. It was just a mistake after all. Please be nice to me, we think to ourselves.
The same rings true in our relationships. Our partner could slip up and make a mistake, and our initial reaction can be accusatory, patronising and we can even berate them for being so ‘stupid’. This can automatically put them on the defensive, because they’re now feeling attacked and this then leads to relationship rage on both sides, when perhaps all they really wanted and needed in that moment, was some compassion and recognition that we too have made similar mistakes and because of that, we’re not going to come down on them so hard.
I wonder how different the outcome would be that day, had I shown a little more patience and smiled at that woman who crossed the road, showing her some compassion for being nothing more than a little distracted. We’ve all been there. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have become angry or started swearing at me.
How different would the outcome be in our relationships, if we showed more understanding and compassion for our partner, based on the fact that we too make mistakes and will probably continue to make mistakes for the rest of our lives. And what we really want when that happens is forgiveness and understanding. So that we can breathe a sigh of relief and try to be better next time. We'll also end up having a lot more love and appreciation for our partner if they have shown us this forgiveness and compassion, instead of the opposite.
If you’d like help with dropping the relationship rage and replacing it with a little more understanding and forgiveness, then click here to claim one of five free relationship breakthrough sessions that I’m giving away this week. Because life is so much more enjoyable without the rage ;-)
I open my eyes, and instead of seeing the trees outside my bedroom window, I'm faced with the grey steel of the upper bunk bed.
My 3 year old son has crept into bed with me, after falling out of his own bed during the night. I guess I'm not the only one having a hard time getting used to sleeping in a bunk bed. We lie there together, myself, my son and my 5 month old baby bump. It's a tight squeeze.
I glance around the huge room we've been given in the women's refuge. I take in the ugly curtains, the bright pink tasteless bedding and the inadequate wardrobe space. I don't even want to unpack. There's not even anywhere to hang my towel and I'm definitely not leaving it in the shared bathroom I've been allocated. Speaking of which, I'm now sharing a bathroom with strangers for the first time since my university days, the only difference being that I now have a 3 year old sitting on the floor waiting for me to finish, playing with his cars whilst I urge him to be quiet so that we don't wake up and annoy the women sleeping in the rooms next door.
I so desperately do not want to be here.
I tell myself it wont be for long, but anything longer than two nights feels like an eternity to me right now. I want to crawl into bed and pretend none of this is happening and just wallow in self pity. But the beds are uncomfortable, far from cosy, and really not the ideal location for a good self pity session. So instead, we head downstairs to have breakfast.
The kitchen is shared with other women and their children, and whilst they're nice and polite and welcoming, I just want to be in my own home with my own privacy.
As much as it's comforting to know that other women are in the same situation and I can clearly see that they're receiving beneficial help and moving forward in life, I struggle with the different personalities, the smell of cigarette smoke and the arguments between them after they've had one too many beers after dark. I wonder to myself as I lie in the darkness trying to sleep at night, how did my life end up like this?
I escape at the weekends to my parent's home, in order to return to some kind of reality and family life. But I'm never completely at ease, as I spend most of my time listening to the negative thoughts in my head telling me that I'm a burden to my family, that I'm a failure and that everyone is now talking about me and judging me. I feel guilty for putting such a burden on my elderly and very sick parents. But I'm so desperate to not have to face the reality of the refuge that I continue to escape there every weekend.
But Monday always comes around quickly and I soon return to the refuge and back to the stark reminder of what my life has come to.
I pray and hope to be housed soon, so that I can finally start afresh with my children. This is the main reason I'm there, it's the one chance I have of being given my own security, my own home, away from my ex.
My baby bump is getting bigger and bigger and I pray at night that I won't go into labour in the refuge by myself. Who would drive me to the hospital if I was contracting too much to drive myself? Who would look after my son if I was in a bad way? Why was I even having to contemplate these kinds of scenarios - this shouldn't be happening to me! And so the self pity and depression would take over even more..
Thankfully, alhamdulillah, the promise of being housed came through and I moved to my parent's home as I awaited the birth of my second child and the keys to my new property. I'll be honest, I hated the property I was allocated. I felt that after all that struggle, I would have been allocated something more 'inspiring' for want of a better word. And the area the house was in left a lot to be desired. But beggars can't be choosers, so I took what I was offered and tried my best to make it a home for myself and my children.
The peace of being in a new home by myself, free of the troubles from my marriage, was short-lived. After a month of being in the property, the neighbours from hell moved in next door. For over a year I was subjected to music pumping through my walls, domestic arguments that sounded like people were throwing each other down the stairs, drug use and drug dealing - and the icing on the cake - their human faeces left in my garden whenever I dared complain to them...which wasn't very often seeing as I was a single mother with two young children and I was actually quite scared to stand up to such people.
Eventually though they were evicted and in their place came the nicest neighbours I could have asked for. And life in this new property has been pretty calm and content since then.
So why am I telling you all this?
Sometimes, when we ponder the decision of whether or not to leave our marriage and take that scary path into the unknown, there can almost be this subconscious expectation that once we've made that decision, everything should be easy, effortless and just work to our advantage. And if it's not, we can question whether we should then take that decision or not. It's as though, if something is going to be really hard then we should just not bother. If it's going to be easy, then we'll leave, but if its going to be a struggle and a tough journey, then I'll just give up and stay, even if what I truly and desperately want deep down inside, is to leave.
My journey was not easy, in the slightest. I faced emotional, physical and financial challenges all along the way. I expected things to just work out effortlessly and be easy, now that I'd made that huge life changing decision to leave my marriage. So why were things still difficult? Didn't I deserve a break?
What I can see now is that this is the nature of life. We will all face challenges every day, even more so when we're dealing with the important things in life such as relationships and marriage. Basing our decisions on whether something will be easy on us or not isn't necessarily the best way to look at things, because we're missing one extremely important point - that the journey is a means to an end.
I went into the women's refuge as a means to an end. I knew it would provide me with the security and space from my marriage that I needed and also help me to start afresh with my children in our new life together. And once I'd started that new life, I realised that every single step I'd taken was worth it and that I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The journey can seem overwhelming and hard when we're looking at it as just a journey. But sometimes we forget to remind ourselves of the destination we're travelling to - and this is what we need to keep in mind, because this is what makes all of those hard and painful steps we may need to take worth it. When I look back now I see all the parts of the puzzle fitting together, just as Allah planned.
Take whatever steps you need to take, trust in the journey and ultimately trust in Allah that it will all work out, even if you can't quite see it at the time.
If you'd like help in getting clearer on your own journey and working through some of the struggles and challenges that are holding you back from having a more peaceful and happier life, then click here to book in a free relationship breakthrough session with me.
Take that first step in making a positive and permanent change, insha'Allah. Just click right here to get started.
So many women innocently believe that sacrificing themselves for the sake of their children and their family, is real true love.
That their purpose as a mother is fulfilled if they do this...regardless of the fact that in doing this they are sacrificing their own chance of true love, happiness and inner peace.
I used to believe this.
My decision to stay in an abusive, unhappy marriage was based on this.
I never questioned it.
The right thing to do in my mind, was to stay and keep my family together.
And sacrificing my own hopes and dreams was just part and parcel of doing the right thing.
But what happens when we stop and really think...
Is this really the right thing to do?
Is is right to put an end to our own happiness and future dreams?
Is it right to raise our children to believe that this is all they should expect from life?
Is it right to stay in a loveless marriage?
The answer is clearly no.
Self-sacrifice in the long term will undo all the good intentions you have for your family.
Believing that you can have a happy family life, without sacrificing yourself in the process, is what will give you the courage to stand up and make the changes that will strengthen and fulfill your life and in turn those of your children.
Placing real value on your own self will inevitably enrich the lives of all those around you, with no hint of self-sacrifice around.
To stand up and make the change to value yourself and let go of this suffocating belief, then click this link to book your breaking free breakthrough session today. It doesn't cost anything other than your time, but it could work out to be one of the biggest steps you take towards improving your situation.
Book in your free session now. I can't wait to speak with you and help you realise that the dreams you have hidden deep in your heart, can actually become a reality.
I recently came across a beautiful reminder from Imam ash Shafi (rahimu Allah), that was perfectly in line with the logic and wisdom of the Inside-Out Paradigm of psychology.
In this beautiful saying, we are reminded of the following:
"Always hate what is wrong, but do not hate the one who errs. Hate sin with all your heart, but forgive and have mercy on the sinner. Criticise speech, but respect the speaker. Our job is to wipe out the disease, not the patient."
When any of us fall into the above, when we err, sin or criticise others; it's coming from a place of misunderstanding.
When we do any of these things we innocently, but mistakenly believe that we will feel a certain way, that perhaps we'll feel better about ourselves. We're desperately searching for our own well-being and our only mistake is incorrectly believing that doing any of these things will give us that.
If we err, it's usually because we believed that taking or not taking a certain action would make us feel a certain way. Our path then becomes less clear and we're unsure of the most sensible steps to take.
If we sin, we have momentarily fallen into the Outside-In illusion, where we innocently but incorrectly believe that something other than our thinking in the moment, can be the source of our feelings. We therefore chase these things, in the mistaken belief that they will provide us with some type of relief, happiness, or well-being, regardless of the fact that Allah's wisdom has already proven them to be no good for us.
If we believe others have the power to make us feel a certain way, then our speech will be defensive, personal and maybe even aggressive. We will be speaking from a place of ego, from the Outside-In, unable to see that no one or nothing, has the power to make us feel anything.
We fail to see that our feelings can only ever come from one place - our thinking in the moment.
All of the above are a result of this innocent misunderstanding of where we think our feelings really come from.
By believing they come from things outside of us (our circumstances, situation, other people); we will fall into this behaviour regularly. We don't do this on purpose, we're just caught up in the Outside-In illusion and are not seeing things clearly.
From this perspective, as Imam ash Shafi reminds us, it makes no sense to hate the one who errs, or sins, or has undesirable speech. The ones who do this are themselves suffering from being caught in the Outside-In illusion, so we should feel empathy towards them and focus instead on wiping out the disease.
And how do we wipe out this disease, how do we start to see through the Outside-In illusion?
It starts with understanding how we're really experiencing life and seeing clearly for ourselves that our experience and our feelings are only ever coming from the Inside-Out. Feelings are an inside job and will only ever come from the way we're thinking in the moment. It therefore no longer makes sense to search for feelings anywhere else.
Seeing this clearly is what helps wipe out the disease and leaves the patient feeling more at peace and more in tune with their true selves.
When you're operating from this place, our relationships with each other naturally and effortlessly improve.
We find we have more patience and empathy with each other. We don't take things so personally and because of this we get a lot less defensive when communicating and dealing with each other. We're not on edge as much and we're no longer listening to all of that limited thinking that runs through our minds, causing those all too regular low moods and emotional suffering.
If you'd like to understand more about the Inside-Out Paradigm of psychology, that will improve your relationship with yourself firstly and then all your other relationships as a natural consequence of this, then click here to snap up one of the last few breakthrough sessions I have going for the next couple of weeks.
Let's start wiping out that disease, insha'Allah.
Some of my clients really want to save their marriages.
They see the good in their partner, they want things to work out and to keep their family together, insha’Allah.
There’s just one small problem.
They can’t stop arguing.
We could have all the good intentions in the world for our marriage, but these could fall apart in a matter of seconds once an argument starts brewing. And before we know it, the argument has gone from zero to 100 and we’re sat there wondering why we’re even bothering to try and save this marriage.
But what makes an argument suddenly go from zero to 100? What makes it explode from a discussion into a full blown argument?
A lot of it has to do the commentary that we have running through our minds as we’re talking with our partner. We listen to their words and innocently believe that whatever they’re saying has the power to make us feel a certain way - most probably hurt, upset and angry. And because we believe that they’re the cause of these feelings during the argument, we then counter attack with our own tirade of not so nice words in order to hurt them back and in the process, make ourselves feel a little better for ‘getting them back’ so to speak.
But if what we could realise that none of our feelings come from what our partner says or does? It sounds quite out there, but what if this were true (and it actually is) and during an argument we were able to focus on what was actually being discussed, on what the real issue actually is, instead of focusing on how we’re being ‘made’ to feel.
If you could look at the issue at hand without your feelings being involved, how much easier would it be to resolve? I’m guessing a lot easier.
Understanding where your feelings are actually coming from moment to moment, and understanding that no one or no thing has the power to make you feel anything; is the key to keeping a discussion much closer to level zero than level 100.
You become much more aware of your own thoughts and feelings and how they could be proving unhelpful in these situations. Your awareness of this helps you to look at the issue more clearly, more logically and therefore reach a resolution more easily.
If you’d like help in working on your marriage and turning arguments down from 100 all the way back to zero, then click here as I’m offering 5 free breakthrough sessions over the next couple of weeks. These will go quickly so click here to book yours in before they’re all gone.
I came very close to plotting my ex-husband's murder this week.
It was the only solution that I could see, in that moment, to the continuous let-downs, disappointments and out-right idiocy that he seemed to expose me to, all too regularly for my liking.
When his so-called acts of stupidity (I had no other way of explaining them) reached new heights, I prayed he'd crash his new van (I know, that's really bad, I'm a really bad Muslim).
All I could see in that moment was my anger towards him and how I desperately needed some type of revenge that would equal the pain that he seemed to be inflicting upon me. And in that crazy moment, him crashing his van (and maybe dying, just saying), seemed like a rational solution.
It's funny what can seem rational to us when we're completely caught up in the Outside-In illusion. When we innocently believe that the reason we're feeling a certain way is because of something outside of us, outside of our thinking - in my case something that my ex did to me.
Sure, we can feel angry, disappointed, even vengeful. But we shouldn't overlook one very important fact. That all of those feelings are only coming from one place - our thinking, in that moment. Because in that one little distinction lies the difference between being angry and upset, and being slightly crazy and in my case a potentially dangerous murderer. (OK, disclaimer - I could never murder anyone, nor do I deep down wish for anyone to be harmed. But that wouldn't make for a very entertaining article would it?)
So back to this very important distinction and what that means for us when we're caught up in our anger, frustration and disappointment.
If we genuinely believe that someone is the reason we're feeling a certain way, then firstly we're giving that person a whole lot of power that in reality they just don't have. We're putting ourselves at the whim of that person's actions. They basically control whether or not we feel OK.
But if we can recognise that they don't have that power over us (and never have), then we can start to look at things a little differently.
When situations occur, we'll inevitably start thinking about them in a particular way. And our feelings will follow suit. Thought and feeling are one. So if I start thinking about the situation in an angry way, I'm going to start feeling angry. And this goes for every other emotional response out there.
Now you may think that I'm going to start telling you to 'positive think' your way out of the situation, to think about things calmly and in a more positive way, to help you feel better.
Nope. I'm not gonna do that.
Feel angry! Hurt, disappointed - whatever you want. Feel it.
But know that whatever you're feeling is the result of one thing and one thing only. Your thinking, in that moment. Not that person or that situation. You're having a particular stream of thoughts about the situation, and you're feeling that thinking. That's it.
Now here's another very important point.
Now that you know it's just your thinking, guess what? You don't need to give it any importance whatsoever. They're just passing thoughts and therefore passing feelings. They won't linger for any longer than you give them your attention. They will slowly dissipate until you return to your natural state of calm and presence - and with that comes a really nice, logical and insightful way of looking at and dealing with your situation (and life).
And that has to be better than life behind bars.
P.S. No ex-husbands were harmed during the making of this email and I’d like to keep it that way. If you’re having a hard time dealing with your current (or ex) husband and would love to find an easier way to sort through all your troubles, then click here to book in a totally free 90 minute Relationship Breakthrough Session with me.