“The ancestor of every action is a thought.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your thoughts are the words and sentences that run through your mind day in and day out.
You may not be aware of just how many thoughts are coursing through your mind each day, but research indicates we think over 60,000 thoughts per day.
Your thoughts are like crafty puppeteers, pulling the strings on your feelings and behavior, determining the quality of your life and marriage.
Some thought pulls are rough and hasty which make you dance awkwardly and lurch violently from side to side, generating negative feelings and less desirable behavior. Other thought pulls are more slow and subtle giving you grace and fluidity as you relate to your husband and experience your marriage.
Here’s the big AHA!
All those thoughts you think, both positive and negative, trigger your feelings which fuel your actions and create your results.
Negative self-talk about your relationship cause the puppeteer to yank your metaphorical strings, disturbing your equilibrium. Often causing you to behave in ways you later regret.
What you think really MATTERS to your level of satisfaction, happiness and acceptance of your husband and your marriage.
Look at the results in your marriage.
Do you like them? Are you proud of them?
All the results in your life are a reflection of the interplay of your thinking, feelings, and actions.
Since your actions determine ALL the results you see in your life, you can see how your thought process is very important to understand and be able to control.
How are your thoughts constructed?
Your thoughts are a compilation of all the beliefs, values, assessments and judgements you’ve ever learned.
From your parents and extended family.
Your brain has been, and always will be, bombarded with input from all these sources.
That’s a lot of information to process. Some of it conflicting or seemingly arbitrary. Some down right frustrating and aggravating.
Since your brain prefers to conserve energy and operate as efficiently as possible, it’s often easier to accept the input, without curiosity, resistance, challenge or closer examination.
But, do this at your peril.
Unexamined, default thinking can cause you entirely unnecessary pain and suffering.
The unexamined mind is dangerous territory.
A mine field even.
When you lack awareness of your thoughts, negativity bombs can be exploding all around you, and you can get hurt.
Perhaps you’re even aware now that your negative self-talk is hurting your own feelings.
But there’s nothing to stop you from gaining awareness of your thoughts..
And here’s the good news, you can find out what’s going on in that brain of yours anytime you want.
Take a “snapshot” of your thinking about any circumstance, topic or issue.
Write a Targeted Thought Download (TTD). Focus on some very specific aspect that you want to explore in more detail.
Think of it as a stream of consciousness outpouring of sentences that you write down, without judgement or editing to capture your current thinking.
This visualization can help prepare you to start writing:
- Imagine your brain as an attic room that you’re going to explore with a flashlight.
- It’s filled to the brim with all kinds of treasures, boxes, trunks and junk you’ve stored there over the years.
- Once you open the door, you shine your flashlight high and low, into every nook and cranny.
- Then, in no particular order, you begin to notice and catalogue whatever you see that captures your attention related to your circumstance, topic or issue.
- Now imagine that all the treasures and junk you’ve stored in the attic are your thoughts.
- Now you are ready to identify your thoughts and write them down.
How to write a Targeted Thought Download (TTDs):
- Grab a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen. (I keep all my TTDs in a notebook saved just for this purpose.)
- You might want to set a timer for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or more — whatever works for you, to jump start the process.
- If it’s helpful, you can use a visualization like I just described above to prime your brain before you begin to write.
- Ask yourself this simple question as you scan your attic/brain: What’s on my mind right now about my marriage?
- Write down your thoughts as your stream of consciousness carries you in its flow.
- There’s no right or wrong way to do this.
- Just let those sentences in your mind tumble out as you capture them on paper.
- You’re not looking for any rhyme or reason yet, just capture your current thinking.
Notice that when you think certain thoughts, they generate certain feelings. This awareness is key to helping you manage your emotional life.
Your thoughts create your feelings which drive your behavior.
Once you step back and look with more curiosity at the power of your thought process, you’ll be able to recognize that your thoughts create your feelings.
You can begin to see the relationship between your thoughts and your feelings. How your feelings drive your behavior. How your results in life reflect your thoughts.
Then, you can develop the ability to modify, change, shift, amplify, or delete your thoughts. Eventually, you can deliberately choose to generate the feelings you WANT to experience. You don’t have to become a victim to your default thinking or negative self-talk.
This is how you learn to manage your emotional life.
This is how you engage the Power of INTENTIONAL THINKING to drive the course of your marriage in the direction you want it to go.
What happened when you took a peek at your unintentional, default thinking?
Do you like the default thoughts you see influencing the quality of your marriage?
Did your Targeted Thought Download reveal thoughts you want to keep, challenge or change?
Ready to start creating intentional thoughts right now that support a more satisfying relationship?
I’ve got you. Let’s talk.