What we think in our minds influences our relationships for good or ill perhaps even more than what we say or do, because it is our thoughts which most often give rise to what we say or do. I have often discovered that when I think critical thoughts about others, they usually begin to think critical thoughts about me. When I think appreciative thoughts about others, they usually think similar thoughts about me.
I decided that on one day, I would think only loving, appreciative, affectionate, kind, compassionate and affirming thoughts about my wife. If negative thoughts of any kind entered my mind, I would simply dismiss them, reminding myself, that just for that day, I would think only positive thoughts about her. The next day, I would focus only on critical, resentful, angry, or deprived thoughts. I would rehash any grievance I could remember throughout the day and banish any positive or loving thought. I decided that I would continue this pattern for two weeks and see what effect it might have on our relationship when we got together in the evening. Also, we would have no contact with each other throughout the day, so that such contact would not be a contributing variable.
After the emotional roller coaster ride of these two weeks were past, I told her of the experiment. Obviously, it was a great relief to her to learn that what she had been experiencing was only an experiment. On the days I was thinking loving and kind thoughts about her, she was thinking similar thoughts about me. On the days I was thinking critical and resentful thoughts about her, she was thinking similar thoughts about me.
Physicists, such as David Bohm and Erwin Shroedinger, tell us that there is just one Mind in the universe, in essence, just one Unified Field of consciousness. Others conclude that any particle can communicate instantly with any other particle anywhere in the universe. From a spiritual perspective, we are then all part of one larger Mind or Divine intelligence. At a powerful, but invisible level, we are all interconnected.
If this is true, why do we so seldom own such an identity? Why do we fail to see that we constantly create, for good or ill, with our thoughts, but instead so often feel victimized and at the effect of others? Why do we, as our knee jerk response, project our power for our pain or joy onto others instead of owning this power within ourselves?
To the ego mind, such a state of power is a great threat. I define the ego quite differently from Freud, but instead, much more like what we find in Eastern traditions. The ego could be seen as a false "self," the symbol of separation. Its that part of our minds which makes us believe we are separate from each other and from the universe. Whenever we begin to own our Self, our essential Divine Nature, the ego responds much like the metaphorical image in Greek mythology, Hydra. As one snake head was cut, two more would spring up in its place. Whenever we begin to own our omnipotent creative power or our core nature as Love, the ego seems to grow a second head in opposition. When we begin practices which would help us become aware of our True Self Nature, such as meditation or thought monitoring, the ego will oppose this by getting us to feel too tired, too busy or too forgetful to carry out the practice, for such practices threaten the ego's very existence.
Consider the studies which have shown that we use between one and ten per cent of our brain power. What if we increased our awareness of a small fraction more of our capacity? Since that could be a 100-300 per cent increase, imagine how difficult that would be for us to adjust. Such an incremental increase in our awareness of our god-power would be absolutely terrifying to the ego mind, which is identified with a compensatory position of arrogance. While the ego voice seems so incredibly powerful and ever present, it actually has no intrinsic power whatsoever. The only power it has is that which we give to it by listening to its voice and believing what it says. The instant we cease listening to it or believing it, we have taken away its entire power supply.
What do we really have to lose by owning our True Spiritual Nature? Only our suffering, littleness and victimization. Contrary to the ego voice's message, acknowledging our Divine Nature not only brings inner peace, joy, love, happiness and genuine self-empowerment, it leads to better physical health as well.
Dr. Henry Grayson is author of Mindful Loving: Ten Practices to Deepen All Your Connections, published by Gotham Books, and the best selling Sounds True audio series, The New Physics of Love: The Power of Mind and Spirit in Relationships. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies and Director of its Center for Spirituality and Psychotherapy. He practices in New York City and Westport, CT. Learn more at Mindfulloving.com.