How do I stop an afterthought?

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    Henry Alec McLeod

    I have a confession to make. I have a negative desire and not have one at the same time. I had a person I wanted to be my friend and I have done so much for her. I gave her gifts, compliments and so much more. They don't even notice me.


    When I try to think of a sentence like “Love other people” or “Do Not Harm People.” the words “Except Katie” come up afterwards. I am starting with the right idea, but the afterthought is killing me. I don't want it there, I am trying to think nothing after I think the right sentence. But it pops up and I have a negative desire I am trying to get rid of. How do I get rid of an afterthought?



    by not resisting it!!! hehe

    I don't know if you meditate, but if you do, you probably have already noticed that thoughts are just waves… they automatically arise.

    The only reason why THIS thought, “Except Katie” is sticky – that is, bothers you, is because of the underlying emotional need for her or desire for her, which went unfulfilled, thereby causing anger.  Anger is even stickier than desire. In other words, there is a karma associated with the toxicity of anger being in the mind: stickiness.  Anger is glue for bad thoughts to stick to. You may notice meaner thoughts arising in general, and not just ‘except Katie,' but let not this writing cause these things to happen!  Simply expressing what all I learned about anger in the six months that I wrestled with it, and even though I knew it was a one dimensional nothingness, still… it was there.. it was sticky… the angry thoughts seemed to come up and I was seemingly bereft.


    Pema Chodron's advice was great:  she advocates being with the thought … then the underlying emotion.  In meditation. If you go to youtube and you listen to her speak about the technique of meditation that her teacher taught her … and you were to apply it … you would become quite a master over anger.  And this thought would arise against a blue sky and without the glue of anger, would pass as innocently as the nice thoughts about the daisies outside.

    It's far too long for me to go into and I still listen to the videos because the steps are not all memorized yet, but I am learning how to apply this form of meditation to all emotional clinging… because so far, this has been the best – bar none- way of self-learning that I have encountered.

    Let this thought that you have rejected lead you to learn more about anger. What its role is. Why it is there. How legitimate it is on arising … and once you see it that way, once you understand you were justified in having it, you can bless the anger, you can say, “Henry, I realize I invested a lot of time in someone who seemed to not have appreciate me.” Incorporate what you learned about why the anger was there, and maybe it's something like, “I was treated like a doormat” or “I was not appreciated. I am not responsible for what others do with my goodwill and affection, but … am I going to shrink back from expressing love just because of this one experience? No! Maybe I won't be as forward… maybe I will be more reserved in how I express myself, but I will not stop being an expressive, nice person just because this other one over there was not sensitive, or didn't appreciate me.” However the script goes for you.  And then, you can end this self-reflection with, “May I be at peace with the fact that not everyone is going to ‘get me,' and that's OK! I don't need them to! I am happy with being who I am, and that is all that matters! I am allowed to feel angry and then when I have allowed that anger, it can pass. As does everything that arises in this world. Go ahead, Henry, express your anger!”  And you can talk to yourself as if you're talking to someone else – because if you were talking to someone else, you'd be like “Hell yeah! You are allowed to be angry!”  I hated being angry – my therapist would tell me to punch pillows – but I couldn't do it.  It took me twenty years to realize I was angry at things from 20 years ago – and I can't be sure I worked it all out – but I can be sure that if I am angry in the future, I will allow the anger to arise and be with it, and have compassion for the self that was hurt and suffered, that's for sure! Because even though that self and the anger can be seen as illusory, there is no reason to ever leave compassion and kindness for any reason – even if the very thing we are tackling is anger.  Anger is the greatest call for compassion possible: it is the result of some perceived failure in the mind of the person having it – that mind somehow punishing the human being associated with it for having loved in the first place. No. It's ok to love. And it's OK to have anger. Both are human emotions.

    Do not fight the thought. Embrace it and say, “Henry, I love you, too. So glad to share this moment with you. So glad that I can shower you with love and compassion. It's OK. Be angry. I will never judge you or leave you, even if I have done so before. Forgive me.”  And you will be amazed at the result.

    Let me know if this helps!!!  PS forgive me for rambling — I have at times difficulty concentrating and organizing thoughts.




    Hi Henry Alec McCloud,

    Wow, Christine's reply was great!!

    Sylvia Browne once said that the love you give out is never wasted. Even if you are unseen, unappreciated, and the love unwanted, the love itself is an energy in the universe. And will, even eventually, come back to you.

    This is also reminiscent of the Pearls before Swine parable. Are the pearls less valuable because the swine doesn't know what they are, or even care? No! A canny person will jump into the pen and search about the muck until s/he finds them!

    A technique you can do is to override the thoughts. Turn them into a mantra or song, by singing “ESPECIALLY Henry!” or something awesome. Do this 100 times. Train your brain that if it's going to put you down, it's going to have to pay for it by 100 reinforcements that negate and CANCEL the negative thought.

    Think “CANCEL” and push your forehead, mentally ejecting the tape from your brain.



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