“I see a long future with my boyfriend. I want to marry this man, but then I get these unwanted thoughts saying you don’t love him blah blah, then boom — instant anxiety and I feel sick and nauseous.
I don’t understand what’s happening. It’s breaking my heart because I don’t ever want to leave him or him leave me because it would be awful! I just want to be happy.
It comes out of nowhere like I’ll be having a great time and then bam, these little thoughts pop up and it’s killing me inside. I’m crying writing this and want these terrible thoughts to go away. I HATE THEM!
He’s the best man I’ve ever had and don’t want to lose him. I’m so scared of these thoughts. Now they’re constant. I have no idea why they started but the thought of losing him and not having him with me or by my side through life shatters me. I want them to go away so badly.”
You cannot tell your mind not to think about something. If I tell you not to think of a pink elephant, it’s the first thing that pops into your mind. :-)
So something either has your attention or it doesn’t. If you don’t want a thought/idea to be part of your world, the only way to achieve that is by ignoring it / not caring about it.
This is what communicates to your mind that the thought is unimportant, irrelevant and meaningless.
HATE and FEAR are the opposite of not caring / ignoring.
By reacting to these thoughts with these emotions you are sending a very clear message to your mind that they are important, relevant and meaningful. That’s why they keep popping up more frequently, and with more intensity.
It’s your reaction to these ideas that’s key. It’s the equivalent of encountering a lion and then wondering why thoughts about the scary lion encounter keep popping into your head.
The solution is to relax about, not care about, these thoughts. Once you understand that the whole thing is purely mental and that thoughts have no inherent meaning or power, you will naturally relax about, and ignore, these thoughts.
Thoughts of losing your partner are making you scared. But they’re just thoughts. Don’t give them attention or meaning by reacting to them.
You are not your thoughts.
What if one day you find that you don’t love him anymore? Or he you?
It will simply be “what is.” It will be neither good or bad. The only certainty in life is that it’s transient. Some things persist longer than others. But trying to cling to anything, trying to stop things changing, is usually a recipe for misery.
The very act of clinging tends to push things away. People feel cornered, controlled, trapped. It’s like the old analogy: If you hold it too tight, it will squeeze through your fingers.
How can either of you be truly happy if you’re constantly in fear of losing what you have? That is no way to love. Relax, be happy, be healthy. By not clinging, by being spacious, you set the conditions for both of you to be happy, long-term.
This is why living in the moment is a big part of the “happiness” picture. It’s why it’s one of the 6 lifestyle elements in the book. Clinging, being attached is the opposite of living in a “let go,” flowy, peaceful state.
The true causes of happiness are health and peace of mind. When you have these things, nothing else is needed. There is no clinging, or wanting, or reliance, or worry about what might be.
Then, a relationship is a wonderful enhancement to your life. It’s a very natural, joyous thing. Don’t worry about how you might feel in the future. No-one can ever know for sure.
I strongly advise reading the book. When you live in a vital, relaxed, peaceful, happy state, there will be no sense of clinging or worry and you will be building your relationship on the strongest possible foundations. Your relationship will be a wonderful, joyous choice, instead of something that you cling to, and worry about.
The whole book is important but I recommend you start with the Live in the Moment technique right away. Stopping the mind chatter — all the ifs and buts — is one of the most joyous things you can ever do. :-)
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
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