We give a lot of power to some of the thoughts and emotions that harm our well being. In a very real way our thoughts and emotions shape how we see the world and how we see ourselves.
But we can change how we think. We can change the way we experience ourselves and the world. We can strengthen and experience our sense of well being, which is beyond whatever circumstances we are facing.
That’s really what the path is all about. We get afflictive thoughts, not only from external triggers but also just from over-rumination, thinking and worrying too much. Through our practice we can learn how to separate our aversions from our reactions to them, we can become aware of harmful thoughts and emotions and notice them without attaching to them, without being sucked into our habitual patterns.
Concentration and mindfulness can be powerful tools for recognizing when our minds are going into negative territory and exploring better responses to the things that come up.
When we train in mindfulness we start to realize that afflictions only have the power that we give them. We can come to an awareness of all the power that we give to our negative thoughts and we can take that power away.