Oh, the dread of having to sit down to dinner with someone who annoys you. A root canal is sometimes more preferable. And yet, the feeling of dread only exists inside your head. You could change the feeling of dread by focusing on different thoughts about the encounter. And with a positive feeling to take its place, the encounter is bound to turn out better.
I see you are skeptical, so bear with me while I paint you a picture.
Consider Peggy. She does not like family get-togethers because it means she has to see her sister-in-law. She starts dreading the event days in advance. She imagines all the things that will go wrong. She imagines the rude things her sister-in-law will say and do. And she imagines with great clarity how awful she will feel as a result. And because Peggy has a divine gift for creating just like you and I, the dinner unfolds as miserably as she has predicted it would. Her dread seems justified.
Now imagine an alternate universe where Peggy believes she can positively impact her experience at the get-together. She imagines a scenario where she is happy and relaxed. She then creates a feeling of warmth toward her sister-in-law by focusing on all that they have in common, such as a desire to see their children grow up to be happy and wise. She ends her meditation by blessing the event and wishing her sister-in-law a good time.
Are you still with me? What do you think? Can you see how Peggy thoughts influence her emotions, and how her emotions will influence her experience? I hope so, because choosing your thoughts is a powerful practice, one which will work miracles on your next family get-together.
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