(excerpt from The Polyamory Toolkit)
Have you ever had those moments of ‘he didn’t answer my email, maybe he doesn’t like me anymore’ or ‘she’s going out with him again tonight, she must like him more than me’ or a number of other things that we convince ourselves are true….whether from low self-esteem, being raised monogamous, or various other reasons.
Sometimes i totally believe what it is that i’m thinking. So much so that it physically hurts. Sometimes, i know that logically these thoughts aren’t true, but emotionally they still feel true. I have had those moments. I have had those moments too many times to count.
‘If he’s taking her on a cruise, she must be a better traveling companion or he’d be taking me again.’ That’s one of my most recent ones.
Oh wait, no, my most recent one…‘if he really loved me, he’d call me more’.
At some point in our lives, we all tell ourselves stories that aren’t necessarily true. We experience life through our own filters and our own experiences. And that means that sometimes we make assumptions about other people’s motives based on our own experiences.
After learning to meditate, which i’ll talk about later, my thinking slowed down enough that i could catch myself telling myself stories during meditation and could stop them. Whoa! What a concept. i could stop thinking about stories that weren’t necessarily true. Not only could i stop stories, but i could change them.
I had already learned that i could think about outcomes, and even if i thought of 100 outcomes that could happen, it was usually the one i hadn’t thought of that really happened. So, why waste time stressing about outcomes that more than likely won’t happen? Just another tool.
So, once i learned to stop stories during meditation, and learned how to regulate my emotional responses with ‘manual mode’….i was able to start changing the stories that would flit through my head. Ok, sometimes it wasn’t flitting but instead a steel grip of attachment to the story.
Instead of wondering why I didn’t get a text response right away…..’oh, he must be in the middle of sex with her’, or ‘oh, i must not be important enough for him to respond’……i would try to think of the things that are truth instead. What is it that I know? All I know is that a text hasn’t been responded to. And I don’t even have proof of that. Truly all I know is that I don’t see a response. With the basic info in hand, I then picture what is more than likely happening. Maybe he’s driving and shouldn’t be checking his texts. Maybe his phone is in his pocket and not on vibrate. Maybe he left it in the car. Maybe he’s in a meeting. There are so many possibilities, it doesn’t have to be a negative reason.
(exert from the chapter, Change The Story)