I saw a message once on a church billboard that said, “If you feel distant from God, guess who moved?”
This is a relevant question – not only in our relationship with Source, but also in our relationship with others. We separate ourselves from ourselves, others and Source when we blindly believe the painful stories we think
Here’s an example:
During the early years of our relationship I would go to the movie with my husband, Daniel. But instead of being able to enjoy the movie I would make myself miserable by thinking unhappy thoughts about him.
For example I would think thoughts like:
“I wish Daniel would hold my hand. He never holds my hand. He just doesn’t care about me the way I care about him. I feel so unimportant to him. If he really loved me, he would reach for my hand or put his arm around me. That man over there has his arm around his woman. I wish my husband would show his love the way other men express love for their mates …” etc.
After the movie, on the drive home, I would begin to voice my troubling thoughts (misery should be shared, right? :)) with comments like:
“You know honey, I noticed that guy in front of us had his arm around his woman … why don’t you ever reach for me like that?”
And you know what Daniel was thinking? “Oh man, here we go again! I can’t ever get it right with her!”
Do you think he suddenly felt inspired to want to hold my hand more? Or less? Do you think he suddenly felt closer to me? Trust me, those sorts of conversations with my husband never got me the results I thought I was going after – they only distanced us more.
Going to the movies with Daniel is a totally different experience today (and much more fun!). Our time together dramatically improved once I began to notice that I was the one, not him, who was causing my internal unhappiness. It was the painful stories I told myself about him that made me miserable, not what he did, or didn’t do for me.
Once I realized that it was my unkind thoughts about Daniel that distanced me from him, I began to explore kinder ways to treat myself (and him). I decided to start looking for ways to turn my negative thoughts into their opposite and find evidence to verify those more positive thoughts instead. The results have been amazing – and lasting!
Today, whenever I start up a mental rant about how someone should or shouldn’t be treating me, or about how they aren’t giving me what I need, I stop, notice the emotional energy I am generating with those thoughts, and change my mental focus.
Instead of going deeper into how wrong something is I look for evidence that things are the way they need to be. I focus on what is working, rather than what is not. I look for what I am being given; I look for the message or growing opportunity being offered to me through that situation. I look for what in me needs my attention and refinement. These are the places I focus on instead of resorting to my old victim reaction of trying to control the people and situations around me.
Yes, that billboard was right – it’s not Source that moves away from us – it’s us that moves away from the people we love – and when we move away from those we love, we move away from Source.