Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10. Freedom From Loose Lips Commentary

On the lookout for all things flawed

Seems like an evolutionary thing. We look around, observe and then make some kind of assessment about what we've just witnessed or experienced, labeling it as good or otherwise.
  • Looks like bad weather
  • This death-by-chocolate monster cake with ice cream is amazing. I am in heaven
  • Her hair looks like she dyed it herself
  • Did he get dressed in the dark? Look at what he's wearing
  • What a horrible driver she is. How did she ever get a license?
  • What an irresponsible pet owner! She should get a dog trainer. Today.
Once caught in Loose Lips Commentary, the challenge is to change the momentum of that negative stream of judgements. It's easy to look at something or someone and once we've headed in the direction of criticism, it can be tough to slow down or stop the momentum. Looking at the world through a lense which sees only what is interpreted as incorrect, wrong, bad, or flawed for some reason, can leave everyone involved feeling less than optimally happy....or just plain crappy.

Putting so much energy into seeking flaws will only turn up more of the same. All this non-acceptance of what IS contributes to suffering. It's bad enough when we say it to ourselves, but we magnify the intensity by "sharing" it with others.

Here are some steps I've taken after I've ridden on the loose lips roller coaster of pain and wanted some relief:

  1. Identify you are on the train. Realize you are looking for mistakes, flaws, flubs and other negative stuff. Notice how awful it feels.
  2. Take 3 deep breaths. Remove the lenses of negative viewing and remember that most people engage in critical remark-making occasionally
  3. Decide you want to feel better.
  4. Remember you have the power to change your thinking, one thought at a time (this one is especially challenging for me at times).
  5. Use the Self Talk method Ethan Kross discusses here.
Example: Oscar (insert your name), you are on the train, but  can get out right now. You are able to let it go and think about something that helps you feel a bit better
This is about taking small, doable steps. Start today and create more freedom for yourself by releasing the need to criticize. What will you let go of today?

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