Thoughts are like uninvited guests

Imaginary scenario

It is a weekend evening. You are sitting in your living room with your family, enjoying a popular TV show. The doorbell rings and you open the door, wondering who was disturbing your happy hour.  Waiting at the door is a known person whom you did not invite. He is not a bad person but definitely not welcome at this time, specially when you are watching a good TV show. But you feel obligated to invite him, though internally you hate his visit at this time. So you invite him in and he sits down in the sofa. You half watch the TV show and half engage the guest, trying to be nice. It is tea time and the guest  joins the family for tea and snacks. He is happily settled in the room and enjoying it. After some time, the guest excuses himself and goes out, saying he would be back soon.

In a few minutes he comes back, bringing his wife with him (she was waiting in the car outside). She, the guest -2, is also a known person and happily joins the company, further distracting you from the TV show.  You feel uncomfortable but being a nice a person (or meek person?) extend equal hospitality to her. Both the guests are well settled in your living room. You practically give up the TV show. Now the guest -2 excuses herself saying she will be back soon. (You might have guessed what happened next!)

She comes back with their three children (they were sitting in the car outside).

You can now write the rest of this story. The grand children (guests X, Y and Z) have also been brought in. Frustrated, you switch off the TV show. You are a very nice person fuming inside but trying to be nice to the three generations of guests. You wonder why your happy TV time was spoiled and what did you do wrong.

You could have saved yourself, if you handled the first guest differently. When the he entered the room, you could continue focusing on the TV show and not respond to his attempts to engage you in conversation. He would feel unwelcome and leave in a few minutes on some pretext.

If you are more bold, you could respond differently on seeing him at the door. You could politely but firmly tell him that you were working from home on an important office assignment (a lie of course) and you would call him as soon as you were free. He would leave immediately. It is similar to what you do when talking on phone with one person and another person’s call comes. You promptly tell the second caller that you are currently answering a call and would call him back as soon as possible. If you were not smart enough in preventing the entry of the first guest and he is sitting in the room, you could have rescued the situation. You could have told him a different lie, saying that you had to go out for a concert, movie  or whatever and ask him to please visit another day, by calling you a day before. You would be tactfully walking him to the door.

Coming to the thoughts

Most thoughts are uninvited thoughts (UIT’s). We don’t invite the thoughts. They enter the mind without an appointment or invitation. They don’t wait outside and ring the bell, seeking permission to enter, as the mind space does not have walls or doors. Unless a thought pops into the mind, you can’t see what kind of thought it is – positive or negative, useful or useless, relevant or irrelevant. But you are not helpless. As soon as a thought enters, you can see it’s nature. If it is one that can help you, you can allow it to linger and grow its family of related thoughts. If not, you can engage your mind  on something soothing like ‘focusing on breathing’ and ignore the useless thought. When that thought does not get any  attention or response from you, it leaves quickly.

Another way of looking at the thoughts: Delusions

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Parent page: Thoughts are like………

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