If a thought or feeling comes from within, from the gut, then it must be right, right?
No, we need a standard by which to measure our ideas and feelings. It’s natural to get angry, to pick out differences, to be fearful and selfish. But it’s also natural to be forgiving, inclusive, heroic and caring. So when we are capable of drawing from both ends of the spectrum, we need to determine from which end we’re selecting.
For instance, I tend to dismiss feelings and ideas that are based around anger, aggression, anxiety, fear, selfishness, divisiveness, exclusion, and negativity. Whereas I tend to favor what’s based around acceptance, inclusion, forgiveness, patience, generosity, gentleness, compassion, cooperation, and sincerity. My character is not this, but this is what I strive for.
How does one know which side to pick from? When I hear descriptions of items on one side, I’m in awe, I’m impressed and inspired by it. Whereas when I hear about the other side, I find it distasteful, and if emulated, I’d be disappointed in myself. So essentially, I just pick out whatever I find uplifting from wherever I see it.
My character still gets angry and anxious and the like, but I don’t encourage those ideas and feelings within my thoughts anymore. I used to be unaware and just accepted whatever came into my mind, but this was unsatisfying because the topics tended toward the darker side and made for an unpleasant experience. So now my mind is less cluttered, more disciplined, and my experiences and moods are much improved.