Which Glasses am I Wearing Now?

Someone asked me to meet with her 14 year old daughter because she is struggling with insecurity about fitting in with her friends and constantly ruminating about what they are thinking of her.

After I shared with her the idea that thoughts are like a stream and they naturally flow and change on their own, I gave her an analogy.

I took out two pairs of glasses (one regular and one sunglasses). I told her that everyone is wearing one of these glasses. When someone puts on the regular glasses, they see that their feelings are coming from the thoughts in their head. When someone puts on the sunglasses, they believe that their feelings are coming from something outside of them (their friends at school, their siblings, their teacher, the weather).

In truth, the glasses shift for everyone throughout the day. However, if we are clear which ones we are wearing at any given moment, we will better understand the actions we take.

If I know I am wearing the regular glasses, I will know that thought is the reason for my feelings and wait for my thoughts to settle. If I am wearing the sunglasses, I will think my insecure feelings are coming from my friends or being left out, and I will blame them for making me feel insecure. Blame causes our minds to get racier rather than settle down which perpetuates the insecure feeling.

There is nothing wrong with either experience. Just one points toward the true cause our of feelings and one doesn’t.

We all have within us the ability to insight-fully uncover the understanding of where our experience really comes from and that alone can provide the security we are all seeking. We just may want to ask ourselves, in this moment, which glasses am I wearing?

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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