What Thoughts Are Holding You Hostage?

Last week, I got into the Easter spirit by dying eggs with a dear friend and wearing my bunny ears to dinner with my family and May.

In church a few mornings ago (I know, when do I ever talk about what I learned in church??), we talked about the things that hold us hostage–the situations, people, world events, inner beliefs, or thought patterns that trigger us. These are the things that take us out of the present moment, fester inside of us, and make us feel angry, resentful, unforgiving, sad, and disconnected from ourselves, our inner peace, and God/The Universe/Source.

When we’re in that angry/resentful/disconnected state, we tend to do things that exacerbate those emotions and hurt ourselves or others even more.

I tend to get taken hostage when I’m driving. I’ll be behind the wheel and then thoughts about past situations involving former friends, bosses, and romantic partners seep in and fill me with rage, resentment, and hurt. So when the car in front of me is going too slow, or when another car cuts me off…what do you think I do? Do I peacefully change lanes or slow down to let someone in? No! I honk my horn like crazy and shout obscenities, which endangers myself, endangers others, and doesn’t even make me feel better!

That’s the thing. Even when we’re in that emotional state and take a somewhat destructive action, we don’t even feel a release or feel peaceful at all. When we’re taken hostage, honking our horns, cursing someone out, or snapping at someone doesn’t give us what we’re really look for. We’re looking for a way out, a way back to inner peace or a way to restore our connection with God. Taking that quick, negative action doesn’t get us there. Taking a breath, saying a quick prayer, wishing someone well, finding gratitude in something–all of those things return us to peace…and makes us more powerful. So when that past situation, person, or negative inner belief comes to the surface again, it’ll have less and less power over us, and then will eventually stop bothering us.

The next time something tries to take you hostage, all you have to do is just recognize that you’re being taken out of the present moment. Simply recognizing when you’re being taken hostage will give you power. Then, you can choose what to do with whatever is bothering you. Maybe you take a few deep breaths. Maybe you drink some water. Maybe you journal or pray or vent to a friend. These things will help return you to inner peace quickly–so that you take action from that space and live with ease.

Then, no matter what anyone does or says to you, you’ll still be chilled out and happy!