Negative events are as much a part of life as are positive ones.
Inevitably they will happen wether we like it or not – we’re going to miss busses, almost get hit by cars, get hurt, get rejected, experience pain, lose something valuable, face adversity, have to do something strenuous, go through hardship, see our family members pass away and ultimately come face to face with the death of ourselves aswell.
There’s nothing to be done. Change is a constant over which we have no power of. Things won’t remain as great as they are now.
However what we do have control over of are our thoughts and emotions (Read how to do it).
We don’t have control over the external events that happen to us but our internal reactions to them. This realisation makes us powerful beyond measure.
How is this applicable to encountering negative events? Simple – by using a technique that will prepare us for when they occur. Everyone of us can do it.
It’s something that won’t make us cope with reality but instead accept it and THRIVE despite of it.
The technique is called premeditation which is a stoic practice and it’s exactly what it seems. It entails us contemplating about negative events before they actually happen.
The trick doesn’t lie in the fact that we make ourselves ultimately tough and some way resistant to emotions. Instead the notion is that we prepare our mind for the event that’s going to happen anyway by experiencing it through beforehand.
This technique will make us worry less about the small things that are going to happen to us and don’t actually matter that much. For instance something trivial – we lost your wallet or stepped into a pond.
It would be pointless to meditate on all of the imaginable scenarios and negative events specificly that COULD happen to us – we can be hit by a random flying frisby or fall from our bed. We would have to be very creative and negatively alinged to be able to think of all the possible outcomes that COULD take place.
Instead what works a lot better is a holistic grasp over them. What I mean by that is centralizing all the trivial negative things that could happen to us under one category.
Premeditating over the fact that we are going to encounter them no matter what. Thinking about us being in the midst of these things happening to us. Imagining the worst case scenario taking place and how we would react to them.
An actual situation.
This doesn’t even have to be done in the vicinity of our house. I have a great real world example of me putting it into practice.
On an extremely rainy day walking down the street I was practicing this type of meditation. Uncomfortable weather is something that has no effect on me but I tryed to think of anything that could offset this piece of mind.
My thoughts were filled with possible scenarios that would make the situation even worse. Luckily I didn’t have to ponder for long as my prayers were answered.
A speeding bus appeared and was heading towards me downhill. Next to the sidewalks were a lot of ponds filled with water. Immediately I recognized this as an opportunity. Instead of taking a few extra steps away from the road I did the opposite – moved slightly closer. The decision had been made to deliberately drench myself.
There was still time for me to make my escape but I passed on it and continued walking. The realisation that I’m going to get soaked by this bus as it didn’t show any signs of slowing down occured. Peace had been made with my mind – it’s only water.
Moments later it all happened as I had anticipated. The bus drove right through the ponds creating a tsunami-like effect on the sidewalk on which I was walking. A tidal wave emerged which completely showered me – I was totally dripping wet yet felt very empowered.
Despite all of that – I didn’t feel bad about it. The technique worked like a charm. Granted it did because I deliberately put myself into such a situation. However the same effect would’ve occured if a car had approached me from behind without me being able to prepare my mind.
What I did there was think of the negative event before it had happened. Envisioned in my mind I got to experience it and come terms with the fact that it’s going to happen. An avoidable situation but by deliberatly going through it I proved to myself that such accidents don’t actually matter. My clothes got wet and it was uncomfortable but at the same time my happiness didn’t suffer. To be honest it actually improved.
This technique can be used anywhere anytime and can free us from worrying about the negative events that are going to inevitably happen.
Meditation over death.
In the case of the death of a loved one we are envisioning the crisis happening. For example our mother passed away. Problably one of the most tragic events all of us will have to go through. It will cause hardship and pain no matter what. But there is a possibility of softening the blow.
- You begin to meditate as if it had already happened.
- Close your eyes. Become centered. Focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale. Follow a rhythmic pattern.
- Envision the event. Do whatever will make it seem as realistic as possible, add colours, play a soundtrack in your head – the more senses included the better.
- Experience it fully. React as if it were real. Feel all of the emotions – pain, anger, grief etc.
- Spend a lot of time dwelling on the idea that she is gone. This might take a long time.
- Do whatever feels right – cry, remember some memories, make amends.
- Accept it – come to the realisation that death is inevitable, part of life, and all are going to die some day. It was just her time.
- Begin to return to reality – realise that it was just an imaginary scenario in your head.
- Be grateful that in the real world she’s still alive.
Not only will you feel more gracious about her presence but you will also have managed to pre-mourn the death of her. Granted it will still hurt when she actually dies, but by pre-meditating on it you’ll feel a bit better. If you’ve done the crying beforehand it’s easier to come to the realisation that death is inevitable and runs its toll on all of us. It was just time for her to go.
You can do the same routine with the death of ourselves aswell. Realising the fact that one day we’re going to die improves the quality of our lives. We begin to appreciate everything a lot more and take them for less granted.
If we think in our head beforehand that the things won’t have an effect on us and they might happen to everyone we’re preparing our mind to act the same way in the real situation. We get hit by that unexpected frisby but aren’t frustrated about it . It hurts but we have already come to the conclusion that negative events happen no matter what and to everyone therefore we have already prepared ourselves for it.
Hopefully this technique will be as useful to others as it has been to me. By coming to the conclusion that life is filled with unavoidable negative events we are able to determine our reaction to them beforehand. These things are out of our control. What we can dictate however is our reaction to them. Pre-meditating over them will help us prepare our mind for when they actually do.