The orange traffic cones, are a metaphor for me to slow down, keep alert

Often, I find myself face to face with those orange traffic cones warning me of a pothole in the roadway ahead, approaching lanes to change, or workers ahead.

Over the years, I have found myself battling negative thinking with the resultant spiraling down of my moods which because challenging to shake off. But after many years of doing the same thing over and over, meditating how bad I was, I found myself being more careful of, one, how I talked to myself, and two, learning that the best way to find myself in a deep unpleasant mood, was to continue these self-defeating thoughts- the self-bashing.

I am at a point now in my recovery that I know when a past unpleasant thought pops up in my head, like the orange road cones, that I am aware that I need to heed the warning and steer clear of that mental pothole about to derail me and throw me in a ditch too deep to remove ourselves.
What I do, though, is to face the fear with that instant adrenaline surge, not run away but continue to meet the feeling, acknowledge it for what it is, an unpleasant feeling, uncomfortable but not life-threatening, and so move along.

I also replace the fear with a sunspot, a pleasant memory of ourselves, if you will, and dwell on that pleasant memory with persistence. Be grateful that no longer will you let a fearful thought scare you into submission and inaction. Now you have a helpful and powerful way to stay out of the potholes of your thinking. You will be able to feel the strength and purpose by having a new direction for your life.

Hugh S.

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