The Bus Story
I was brought up in a family that, for as far back as I can remember, shared the belief that any time a bus came by, we had to get on it and ride it to wherever it was going, We didn't know we believed this...it was simply a way of life to us that we never questioned. I, along with the rest of my family, spent most of my waking hours on buses, spent most of my money on bus fares, and found myself frequently lost and wandering around places I didn't want to be and wondering why I was always so tried and joyless and confused.
One day, as I was standing at the bus stop, ready for another day of bus rides, a man said to me, "Why are you always riding buses?"
"What do you mean?" I asked surprised by his question.
"Every time I see you, you're always either on a bus or waiting for one. I just wondered why you seem to spend so much time bus riding", he said.
"Well, "I said, somewhat defensively, "everyone knows that's what buses are for...to ride. My whole family has always ridden them all day long..sometimes all night long".
He looked at me as though I was the one who was strange, and said, "That's not what buses are for...they are for getting you to where you want to go. Haven't you noticed that everyone doesn't always ride every bus?
This man was beginning to annoy me with his strange ideas so I ignored him and climbed on the next bus.
One day, while I was feeling very tired, frustrated and a little hopeless about life, I looked out the bus window and saw people walking, sitting, laughing, talking...just simply enjoying themselves. I very much wanted to feel what they seemed to be feeling.
I decided to see what would happen if, I just once, let a bus go by without getting on. As I sat at the bus stop, I saw the next bus coming, and I looked around nervously to see if anyone from my family, could see me. Instead of getting on, I let the bus go by...it was a very strange, unfamiliar, confusing sensation. Then another bus came, and another, and another...but I stayed off them all. It was still hard and unfamiliar, but it was getting easier and easier...and I soon noticed that I still had the money I would have spent on the buses, and I hadn't gotten lost once all day,and the more buses I didn't get on the more energy I had.
Then came a bus that was on its way to where I wanted to go so I jumped on. I got off my destination and all of a sudden I knew that the stranger at the bus stop had been right: buses are just there to get me to where I want to go...I don't have to ride the ones that got me lost or took me to places I don't want to be...I had just believed something that tired out not to be true.
So it is with our thoughts...some of them help us get where we want to go, some of them take us where we don't want to be. We don't have to hold on to every thought that comes into our heads, we just thought we did.
Thinking is a voluntary act...human beings are the only creatures on the face of the earth that have free will to think or not think anything they want. We are even free to think that we aren't free to think. We are the only beings that are capable of
thinking of things that have not been thought of before, of creating a thought out of nothingness.
When we don't realize the nature of thinking, we feel at the mercy of our thoughts...doomed to thinking them over and over...and doomed to experience the natural results of negative thought habits: emotional pain and suffering.
When we use that emotional pain for what it was meant to be used for, we see that it is telling us that we have innocently used our thinking as a weapon instead of a tool. Emotions are the perfect psychological radar...they'll always tell us when we are right on course, living in our natural state of mental health, wisdom, common sense, our peace of mind. They also tell us when we have just strayed off course, into a low moods which are thick with negative thought, analyzing, judging, brooding, worry, eat. They are our built-in bus schedule.
When we follow our natural health, our innate wisdom, we'll always know which thought to let go by and which ones to use. Sometimes we will forget and get on the wrong bus, but we can always get off and come home to our health again. And we never, ever run out of chances to change out minds.
By Mavis Karn
To contact Mavis, you can contact her on her office phone # at 612-872-9330