Pandora’s Box of Self Fulfilling Prophecy
A client recently told me that he had a problem with having visions of tragedy happening to people around him, and even to himself. He claimed that even though these deep thoughts were only that, he continually had a fear he could be influencing the outcome of events in a negative direction. What he wanted to know how to deal with and eliminate this types of negative attitudes and thinking.
Most people have had this type of thing happen along their path in life. It is not a unique circumstance. What makes it feel unique is you do not want to talk about it. It is uncomfortable. You may feel exposed, even though the thoughts are not the thoughts you want or choose to have.
Do you find yourself thinking about terrible things happening to you or to people around you? Events that people often think about are car crashes, tragedy, murders, and catastrophe. Many of these events will involve people they love, friends, family, and enemies. Even harming themselves does not escape this picture. Why?
Why Think Tragic Thoughts?
To answer that, we must look at some other issues first. If a person is occasionally or even constantly thinking about harm coming to people, results can be benign to dangerous. The personality of most people afflicted by such will have a lower self esteem and a degraded sense of self-worth. Maybe they want to rebel against all those perceived people that have kept them in their position of want. Maybe they feel it is the only way they can rebel without doing anything physically in the real world. Quite often this results in anxiety and depression.
What if the person experiencing these automated thoughts is not a negatively driven person (has a list of negative attitudes), and doesn’t have any reason to have such terrible deep thoughts on life? Even though they don’t think the events will happen, and hope they will not happen, it is the terrible possibility that they could happen. That is why it can be a very scary situation they are dealing with. You could imagine that same person not wanting to seek professional help, or telling someone about it, in case it did come true.
The worst case scenario happens when someone having these thoughts of retribution carry them through with a real action. It could be the person has been stressed out and depressed. Since a major portion of the population is taking anti-depressants, serotonin uptake inhibitors, and both legal and illegal drugs, it is quite common that there are plenty of problems already. When compounded with sudden thoughts of dire events, the results you could expect from the normal person can swing to the extreme, even hallucinations the ‘thought of’ event is actually happening, while they are in the middle of it all. It reminds me of post-traumatic stress disorder war veterans’ experience. Even sudden changes in psychotropic drugs can turn an ordinary person psychotic or suicidal.
The Smoking Gun
Common sense would suggest that there must be some way these errant thoughts must be getting into your mind in the first place. Most people that typically would not have negative thoughts, or don’t want to think about things like that, would not be thinking about them unless there was some type of common demonstration or platform where they had witnessed those types of occurrences.
Have you noticed the incredible amount of grotesque murders, mutilations, and heinous crimes that are shown on television? The spectacular number of police and CSI shows abound. As the roast beef and turkey is sliced up during the family meal, cadavers on the mortuary slab are being cut apart in the background. (Remember, even when it is in the background, your brain automatically takes it and stores it with all of its gory detail, to access later.)
Your Mental Abuse – It is All About Money
Hollywood has created a staggering number of tragedy movies and shows like never before; too many to fill the slots after the kiddies go off to bed. These thrillers are prime time! If you visit a friend, and you see the television ON, with a cop show, ask to turn it OFF while you have your conversation. More than likely you will be the one getting the ‘if looks could kill’ look.
Now, back to the question: Why, would people be capable of these random terrible thoughts when they are not terrible people? More to the point, where are the thoughts coming from in the first place? The most obvious answer is the television. Sure, there is other types of media, but none have the impact of television. Since television is the most observed form of media, it also runs first place here as well.
The bigger question is, “What should you do about it?” Start by changing the channel, if that doesn’t work because they all have negatively geared shows, then learn to use the one button some people never touch – the “OFF” button. Find something more constructive to do with your time.
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” – Old English Proverb
I sincerely hope the client finds peace within his mind someday. Using our methods of finding direction in life should make his task easier. Discipline and meditation are the keys to knowing yourself and knowing what outside influences may be getting in the way of creating the best life for yourself.
Self Applied Guilt
Guilt is a very powerful device when it is associated with something you have done of your own accord. But guilt is a terrible thing when it is associated with contrived events that don’t exist. Since this guilt has no base except for your beliefs, it is more difficult to eradicate that sense of unfounded guilt. If you find this is holding you back in life, then you may need to seek counsel with someone you trust or a professional.
We want to see everyone move forward in life in a positive way. That also means you need to address the things that are holding you back from being your best. When you build a strong foundation of discipline and mental alacrity, then you can handle much more of the onslaught than the person that is mentally apathetic. Come out of self applied guilt!