Marisa Peer: Letting Go of Control
Control is a huge problem in our lives. We feel like we should have much more control than we do. The fact that there's so much in our lives we don't have control over gnaws at us and we often won't accept it as reality.
Marisa Peer argues that we do have a measure of control over our thoughts, at least after some consistent practice. This is one of those concepts that was hard for me to get on board with last July, though I now see that "control" does not mean we can change the thoughts as they arise, but that we can get to a place where we've learned to let thoughts come and go in moments of great tension, the same as we would during meditation. Over time, Peer suggests, our minds may stop surfacing consistently negative thoughts if we train them, through meditation, to find a place of balance and peace.
Where I still differ with Peer is in her insistence that the mind can change perspective on any event, even an incredibly troubling one:
In the second half of the meditation, Peer almost exclusively focuses on thoughts to modify in the mind when they arise. There doesn't appear to be any thought too bleak for this purpose. She says a client of hers changed her thinking from "I can't believe I got breast cancer" to "I'm so glad I had breast cancer. I don't really need my breasts and actually they've given me very nice fake ones."
To me, there's a difference between accepting a negative outcome and actually trying to force that outcome to be positive in the mind. I'm not saying that the person who made this jump was wrong to do so — I just don't see it as being terribly commonplace.