Oppression – the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control.
Weâre used to hearing about oppressive governments, but what about the oppressive feeling that circumstances in general dictate your life?
Most of us might not consciously believe we’re being forced into submission by life, but thatâs not how we behave. Many of our thoughts and feelings indirectly suggest that we cannot choose how to feel, what to do or even what to think.
In this post we’ll do the following:
1. Give a keen personal example of oppressive thinking.
2. Break it down to reveal just how the self-oppression works.
3. Show you specifically how to break free, with examples.
Over the holiday weekend a âfriendâ of mine did something that really bugged me. REALLY bugged me. Since then, I have had this image of him pinging around in my brain and destroying my peace of mind. And I canât let it go for some reason. It wasnât traumatic per se, but the shock and, quite frankly, the disgust of him making a pass at my wife just eats at me. If it werenât against the law, Iâd have laid that guy out on the pavement. How can someone be such an unthinking, disrespectful jerk? I was standing right there! Itâs beyond me. Seriously, I canât handle stuff like that.
Okay! The above is a mass of self-oppression that ever-so-subtly forms a view of the world in which I am powerless. Those thoughts do MUCH MORE than state the facts. They trap me in an oppressive world view.
Thoughts that are structured like the above are like little dictators that send you to emotional prison and toss the away the key.
â¢Â a âfriendâ of mine did something that really bugged me
Thinking that it bugged me puts me in the victim position. It gives his actions power over me. His actions are dictating my feelings.
â¢Â I have had this image of him pinging around in my brain
This suggests that the image now has power to ping around all by itself. In other words, I presumably have no control over my own thoughts here. My thoughts are oppressing me.
â¢Â destroying my peace of mind
Not only do my thoughts ping however they want, Iâve also made them the dictator of my emotional state. I have given thoughts power to destroy my peace.
â¢Â canât let it go for some reason
Putting myself in a helpless position here, suggesting that âitâ is more powerful than I am. It has grabbed me and I remain without any ability to escape.
â¢Â disgust of him making a pass at my wife just eats at me
The way I have set this up, I have no choice but to be eaten away at, as if I were in a steel trap with fire ants all over me.
â¢Â If it werenât against the law
Not that punching someone is a good idea, but itâs interesting how I am using the law of the land as an additional oppressor – something that limits my actions. The point is, hereâs another thing I canât do – another nod to powerlessness.
â¢Â How can someone be such an unthinking, disrespectful jerk?
Now I am just playing dumb. People are often disrespectful and beyond. Men making passes at women is typical behavior. With this question, I am pretending to be stupid and reveling in the helplessness of not comprehending something that is, in fact, no mystery.
â¢Â Itâs beyond me
No, itâs not. Itâs pretty simple, actually. I am just oppressing myself further by making the issue bigger and badder than it is, giving it more power over me.
â¢Â I canât handle stuff like that
Summing it all up with a global statement of my ineptitude!
If you have the mental and emotional fortitude, follow this simple, powerful formula (examples to follow).
1. Make a statement about what is going on with the words, âI wantâ in front.
2. After the statement, add the word âbecause.â
3. After âbecauseâ tell yourself the rest of the story – and donât hold back. Give two or three examples of why you REALLY DO want it, based on your imagination or best guesses.
Before I give you a few personal examples of how this works, first understand that I am not after universal truth here. I donât know if the following statements are true. I do know there is a certain âwake up callâ that accompanies them (for many of us, anyway).
Second, we’re assuming that at some level you want to think the way you are thinking. I do not know if that is true. Yet, if you assume it, wonderful things happen. You’ll wake up!
Youâll just have to try it for yourself.
a âfriendâ of mine did something that really bugged me
I want to be bugged by my friend becauseâ¦
â¢ It makes me feel better than him.
â¢ I enjoy the moral superiority of being bugged by pathetic people.
â¢ It gives me a reason to feel bad, which gets me off the hook in so many ways.
I have had this image of him pinging around in my brain
I want this image pinging around in my brain because:
â¢ It reminds me of how much I love my wife and want to protect her.
â¢ It stands as another testimony to how often I have been wronged by other people and builds my self-victimization case (ouch).
destroying my peace of mind
I want something to destroy my peace of mind because
â¢ Something has to. If itâs not one thing, itâs another. Peace canât last.
â¢ Then I get to lose another battle, but still feel like a righteous warrior.
canât let it go for some reason
I want to believe I canât let it go because…
â¢ This powerlessness gig is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
â¢ When you canât do things, you donât have to do what you donât want to do!
CONFRONT YOURSELF in this way and you might WAKE UP to what you are doing to yourself, day in and day out.
Confront yourself often enough and before long, youâll decide to stop torturing yourself.
All of this inspired by the AHA Solution online personal development program. To really get why this work is so powerful, you should watch our free and enlightening video on self-sabotage. It really sets the stage for powerful personal growth.
By using this and other methods inspired by the AHA Solution, My wife Hope and I have done no less than transform our lives.
The key is: You really need to think things through. This self-confrontive approach adds something invaluable to your thought process, though. It makes things really POP. You end up thinking, âI donât need to keep putting myself through this.â
And youâll let it all go. Those thoughts really WILL drift away and not return. I used the writing of this post as a personal workbook – and wouldnât you know it – those thoughts are thoroughly âprocessedâ and my peace of mind and body has returned.
Now, if mental and emotional self-torture turns out to be your âthingâ, you can always keep it up. However, you might enjoy it even more when you know why youâre doing it!
(That last comment was sarcastic, even though it is sometimes true).
Oppressive thoughts can be addicting. Youâve got to do something DIFFERENT to break the cycle.