“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” ~Anthony de Mello
There are five things that people believe when they come to see me for anxiety, fear, anger or self-judgment.
Let’s take anxiety as an example. Many people suffering from anxiety believe this.
1. It’s bad or wrong to feel anxious.
2. It shouldn’t be there.
3. There’s something wrong with me (for being anxious).
4. My mind should remain calm.
5. I can’t experience peace until my anxiety is gone.
As I walk them through the list, pretty much everyone nods in agreement.
If any, few people would question the truthfulness of these statements.
They are, according to Anthony de Mello, a spiritual teacher:
“Beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”
And I’d say that these beliefs alone produce 98 percent (if not more) of the unnecessary suffering that most people experience.
Maybe you’ve heard the expression “pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice”?
Anxiety can be very distressing. There’s no denying it’s a painful experience.