Everyone Has Unacceptable Thoughts

This post originally went live on May 5, 2014. I will return to my regular blogging schedule in the new year. 

Someone I follow on Twitter who prefers to remain anonymous recently asked something interesting:

Do you have any decidedly unacceptable thoughts or wants?

The question was posed to everyone, but I thought I’d respond to it with a full length blog post.

My answer is yes. Everyone has thoughts that they’d rather keep to themselves sometimes, whether it’s to silently express frustration with a person, place, or situation. It isn’t humanely possible to always give the benefit of the doubt or remain cheerful indefinitely.

Photo by DodosD.
Photo by DodosD.

This use of the term “unacceptable” is assuming, of course, that even our thoughts must be censored to fit someone else’s idea of what we should be feeling.

You can think something without agreeing with it.

You can think something and have mixed feelings about it.

You can think something but never say it out loud.

Even if it’s grouchy. Spiteful. Truthy.

I don’t believe in thoughtcrimes. There’s a world of difference between entertaining an idea and actually saying, writing, or doing whatever it was that flitted through your brain.

If anything, the act of uprooting those thoughts  tends to encourage them to stick around longer.

Hold them gently in the palm of your hand. Acknowledge that they exist, but don’t feel guilty over something that hasn’t actually caused any harm. Allowing them to softly dissipate is the best thing I’ve learned yet from my meditation habit.

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