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Labeling an unappreciative more, better, different thought immediately upon becoming aware of is fundamental to the practice of contentment. It is a first inner action that a practitioner can take to open the way for the acceptance of this type of thinking.
When we label our unappreciative not-enough thoughts we create the nanosecond of time needed to prevent the negative emotions they would otherwise evoke (Chapter 11). Instead of generating the contentment-constricting mad, bad, sad and other negative emotions these thoughts typically generate, labelling (i.e., naming) them clears the way for us to see that all of our thoughts, including our not-enough ones, are nothing other than mind-made mental concepts – which are likely to have little if any basis in truth. It opens the way for us see the delusional nature of these thoughts, and free ourselves from the major misconception that we would be content if only we could have in the past have gotten or could in the future get or achieve more, better, or different of this or that – when in truth no amount of any possessions or achievements can ever make us content. Happy? Momentarily perhaps. Peaceful? Never!
Once an unappreciative not-enough thought is labeled and accepted, the energy it generates will increase the size and strength of our sweet spots instead of our sore spots. Just seeing it for what is – a mind-made mistaken belief – and accepting it as part our humanness, will evoke the stillness of contentment.
It typically takes time, energy, and patience for a practitioner to become adept at consistently labeling these types of thoughts. But as we develop the habit of purposefully practicing this action the occurrence of not-enough thinking will naturally subside, making this simple yet eloquent contentment-producing action well worth the effort.