What is The Virus?
The Virus is the source of all harmful, self-destructive beliefs and thoughts that exist in our Self. The virus is the cause of all (or almost all) internal suffering. Therefore, a central goal in my life is to heal my Self by completely eradicating The Virus.
Identifying The Virus
The first step in eradicating The Virus is learning how to identify it. The basic filter consists of these questions:
- Is the belief or thought beneficial or harmful for me? Does it empower me or weakens me? Does it help me fulfill the Purpose of Life, or interferes with it?
- Is this the way my True Essence thinks? Or is it the way that The Virus thinks?
Another set of filters is organized in the acronym T.H.I.N.K.:
- T: Is it True (i.e. factual), or is it a (harmful) interpretation?
- H: Is it Helpful? Does it advance me or block me?
- I: Is it Inspiring? Or is it blocking me?
- N: Is it Necessary? Do I have to think this thought?
- K: Is it Kind? Does it treat me and others with respect, love, and compassion?
Any thought that fails one or more of these filters should be discarded and replaced with a useful thought.
For example, suppose I get a low grade on an exam, and my mind automatically generates negative thoughts such as: “I’m a failure”, “I’m a loser”, “I’m stupid”, “I’m lazy”. All these thoughts do not describe reality in a factual manner, as they are negative interpretations of what happened. They are certainly not inspiring – no one gets inspired to invest more effort if he is told that he is stupid and lazy. These thoughts pass negative judgment on myself, and so they are not kind. Therefore, they must all be discarded.
Instead, with the help of My Essence and my Thriving Self, I can choose to think effective, helpful, kind, and inspiring thoughts, such as: “I know I am capable, I can learn from my mistakes, and next time I can get a higher grade”, or: “I see that I did not spend enough time preparing, or that I did not learn effectively, but I improve this next time”, or: “Given the time constraints that I have (and all the other things I do), I could not have spent more time preparing, so this is the best result that I could have achieved”.
See more in: How to change limiting beliefs.
Collect a list of a few thoughts you have. It can be thoughts that you know you keep thinking many times. Or you can just sit quietly for a few minutes, notice any thoughts that appear in your mind, and write them down. Now, mark each thought as harmful or beneficial for you by using the filters above.
Sometimes The Virus causes cognitive distortions. These are thoughts that cause us to perceive reality inaccurately, in an exaggerated or irrational way, which causes emotional dysfunction and pain, and overall poor subjective well-being. During challenging circumstances, these distortions contribute to an overall negative outlook on the world as well as a depressive or anxious mental state.
An example of cognitive distortions is disqualifying the positive. E.g. if The Virus has a harmful belief that no one likes me, and I spend ten minutes in a conversation with someone who seems to be interested in me, The Virus would protect its harmful belief by disqualifying this positive experience, saying something like “he is just being nice to everyone, this doesn’t say anything about me” or “he talked to me just to be polite”. Thus, The Virus makes me stuck in the harmful belief, with no way to ever adopt the empowering belief that there are people who like me.
Another example is catastrophizing – seeing the current situation, or a possible future situation, as worse than it is. In particular, seeing ourselves as incapable of handling the situation.
Go over the list of cognitive distortions. For each one, give an example of how this distortion appeared in your life.
Complaining vs. Gratitude
Complaining means dwelling on what we don’t like, expressing a lot of negative judgment about it (whether it’s people or circumstances), focusing only on the negative and on blaming other people and circumstances. It’s one of the most self-destructive patterns that is generated by The Virus. Read more…
Dissociation from The Virus
One important way to dissociate from The Virus is to use language a bit differently. Instead of saying a harmful thought like “It’s difficult to succeed” or “I think it’s difficult to succeed”, we can say “part of my thinks that …” or “I have a thought that …” or best: “The Virus in me says that …”. In this way, we empower ourselves to dissociate from the harmful thought, remind ourselves that this is a product of the external virus and not who we really are, and re-identify with our Essence. It is not a mere play with words, it is an expression of a fundamental experience.
Rebellion against The Virus
The Virus is so ingrained in our mind for so many years, that when we start overriding it by filtering its harmful thoughts and connecting to our Essence, The Virus immediately identifies the threat to its existence, and increases its efforts to control us. It grips tighter, it shouts louder, it produces more painful emotions. A long battle of attrition starts between us, our consciousness, our True Essence on the one hand and The Virus on the other. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.
After we see many times how we can sometimes win over The Virus, there comes a point where a positive emotional part of us wakens up with a lot of anger about the dictatorial violent regime of The Virus over our consciousness, and we can use this anger to say: “Enough is enough! I am mad as hell and I won’t take it any longer! I refuse to continue to allow The Virus to destroy me and my life! I want to live and be free! I want to be happy and confident and flourish! I do not want to listen for even one more second to The Virus ever again! All it ever says is only poisonous garbage! I don’t give a damn anymore about anything it says! From now on, I take my fate into my own hands, and connect to my True Essence, and I listen only to thoughts that I consciously explicitly create from my Essence!”
When you connect to your inner power in this way, The Virus no longer has any power to influence you. Then you feel powerful, and you simply need to be constantly alert to never let your guard down. This becomes gradually easier with time as you get used to living powerfully.