When you are thinking, also be thinking about your thinking. To not be thinking about your thinking is to be swept away by your thinking, carried off, into emotional fits of rage, or terror, or remorse and guilt-- possessed by your thoughts and your feelings about your thoughts to the point of losing all control of your actions in response to your thoughts/feelings-- or a robot responding mindlessly to the direction of those who are telling you what to think and how to feel. When you are thinking, think about your thinking. When you are feeling, think about your feeling. Put reflection between you and your thinking and your feeling. Observation and reflection put you in charge of your thinking and feeling. The more you can observe and reflect without emotional reactivity, just seeing, just knowing, just being aware of your thoughts and feelings without being shanghaied by them, the more capable you are of making inquiries-- of asking all of the questions that beg to be asked by your thoughts and feelings-- of seeing into them and where they come from and how they are automatic and recurring, and what their origin is and what the source of their ready presence in your life is. Why are these thoughts and these feelings your go-to thoughts and feelings? Who says this is how you ought to think and how you ought to feel? Who is in charge of what you think and what you feel? Observe, reflect, explore, inquire. This four-pronged response to thinking about your thinking and thinking about your feeling will insert some distance between you and your thinking/feeling/reacting, and change the way you think/feel, and invite you to think/feel differently, and eventually to think without feeling automatically, predictably, at the mercy of emotionally-charged actions wreaking havoc on your life.
Believe whatever it takes to do what needs to be done in each situation as it arises. For instance, I believe that it matters how we live. I take that on faith. There is no factual basis for believing it. All the evidence is to the contrary. But. It enables me to "Get up and do what needs to be done" with the power and sustainability of Powder Milk Biscuits. I believe nothing is more important, essential, necessary than doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, where it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, for as long as it needs to be done, moment by moment in each situation as it arises, all our life long. This is my foundational belief, the rock upon which I stand and am anchored, in an adamantine kind of way. You can't knock me off this. It is my essential truth and I am not forsaking it, betraying it, renouncing it, abandoning it, deserting it, etc. ever. I'll go to hell for this belief. A million times over. You can't talk me out of it, or bribe it away from me. It has a corollary: Every time is the right time for something. Our place is to align ourselves with what is right for this occasion and live to serve it here and now in every situation that arises all our life long. Which means we have to know what is called for in each here and now and serve it with our life, by doing what needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, etc. every moment. We have to live attuned to, attentive to, aware of, in service to, with liege loyalty and filial devotion to what the moment is calling for in every moment that comes along. Believe whatever it takes to do that. And don't let anything keep you from doing it. The basic test of any belief, of any system of belief, of any faith system, that comes along is this: Does it enable me to do what is called for in each moment? To do what is right for every occasion? To be who I am needed to be here and now forever? If it does, believe it with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and strength. If it doesn't, keep looking for something that does. Or make it up right out of your own imagination. Which is where all belief/faith systems come from, right out of someone's imagination.
We have to get to the end of our rope before we can change our minds about what is important, and some of us had rather die than change our mind. This is the important thing: Something must die! What will it be? We will either die actually, literally, or we will die figuratively, metaphorically. This is dilemma at every transition point in the work/task of growing up, which is what the spiritual journey entails. The Hero's Journey is nothing more than growing up, shouldering all of the developmental tasks and surrendering what must be surrendered in doing what must be done to meet the demands of the journey, of this developmental task along the way. We will die to what we have always believed is so, to all we ever wanted to be so, in changing our mind, and embracing what is truer than the truth we held to be true-- or we will die to our life in the moment of our living. Hitler killed himself. So did Jesus and Socrates. Helen Keller squared up to her choices and died to what she wanted to be so in embracing what was so. As have billions of people worldwide through the centuries. We give up this to get that, to make that possible, to do that-- for the sake of a good that is better than our own, personal good. We die to ourselves and live in the service of the good of the whole, of our family, of our nation, of our world, of the cosmos... It's called "growing up." We grow up when we change our mind about what is important, about what is true, about what is right, about what is incumbent upon us-- and do what is called for in each situation as it arises, without exploiting the situation for our benefit, our gain, our good. Just doing what is good, what is right, what is called for, moment by moment. And the world is better for it. Every time.