We need to know what is in our best interests,
which might not always be identical to what we want
at a particular time. That's part of caring for ourselves. It's like a kid in a candy store: the kid wants a whole bag of sweets, but the parent knows that this is going to make the child sick, and only buys one candy bar for the child. The kid can yell and scream, but a good parent doesn't just give a child what it wants,
but first considers what it needs.
We can take this attitude with our own minds also. I often have to take this stance with my own mind.
I had some pretty scary images coming up earlier this year. It's well and good for us to say, 'none of these images are self, they are just images in the mind', which is perfectly true, but not all minds are ready or able to have this perspective. I feel that identification goes deeper than what we might think. We might not even realize that we are identified with our body, our feelings, perceptions etc. And so, when the scary images came up for me, although I 'knew' they were not real, they felt real anyway - and that wasn't purely just a lack of sati-sampajanya, it was also because, on an emotional level, I was
identifying with those images. (In fact, I still could do so, except that I restrain it - will elaborate below.)
I stopped meditating for a few days. I was scared to do the practice. Then I tried to think it out thus: What are those terrible images, really? They are just made of mind, nothing more. They have no more substance than that. My body, by comparison, is solid and stable. Why don't I spend all my energy in this meditation just grounding my awareness in the body?
It worked. I 'allowed' the scary images to enter, with one crucial precondition: I maintained (strictly) awareness in this physical flesh-and-bones body.
This 'gounded' me, kept me from 'floating off' into the scary images and believing in them. I perceived that 'this body is one thing - (solid and stable) - and the horrible images / ideas are another
thing - (comparitively insubstantial, like phantoms). Whenever my mind drifted off into the scary images, I patiently brought it back into awareness of kaya
, the body. Thus I was able to not care
anymore whether they arose or not. But it was crucial to be able to stay with the perception of this physical body as a sort of 'anchor'. That was what undermined any belief in the scary images as being anything of substance.
Disclaimer, however: please take the advice or more experienced practitioners above mine, and as has been pointed out, be careful. I'm not a medical professional, nor a qualified counsellor. I just wanted to share how I deal with this issue.