Do you ever stop to look at the thoughts going around in your head on a regular basis? Is it the mental equivalent of a washing machine churning away in there?
Why do we continue to spend so much of our thoughts in the past or future? Quite possibly because we’re not in control. Conditioned to accept mental agitation as normal…
Hurry Up & Meditate, by David Michie
Is this you?
I read this and thought back to the time before I knew differently. No-one had ever told me before then that there was another way. That living constantly in the past or future was making me miserable. I thought my life was making me miserable. Why would I do that to myself? Because I didn’t know any better, not then.
The first inkling might have been trying to read Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. Though that probably wasn’t the best introduction to the idea of presence. It felt dense, thick, I couldn’t quite grasp what he was talking about. I felt dense and thick! I certainly couldn’t feel the reality of living what he talks about.
The understanding grew slowly over time, mainly through meditation. Something I never thought I could do, with my crazy-busy mind.
I learnt about taking a step back and observing what went on in my head. The way I talked to myself, about myself, how negative and dismal it was in there. Would I talk to my children like that, or a friend? No. But myself? All the time.
As an observer it was clear, not only did I not love myself, I didn’t even LIKE myself. I criticised and doubted myself all the time. Put myself down, made myself wrong, dwelt so much in the unhappiness I created.
Learning to be grateful for what I had, who I was, to feel real appreciation was hard. We’re taught to be self-deprecating, self-limiting, and stay small so we don’t seem to be “up ourselves”. There seems to be a disturbing misunderstanding of what it means to be grateful and appreciative, to be aware of, and own our talents; to be confident and hopeful.
“Realistic” is a word I’ve grown to dislike, whenever someone says this to me I just hear “go back to your negative mindset, I’m more comfortable with you like that”. Don’t dare dream, or hope! It makes other people quite uncomfortable sometimes.
We seek praise but also find it hard to accept, or secretly we just don’t believe it.
We crave validation from others, instead of giving ourselves that comfort.
We think the way others see us is the truth, instead of knowing our whole, true self.
I no longer accept this mental agitation as NORMAL. I see it for what it is; a temporary distraction from what’s actually important. Listening to myself, deeply feeling what’s right for me, and remembering that the present is the only time we truly have.
Does this make sense to you? Have you noticed yourself doing any of these? Not sure how to change the cycle?