It’s Driving Us Nuts
There’s your brain, 👆 blasted to nuts.
Thoughts are thoughts. No more, but thoughts. And above all, they are not yours!
We take every thought with a straight face. It is the main cause of our mental imbalance. An imbalance that we can’t see, but is there. It has become very common and thus, considered to be normal.
But it is not.
Imagine this situation. Bullies/Attackers have surrounded you from all sides. They’re hurting you emotionally/physically. Every one of them is.
Mr.A hurts you, you rush to him and bark at him for being stupid. Mr.B does that simultaneously, you indulge with him too. Sabotage is going on from all sides. And so is your indulgence.
Won’t you go nuts?
Tackling every single attack or remark.
That’s what we do every day and almost every second inside us. This game of attacking and defending has become a constant. That could also be another reason that we are not able to identify this error.
What’s the big difference between mad people and “normal” people? Nothing, actually. At least not a big difference. I am not VERY different from the mad person lying in the hospital.
There is a small difference or differences.
- We’re not shouting out every single thing that comes to our mind.
- We’re not completely under the control of the mind. If there’s a thought, “Let’s bite him,” you’re not going to do that. Basic control.
We all have seen people mumbling while in public transport. Or shaking their legs violently.
I have an embarrassing habit too. When I’m lost in my mind and thoughts, I start talking to myself or chew my finger. (Not fingernails!)
If I’m on the streets, and my mind notices a dog, instant commentary will begin. In extreme states, I start mumbling those words going on in my head.
“Look at that dog. I hate its color. Wait, where’s its tail…well if I were a dog I would’ve wagged my tail all day long. Certainly not bite people. It hurts. Oh shit. Look at the time………..(loading…) What if I were Venom? I would go around eating people’s heads off! That would be loads of fun! “We…are VENOM!” Ha!”
Oh boy! I can’t believe I think of all this trash.
Being in present and practicing present moment awareness helps. It makes me aware of what I’m doing at this very moment.
If you pay attention to the thought stream of yours or recall the most recent one, you’ll understand that most of it were useless. And how much time and energy we’re wasting in this.
Saw a dog. A thought arises, and instantly we attach to it. Then we go on thinking.
Saw a poster for the upcoming Marvel movie. Got attached, took it seriously, and now making plans for it. Another stream and chain of thoughts have stolen our precious awareness and attention.
A thought arises to fight with the person standing in front of you. You take it seriously, and chaos arises. More turbulence in your mind.
If you do not attach with these thoughts, a greater force drives you. Rather than fighting with that obnoxious shopkeeper, you’ll peacefully convey him your message. Or ask him to give the right thing or you’ll have to tell other people about his bad service.
All this without disturbing yourself. Inside, you’re quiet.
Even if you had a fight with someone, the thing that later on disturbs you are the thoughts about it.
If you take those thoughts seriously, there will be more anger. More hatred. More aversion.
I was once preparing for a speech. More than memorizing, my mind’s future predictions seemed frightening.
I was all the time thinking on how to look less stupid. I even discovered a few more abnormalities in my clothing. I decided to stand this way and talk that way.
I was also concerned about a pimple peeping out from my forehead. I stretched my hair down and covered it with that hair.
But the hairstyle! A bit more tweaking and turning and everything will look fine.
Then, when the thoughts saw that I was catering to each and every thought that came by, all of them piled themselves up.
And in the middle of the chaos, was me. Attending every thought and giving full attention to every thought. And whatever it said. Justifying, reasoning and reacting to every mind-made situation.
Then, I got frustrated, I threw away everything and fell on the bed.
Then, I saw Eckhart Tolle’s book, “Stillness speaks” lying in front of me. I opened a random page and read a random sentence. It changed everything that day.
“Here’s a new spiritual practice for you, do not take your thoughts seriously.”
I was like…
There is an argument that might come for this mantra.
“Should I ignore every thought that comes to me?”
80%–90% of the thoughts that are coming to us are recurring and useless. (Data hasn’t been picked from a source…it’s a personal study).
You have to escape the mode of mind using you. It’s a tool. Use it when you want to.
For example, you get an idea for a great article. It’s just another thought. You don’t have to take it seriously. You have to take it as a thought.
Note it down. Then leave it. Then the thought that comes after it, like, how am I going to write? Or this could be the viral article of my life. Or whatever! Do not take them seriously too. It is also another thought.
Take a thought, as a thought. If it is useful, make use of it, constructively. If it is useless, let it pass away.
Most of our thoughts are useless, but we don’t realize that.
I myself am an obsessive thinker.
Whenever I used to catch myself in a thought, I used to say, “Oh please! Let me think on this one! It’s so very important!!”
And the thought used to be about enjoying fame and money or getting an iPhone XS Max.
Every thought seems to be very important. It wants to draw our complete attention towards it. When we’ll recognize them as mere, powerless thoughts, we’ll easily be able to detach from them.
Go from overthinking to under-thinking. Good luck!
Inspired by the teachings in Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle
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