I once had a date wherein the tall, handsome man across from me repeated the following phrase: “I am not my thoughts.”
Being perhaps naive or simply visually dazzled, I went on another several dates with this man, and again heard versions of this tagline: “We are not our thoughts. Divorce yourself from your mind. It is not you; it is not of you; defeat it.”
Soon enough–as in, the first time I heard it–I began to tire of his (and many others’) message.
Yes, I get it; I am the observer of my thoughts; the thoughts aren’t the me. yadda yadda…
I’d heard this before, I got it, I get it. And frankly, I don’t care. Please, do go ahead and disagree and think I’m completely misinterpreting and if I only understood, I’d feel so much more enlightened and at peace (Do remember, that’s only your thoughts!), but here’s how that framework feels to me:
“There is a part of you inside of you that is the enemy, that you must fight and destroy and override at every interval! Your mind is out to harm you and you must master it, judge it, and excise it at all times.”
For the love of Christ.
This reminds me of when a doctor will say that you need medication to attend to a malfunction with your body. Somehow your body has become your enemy and you need to tame it and subdue it or excite it. For reasons unknown to them, you have developed some strange rejection of your own body and they know how to treat it: Override it.
While I am not wholly anti-Western medicine (chemo survivor, after all), I do feel great suspicion of tending to a problem with a nuclear weapon rather than with some subtler, perhaps more inconvenient method. And this is how I feel when people talk of subduing their mind by divorcing themselves from it.
Luckily, at the moment, I’m listening to two tapes that are countering that way of thinking: Deepak in the 21-day meditation Manifesting True Success and Canfield in The Success Principles. Today’s meditation on “The Successful Mind” and yesterday’s chapter on renewing thought patterns both echo the same sentiment:
Your mind is a tool, an ally, a friend, and, hello!, a constant companion until your death. So why on earth would you want or ever need to get rid of it?
I submit that some thoughts are not useful; I recognize that there is larger consciousness disconnected from repetitive, self-defeating thoughts. I know from experience that habits of mind cause habits of action, and not all those actions are self-supporting.
That said, use what we’re given! Why would we be given a mind, or a spleen, or a tonsil, or an appendix if we’re not supposed to have them?? Why would it be incumbent upon us to remove or silence all the vibrant and functioning parts of us, including our mind??
YES, some thoughts are negative and cause painful patterns. But the wisdom I’ve been listening to lately — and which resonates best with me — is that our mind can be trained, our mind can become an ally, our mind is a fantastic and abundant asset!
Don’t remove what evolution and Fate have bestowed upon you: harness it, heal it, use it — and love it.