My brain is similar to a radar looking for threats, when it cannot find one, it expands its area to what could be threatening in the future. Because that is what a brain does.
I used to think I ruminate, I worry, I judge, and I fear; of course, I would surmise I am a ruminator, worrier, judgmental and fearful person. Taking my faulty presumption very personal.
When innocently personalizing our thinking, we create discomfort. Most people either attempt to control their environment (rigidly living life, over analyzing) or numb their discomfort (eating, drinking, shopping.) I’ve done my share of both.
When I moved passed controlling and numbing (it wasn't as graceful as it sounds...it took a lot of time and patience), I set out to change my thinking for a more peaceful life. I found that a brain wired to survive isn’t really affected in the long term by positive affirmations.
What made a substantial difference was learning that brains ruminate, worry, judge, and/or fear. That is what brains do to protect us. Just like our heart pumps blood and our stomachs digest food. Brains also do a lot of wonderful things like know our addresses, how to perform our jobs, remember lyrics to songs from junior high school.
With this understanding, I began to experience spacious freedom. My brain narrates life. I am not my brain. I am life. I am living.
Taking thoughts personally takes a lot of time and energy. I began to see that I am not my thoughts, I am the one who is aware that I am thinking. This created a spaciousness that I wasn’t experiencing before. A space to take a deep breath and see that I was always ok. I was just caught up in my thinking.
What I learned is true for all of us.
When we are not caught up in our thoughts, we are naturally grounded in the present moment…the only moment. The moment may contain joy, sorrow, boredom, or anger, and like waves in the ocean, they continuously move, unless we resist or insist on an emotion (which of course is done by the brain’s habitual thinking.)
We naturally know what to do when a situation presents itself. We are at home with our self. We know controlling and numbing will not bring us the comfort of being home…because we are already there. And as Dorothy said, ‘There is no place like home!”
Syd Banks said, If the only thing people learned, was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world. I have experienced this in my world. I am not afraid of my experience and I sometimes get caught up…. of course. We humans do that.
It has been a lovely exploration.