To discover Who You Really Are, you must learn to let go of Who You Are Not.
You are not your mind. And you cannot trust your mind.
- Your mind collects ideas that you have received and inherited through repetition, force, punishment, and various methods of conditioning to make you meet the expectations of others. As an example, if your parents believed honey was harmful to their health, there is a strong possibility you would carry that belief into adulthood. If you don’t stop and question the beliefs you grew up with, you will live with artificial limitations and outdated beliefs controlling your life, meaning you will never achieve your highest potential and you will suffer unnecessarily.
- Conventional wisdom suggests that the mind is rational and emotions are irrational. But the mind is not rational at all. If the mind were rational, it would not keep reminding you of old experiences to you when you face new ones. If someone disappointed you or hurt you in the past, your mind will have you believe every person you encounter today and in the future is a potential disappointment or conman. When opportunities come your way, your mind will say, “Don’t do that! Don’t you remember what happened to Mr. A?” Or “Don’t you remember what happened to you in the year 1629?” Your mind does not care that you are not Mr. A. It doesn’t care that this is 2016, not 1629. In this way, your mind protects you from disappointment, but often at the cost of success. It robs you of valuable opportunities simply because it sees the possibility of failure, no matter how small. Your mind uses the past to judge the present, and thereby creates a future that is similar to the past.
- Because your mind lives in the past, it does not see the world as it really is. It does not see you as you really are right now. It continues to tell you that today is yesterday, and that the you of today is the same you as the year 1629. It does not realize or agree that time has moved on, or things have changed. As long as you depend on your mind to interpret reality, you will never see reality as it really is.
- As if this is not bad enough, the mind exaggerates, especially when it comes to fear or danger. How many times have you pictured an undesirable event in your mind over and over, and it seemed like the most terrible thing that could ever happen to you, only for you to face that situation and find out that it was not as bad as you imagined at all? The mind knows that it does not know the future, and so it always paints the worst future it can imagine.
Have you noticed that your mind is addicted to seeing problems? Watch your thoughts for a few days and you will understand what I mean. Your mind worries about problems before they actually happen. Then it worries about problems while they are happening. Then, even after the problem is solved, your mind looks back at it and continues to imagine what would have happened if the problem had not been solved! Isn’t that crazy?
The majority of the problems you encounter in life will be the result of false beliefs. They are repetitive thought structures that control your behaviour, emotions and your perception of daily reality. The ideas you become the most accustomed to — the ones that have really become part of you – become part of your physical body. They will solidify as neural structures in your brain, become hardwired, and these are the most difficult habits to challenge or break. Some of your oldest beliefs even settle in to your cellular structure and your body’s energy fields. These ideas penetrate you so deeply that you believe they are you, and the concept of challenging or changing them will not even make any sense to you and will trigger fear and a feeling of being threatened.
You cannot use the mind to challenge the mind. To become who you really are, you must loosen and uproot these false beliefs from your consciousness. You must stop being a slave of your mind and start assuming control of it. Your mind cannot tell you what to think – you must tell your mind what you want it to think. I’ve said before, the mind is the steering wheel of the human being. Without control, your mind will sabotage all your efforts to change, and not only will it be impossible to work towards a better future, it will be impossible for you to even imagine that future.
Meditation is the key to regaining control over your mind. With a daily habit of meditation, you will gradually discover the ability to look at people and events more objectively. You will begin to see for the first time that the past and the future are not real places, but ideas that your mind has become addicted to. You will begin to understand what this means:
You don’t need to do up to an hour of meditation everyday. The point is not for you to become a Buddhist monk. Ten minutes every morning is just fine. As you develop a habit of it, you can gradually increase the amount of time to suit your needs. The important thing is to do it every day without fail – whether you feel like or not, until it becomes a habit that becomes difficult to live without.
Meditation will help you achieve a state where you are less addicted to thinking about the past or the future. It will help you stay focused on what is happening right now, which is a lot less stressful and a lot more interesting than you may realize.
Don’t believe anybody who tells you meditation is hard. Meditation is easy, and you don’t need to do it perfectly to benefit from it. Do your best at the beginning, and you will improve as time goes on.
I read somewhere that not everyone may be able to meditate. Still, even if you are one of these people, you can find a quiet place every morning to examine your thoughts and clear your mind for 10 minutes. Doing this everyday resets you mentally for the day ahead, and gives you a more objective view of the challenges you will face during the day.
Reclaiming control of your mind is a crucial foundation stone on which you will be able to sit to direct and control the flow of your life from that moment on.[sc name=”post-disclaimer”]