Don’t Believe Everything You Think
This may be obvious to most. But it wasn’t to me. Not until I was 32 years old, and someone very lovingly explained that I was actually separate from my thoughts.
It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but up until that point, no one bothered to teach me how my own mind worked. That all human brains were designed to create thoughts, but those thoughts weren’t necessarily true. That we don’t have to attach to every thought we think if we don’t want to.
Someone had to actually sit and show me how to notice my own thoughts as an impartial observer. And I have to say, once I started observing my brain, I discovered it was kind of an a$$hole.
But then I learned that my brain wasn’t broken or damaged or unnecessarily cruel. I learned that most human brains are often a$$holes.
I learned that my brain has a very important agenda. It wants to keep me safe. It wants to protect me from feeling pain, disappointment, rejection and everything else unpleasant. So it automatically creates thoughts that are designed to keep me from taking risks, being vulnerable, stepping outside my comfort zone (where my brain knows I can survive.) The only problem is, all the best things in life are outside of my comfort zone.
Once I learned how to observe these thoughts, I learned how to interact with them in a new way. I learned the art of inquiry. How to discern where these thoughts were coming from, if these thoughts were even true in the first place, and whether or not they were serving me and my best interest.
Finally I learned that there is nothing wrong with these thoughts showing up. There isn’t much to be done about that. My brain will continue to do a good job being a human brain, and will automatically create all kinds of thoughts. But when I notice that my brain is being a d!ck and creating unnecessary suffering or struggle, I don’t immediately buy into its BS. I can lovingly thank it for its input, appreciate that it’s trying to protect me as best as it can, and then politely ask it to STFU.
THEN I can get to work on creating my own narrative. One that feels supportive, and aligned, and brings me closer to where I’m trying to go.
This is, hands down, the most valuable skill I have ever learned. It has served me in every single area of my life and has completely transformed my entire way of being. (If you are someone that only knows me from before the age of 32, I’d love to reintroduce myself! I assure you, I’m not the girl you remember )
This is also my absolute favorite skill to teach. Maybe this is obvious to you. Maybe it’s something you’ve known all along. Or maybe, you’re like me, and no one ever bothered to teach you how to understand the inner workings of your humanity. If that’s the case, I promise, you’re not alone.
Your brain isn’t broken or defective. It’s not actually an a$$hole. Your brain is doing its job, but is often a little misguided, and needs a little understanding.