Most people never consider their thoughts. Since our mind is where we live, really, it’s a pretty important thing to consider. I remember the first time I thought about thinking. I was walking with my dad, I must have been around 6 or 7.
I suddenly became aware of the incessant stream of thoughts running though my mind. As we were walking I kept trying to stop them, and I found that I couldn’t. Not even for a second! I looked up at my dad and informed him of this disturbing revelation, and he said, “that’s normal, no one can stop thinking”.
What? Seriously? That can’t be correct.
I remember vividly being further disturbed by his response. Then I saw something shiny or something, and moved on.
One of my favorite authors is Eckhart Tolle. In his book, “A New Earth-Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” he describes observing a crazy man while on his commute to work. This man was talking loudly to himself, carrying two sides of an intense argument. He was angry, then defensive, then upset; forever trying to win this argument. Making everyone on the bus move away from him, completely unaware of his own wigging out.
I haven’t read the book in a few years, so I’m paraphrasing here. Eckhart goes along his way, forgets about the man. Starts thinking about something that is going on in his life. It’s a biting situation with another person and he’s pissed about it. He has been wronged.
He’s going over in his head what he should have said, how they may have responded, then BAM, yeah, that would have been a zinger! He’s retelling this story over and over in his head while he hits up the restroom. He looks in the mirror as he’s washing his hands and realizes that his face is displaying the emotion he’s having in this imaginary argument. He is just like the crazy man, he just doesn’t think aloud.
We all do it. Starting from imagining running away from our awful parents who make us clean our rooms; man, they will feel awful when I’m just gone! GOOONE! To adult situations with lovers, bosses, family members and random assholes not treating us as we want to be treated.
We become trapped in these situations that aren’t presently happening. We feel the emotions of these horrible confrontations over and over again. It’s not very fun, and it’s really quite silly.
Getting into the anger and upset (no matter how your mind chooses to go about it) is absolutely necessary. I learned the hard way that faking happy and not dealing with your icky emotions will definitely not make them go away.
We don’t need to get into the anger, hurt, and unpleasant whatnot for very long though. After a while it turns from processing an event and it’s accompanying emotions to allowing yourself to be the victim. To enjoying being the victim.
How dare the universe give me this shitty deal?! What did I ever do to deserve this?!
It can feel pretty good when nothing is our fault. It is not at all constructive though, and a detrimental use of thought and emotion.
Our minds are where we live. Do we really want to fill that space with thoughts of “woe is me”? Shake it off. Let it go. In that same book Mister Tolle describes two ducks getting into an altercation. They splash water and quack loudly, “fuck off other duck!”, raaaawr!”. Then ducks do this thing where they literally shake it off. They do this cute little wiggle, then they go on their merry way. They don’t look back. They don’t replay it in their heads. They literally shake it off and let the water roll of their backs.
Shit happens. It happens all time. It teaches us lessons and allows us to grow into better people. If we let it. Or we can just stand in it and be all like, “ooooh, why am I always surrounded by shit?”.
Just walk away from the shit, dude. We can let it go. We can shake it off. We can move on.