Often, we can feel like our decisions of the past were misguided simply because they didn’t yield a permanent positive result or any positive result at all. Whether it was in regard to a relationship, a chosen direction at a fork in the road, or even our decision to act or react in a certain way (or not!) to unforeseen events, we all have [at least] that one thing that STILL does not sit right in the mind and therefore in the heart.
The unease it generates is stifling. Because our minds are so good at churning through things we have no control over, it jams us up, sets us off, and generally sends us on a detour from our best selves, slowing down our emotional (and ultimately spiritual) growth. Sometimes, it seems to stop such growth altogether. But does it really?
As for me, I witnessed my own emotional dam while knowing full well I alone was causing it to exist in the first place. I had the awareness but didn’t have the tools to dismantle the dam and let the healing waters of emotional growth flow free again. Instead, even though I was in a much better place in my life, I wasn’t able to fully FEEL that way a lot of the time. And because I didn’t yet have the right tools (despite decades of self-help book consumption), I felt helpless while my mind regulated how much happiness I was ‘allowed’ to have in my life. At times, I have viewed those periods of my life as ‘wasted time’ because of the awareness of how much further I could have been along the path of emotional and thus spiritual growth by now ‘if it weren’t for’ you-know-what. But there is no such thing as ‘wasted time’… even time itself is a human construct, used to help us make sense of the physical world and universe. We only have ‘experiences’ and our egoic mind’s judgment and interpretation of those experiences.
I’ve spent much time these past few years advancing my understanding of the part the egoic mind plays in the ‘story’ of my life. The fact that there might be a ‘story’ at all already points to the fact that my egoic mind, rather than my heart, has been the dominant entity navigating my life. Upon honest reflection, I now see that this has absolutely been the case for me. When I hear stories in my head that attempt to say what ‘the truth’ is, what is certain in this world, I now recognize them as ‘stories.’ The more I observe my own ‘spin’ on the goings on around and within me, the more I notice how easily my own ‘stories’ change over time and how they even eventually dissipate into thin air. Learning how to quiet my mind allows me to be more fully aware and appreciative of just this moment because, when it comes down to it, this exact moment is all we ever really have. Nothing more is guaranteed and therefore any spin or story about the past or future has got to be just that–a story.
So, are stories real? In short, NO. They are only our mind’s interpretation of the happenings around us, heavily influenced by what we’ve been exposed to so far in our lives (and where we are emotionally in the understanding of such things). Stories always get filtered through the egoic mind and the egoic mind is not typically a ‘happiness factory.’ It is a restless something that needs to make up things that must be done and to opine and (often falsely) interpret everything going on every second of the day.
It is possible, however, to teach the egoic mind new ways of thinking by feeding it with new experiences generated by the heart. If we can get to a point where our hearts are the primary (or at least more frequent) input to the thoughts of the mind, eventually through repetition, THAT becomes ‘the truth’ to the mind. We can limit the constant consumption of ‘stories’ from sources like news infotainment (basically, highly opinionated ‘news’ delivered with a spin), social media (a high mix of entertainment, heavy advertising and heavy spin on current events), and fear-inducing emails or printed materials designed to feed a fear-filled egoic mind with more fear. Essentially, we can limit anything that feeds egoic mind and doesn’t allow the heart a more prominent place in our moment-to-moment thoughts and responses.
With our hearts at the helm, we can more easily look back and reflect upon the events of our lives and of the world as the necessary set of circumstances, experiences and decision making that got us to a more peaceful time in our lives… a time when we have learned to nurture peace within even when we are surrounded by chaos. Peace is born within. And the peace we nurture within ourselves is the peace we bring to the world at large. When we are living from our hearts, even though life continues to deliver unpleasant circumstances, HOW we EXPERIENCE them changes.
We eventually reduce the egoic mind’s tendency to spin inauthentic ‘stories’ about what it all means, because the heart is not interested in ‘what it all means.’ The heart is not interested in squandering precious time in ‘figuring it out.’ The heart is only interested in honoring and enjoying this specific moment as best as possible and existing as constantly as possible in a state of PURE LOVE.
Again, there is NEVER a guarantee of another moment after this one. Not ever. In the blink of an eye, you, me, even the entire planet, the sun and the universe, all of it can disappear in an instant. Not one more breath, not one more “I wish I did or didn’t do this or that.”
Isn’t it time to make the VERY BEST of what we have RIGHT NOW?
Feed your heart. Lead with your heart. And you just might more quickly find your way toward the peace of mind you seek, the peace of mind that comes from the REAL truth… that this moment is all you really have… YOU might not be here tomorrow at all. If you knew that today was your last day on this planet, what would you rather feed your head in your last moments of your precious life? A bunch of regrets, fear, and fabricated stories, either from your own (fear-driven, egoic) head or from the (fear-driven, egoic) talking heads from your gossipy, competitive, negative-energy ‘news’ and ‘entertainment’ sources? Or would you rather feed your head a sense of calm and peace, knowing all is as it should be. Because, in fact, it is what it is. We can’t change the fact that darkness and light go hand-in-hand. Some people live primarily in the dark. Some live primarily in the light. Still others straddle the middle.
The beauty of it all is YOU get to CHOOSE how you would like to live from this moment on.
You can continue feeding yourself MIND(less) chatter.
OR you can try something different. You can disconnect from all that negative-energy noise and feed your mind the PEACE it longs for by listening to the innate WISDOM of your own HEART.
Whatever you choose, you are still loved unconditionally by that something deep inside you that exists in us all and connects us all. The more you believe in *that* TRUTH, the more you are able to love yourself more fully and unconditionally and eventually love others as fully and unconditionally as you love yourself.
Remember, no matter what,
U R Loved,
Susan Maddy J