The Mind Trap

I use to think that my thinking was the way to resolve an issue that bothered me until it no longer did. It was a realization for me to learn that thinking is not the end all to getting rid of unwanted thoughts, sensations, or emotions. Some unpleasant thoughts, sensations, and emotions were spontaneous in that they just showed up randomly. Others were a result of my own anxious thinking. I thought for sure that the ones that came from my thinking could be resolved by my thinking. Not the case. Thinking is only 1 tool we have. Thinking is only good for certain things such as practical matters and choices, etc. It is not to be used to undue intrusive thoughts or worries. If I can’t think my way out of it then I’m screwed, right? I certainly believed that for the longest time and so I persisted for decades to undo unwanted, intrusive thoughts. All it got me was exhausted and precious time wasted that could have been spent living my life. If not thinking, then what? I learned through experience that action and commitment to what is important to me, if this troubling matter wasn’t present in my life, was and is the answer. Now that’s powerful. Wow. Can I do that? It takes work but I learned yes I sure can. So when an intrusive thought, worry, sensation, or emotion comes to me what do I do? The 1st step is not to think on it. Rather, I know ahead of time what kind of life I want to live based on what is important to me and what I want to be remembered for when I am no longer here and then I DO something that has to do with that. That’s it. The problem, you might say, is that you feel bad still while doing that thing that you value or that matters to you personally. That is true. That does happen. When an unpleasant or intrusive thought or sensation comes to me and I don’t try to think or reason it away then it feels uncomfortable to me and I do feel distressed. This is the price for freedom. I and we have to be willing to feel uncomfortable temporarily as a result of not getting in the mind trap but rather getting in action, regardless of how we feel, doing something that is consistent with what we deeply value in life. There it is. That’s the path to freedom I found. Try it for 2 days and you won’t be disappointed with the results and don’t keep track if you are feeling good or not. Just do it for 2 days! Fight through the discomfort and do it. Persist. You will see. Let’s do our work on the path to freedom!