What’s in your mind? Believe it or not, this is the best time ever to be mindful of your mind?
Thinking is something we do every day. In fact, we never stop thinking. Even while we sleep, we continue thinking in dreams. Most of our thoughts are repetitious of the past. Many are filled with doubt, self-criticism and worries.
Right now, my mind is like six motorways going in my head with so much distortions, distractions, beliefs, habits and lots more, and don’t know which one to go on. I AM struggling with a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions as to whether I should continue to explain how I began embracing change during some devastating life-threatening challenges of abuse and cancer. With the chitter chatter of dominating voices of my pre-set mind of the past lounder than voices of the present. It’s like a tug-of-war with my deeply-rooted compulsive ways of thinking striving to sabotage my present thoughts. But I can hear a whispering voice within, a guiding force, a messenger urging me to just do it!
Yes, buried deeply in our subconscious there is a constant battle raging. Your ego vs your spirit, each pulling in opposite directions.
Ego and spirit are something we all have. As human beings we need both to exist. But here’s the secret, and this blew me away when I realised the difference between my ego and my spirit. It took me a long time and a lot of soul-digging to get it.
What is the ego?
Your ego (also known as the false self) is the “I” your personality make-up, a bit like your bodyguard, externally created from your childhood as a result of your culture upbringing conditioning – made up of beliefs you have of yourself, position, place and possession, your social mask, the face you put on for the world. To put it bluntly, the ego is selfish and self-centred – it absorbs so much rubbish and drama in our mind. It also tends to take on the victim mentality role.
What is your spirit?
Your spirit is whole, worthy, genuine and authentic. Some people may call it our true identify it as the ‘soul’ the core of who you are, something more than a physical being, buried deep down below all the Tupperware labels and titles. I will go so far as to say the spirit is the infinite energy force, the creator, the leader, guiding you to a state of being to consciously live a more fulfilling and peaceful life.
“Our Mind Is In Bondage With The Past”
The sad truth, many of us has allowed our ego to mislead us by taking control over our decisions, actions, thoughts and general philosophy of life. We were not taught how to align with our ego and spirit, after years of being dominated by fears, worries, blame, guilt and constant chatter of the external world. On saying that, I remember having a conversation with a dear friend when I was on the battlefield with my thoughts and feelings. My victimised, self-pitying, poor me mood about my life was on autopilot.
So, there I was drowning and unburdening my past traumas to my friend about my abusive childhood and relationships, traumatic illnesses, suicidal thoughts, bereavement, guilt and lots more. And I must admit expecting some sympathy from my friend. But she bluntly said:
“Margaret, it sounds like you are a victim of your past and are self-abusing yourself by the learned habitual thought patterns from your childhood upbringing. “YOU are not your memories.”
I can’t fully describe the feeling that I experienced hearing those words. But myspirit which I called my “Inner Tutor”, some of you may call it your inner child, intuition – the creative, positive instructor was hungry to hear more.
“YOU Are Not Your Memories”
It seems what my friend said rang true. In my second book, Mindful Healthy Body Makeovers, soon to be published, the relationship, the connections between the mind and body. Everything in the mind affects the body, whether conscious or unconscious, and everything happening in the body affects the mind. In other words, our bodies response to our thoughts and feelings and reflects them back to us boldly in bodily conditions.
Following the mind-awakening discussion with my friend, the reality – which slowly emerged that many of us are slaves to our past. The ego is hell bend on keeping us locked in the past – clinging to old hurts, mistakes, habits that no longer serves us. What good do these repetitive thought patterns do? They no longer exist, but the ego continues to keep them alive in the mind. And along with discovery of the mind body connection and how your past may have more influence in your present life than you realise. This affects your behaviour because scenes and emotions of the past still presently in your mind. Your spirit is constantly trying to bring you into the moment into awareness that they don’t exist.
As I proceeded to unravel these learned habitual thought patterns of past traumas, I soon realised that we are living two lives: we live most of our lives in our memories, and we live life as our experience of the present moment. And that there are two paths to live life and not only that, that life is one big multi-task choice. One is the path of a victim (ego) and the other is the path of a creator (spirit).
In saying this, however, like everything ego is the inherent part of our nature, and we cannot eliminate it. The ego was in fact created with some positive intentions to provide for our physical being and to lovingly protect us so that we could live in the external world. It is just unfortunate that it dominates and suffocates and hides our spirit in its many layers buried deeply within us. And so, this is why our mission is to become mindful of our mind.
Our ego’s path is unconscious thoughts, emotions and feelings, shaped by our conditioning, our beliefs, our knowledge, our experiences in the present state of the mind. It seems to like to wallow in being competitive and to serve itself. Our spirit’s path is in the present state of mind which shapes our inner reality to rise out of unconsciousness, to think and accept things as they are instead of being dictated by emotions. To put it another way, the spirit doesn’t care about controlling or knowing, it cares about growing, creating, evolving, learning to surrender to whatever is presently occurring in your life.
“Our Thoughts Can Free Us Or Destroy Us”
Keep in mind there will always be conflict with the ego. Why? The ego is not about to give because it is prone to think of itself as the dominant opponent of life. With our spirit taking leadership, we should not supress our thoughts as there will be times your ego will continue bombarding you with usual compulsive thoughts to which the mind has become accustomed too.
Now, having the awareness of the difference between the ego and the spirit. We are responsible for our own progress and it starts by witnessing our minds at play when having thoughts that keep us ‘victimised’ in our life, when our spirit awakens, and when being triggered! We all have the capacity to become our true selves and not hide behind the disguise of ego any longer.
As you can see, the solution is you, and the power is you. You get to choose if you live your authentic true self or remain a slave to your false self.
So which path will you choose?