Your thinking is like a straight jacket. It keeps you stuck, it makes you feel you have no choices, and it renders you powerless…
The first time I heard, “you are not your thoughts” I was sitting in my first Mindfulness course 16 years ago. My first thought was, “well, then who the hell am I“? I did not fully understand it or believe it. I was both confused and hopeful. For all this time, I just assumed I was my thoughts. After all, I am thinking of them, so they must mean that is who I am. What a relief to realize I might not be the hot mess I think I am.
If you begin to let this idea settle in, that perhaps I am not my thoughts an awareness begins to happen. We begin to pay attention to some of the thoughts we do have. Research says we have 60,000 thoughts per day on average
, of that 60K, 80% are repeated over and over (think about Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day
) That is a hell of a lot of “I am”. I cannot be all of them. How about when I am cranky, feeling down… Am I those thoughts? What if they only happen occasionally? Can I be them? The 80% are usually not helpful and keep us on autopilot, which keeps us from engaging in life in the present moment. A good amount of these thoughts are also the ones that we have allowed to condition us to believe something about ourselves that was imposed on us by someone else’s perception of us (parents, society, teachers, culture, etc ) You could have been told.. you are the easy one, the hard one, too emotional, emotionless, happy, never happy, you get the point. Then we grow up believing these things about ourselves. This is usually not accurate— it is not our essence. This is how others thought we should be/behave to make their lives easier for them. It’s hard to parent, it’s hard to teach all those different levels and personalities. None of this is anyone’s fault — it just is.
We can wake up and realize that we are living in a state of contraction because we have not been able to access our own true nature because we were living someone else’s expectations. When we do the work of healing, we are liberated from the thoughts and no longer feel anxious, angry, or resentful, because we are beginning to acknowledge our soul’s purpose here in this life… on this planet… at this time. None of us needs fixing, we need to allow ourselves to heal and this takes time, practice, patience, and usually a little help.
As the great teacher and philosopher Wayne Dyer said, “Change your thoughts, Change your life”, Creating the life you desire begins one thought at a time and it is enhanced by feeling the positive emotion and action to make it come true.