The mind is an impenetrable fortress.
We so often find ourselves lost in the endless maze generated by the thinking mind, drowning in a sea of our own thoughts. There is so much happening in our heads that we lose touch with the present moment.
Thinking is like an addiction. If you doubt that, try to stop thinking right now. Good luck.
We can’t control our thoughts. The best we can hope for is be aware enough of our own thoughts that we can move them in a positive direction. This implies being in touch with the heart.
I have been living in my head for a long time.
Through my experience living with a severe chronic illness for the past few years, I have become accustomed to dwelling in the field of my own thoughts. I have found some kind of solace in my mind, and in many ways have lost touch with my heart. What I am trying to say is that I have come to be identified with certain coping mechanisms that I have used to survive this illness, and this has created a deep tension within my own soul.
I don’t know how I would describe these patterns, exactly. I guess I have been unwilling to ask for help, among other things. Instead of looking at myself, I have been justifying myself. I have been resistant to change, unable to let go of things. It has felt like I’ve been at war with myself, and if this war were to continue then it would likely end in my own death.
I have attempted to explain the root of this conflict in other writings.
This all came to a head when I finally hit bottom. After seeing a recently estranged friend, I realized how disconnected I had really been, how cold and closed off my heart had become. This cut right through me. It felt like I had lost myself, and worse still I didn’t understand how it happened. I have been out of touch for awhile, and it finally came back full circle.
Since this happened, the overarching feelings have been vulnerability, openness, and gratitude.
My mind eventually imploded from the pressure I had put on myself, and my heart has finally been given a chance to catch up.
It’s not that things have all the sudden become easier, it is just that I feel more capable of dealing with things now that I have a sense of how I’ve been living wrong.
Now, I am just trying to stay with this feeling. I want to give my heart more attention than my mind for a little while. This seems to be the path to living with love.
The mind is a valuable machine, but it is just that—a machine.
It doesn’t encompass who we are in the very depths of our being. It is a tool that we have used to survive. Our thoughts don’t necessarily speak to our deeper nature as humans, or at least they don’t always seem to.
We need to get out of our heads and into our bodies. I have been doing this by slowing things down. When I feel tense, I just stop for a few moments and take a breath. I look down at my feet and remind myself that I am alive, the weight of my body pressing against the beautiful earth. We don’t need to figure everything out. All we need is to get our little piece right, and this means listening to the heart when it calls to us.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Giulia Bertelli/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Taia Butler