The Thinking Mind: The Playground Bully

thinkerThe thinking mind is very similar to the playground bully of grammar school; the insecure, dysfunction being that over compensates by showing itself to be cruel, unforgiving and completely in control. What “we think” is of our own creation.

The sad part is we believe our most all of our thoughts and think they are “us”. However, deep down we know that is not true (at least at some point in life that truth rises to the surface, even if we choose to let the “bully” (thinking mind) over power that knowing).

I believe each of us innately knows what we should and should not do; what is right for us and what is not. The problem for most is, this knowing arrives very quietly and never speaks loudly. While the thinking mind communicates with us in words, thoughts and broken sentences. The higher self communicates in feelings; a sense of things; intuitive, soft and true; but so very easy to ignore. Call the higher self your gut, intuition, guardian angel, soul or whatever suits you. Follow its direction and your life will improve remarkably for the better.

The (thinking) mind is insistent. It takes charge over the heart’s connection to truth, the inner compass, and the body’s innate wisdom about its own eternal nature. It disconnects us from the source of wisdom and truth.

We strive to create an identity for ourselves that we can be proud of. We want to be independent, unique, special. We want to make a splash and leave an impact on the world. We hope to leave a legacy. We want to be recognized for our contributions.

Yet, for the most part, we have no idea what we’re doing here, and we fall into a trap of working hard, making money, paying bills, working harder, making more money, paying higher bills, until something goes awry and we have to examine our reality. An illness or accident, a relationship breaks down, we lose a job or run out of money – something triggers a snap that flips a switch.

Then a light bulb turns on and we realize what we thought was reality is just a maze we created for ourselves within this game of illusion.

And now the game gets fun. Now we get to find our way out of the maze we’ve constructed that hides the light of knowing inside ourselves. We are inspired to make our way back to the center pole of truth before the timer on our game show stint runs out.

There are many pathways we can take, and crazy confusing signals that try to direct us which path to take. We’re afraid to take the wrong path and end up in worse shape than before we started.

Before we realize we’re in a game, much less begin to try to figure out how the game works, we’re so riddled in lies, or shall we say, beliefs that direct us away from core truth, that we don’t know which end is up. . Mastura Debra Graugnard

My life changed for the better when I began to “feel” and follow the direction of my deeper self. I can’t do it all the time and frankly, can’t even be that in touch the majority of the time. But when I can ignore my thinking mind and “feel” the direction I am given, my life ALWAYS turns out for the best.

There is no greater agony
than bearing an untold story
inside you.
Maya Angelou

All Worth While

believe_in_yourself_by_saraer90-d4o7754EDITWhen you really want something,
Sometimes you have to swim a little deeper.
You can’t give up,
Just because things don’t come easy.
You have to overcome the obstacles,
And face your fears.
But in the end,
It’s all worth while.
Life is full of ups and downs,
But if you believe in yourself,
You will always be okay.
Through love and faith,
Never underestimate you.
Believe in yourself.

Dealing with difficult things has usually not be something I’ve avoided, except in matters of the heart. Within the realms of romantic love and loving myself, fear has often been my master and mistress. Fearfulness ruled my actions and inaction. Emotional addiction and dysfunction brought unfaithfulness to my own beliefs and standards. Literally and figuratively I was barely enough of a ‘swimmer’ to survive.

But I did stay ‘afloat’. I endured and am better for the experiences and knowledge grief, heartache and pain brought. For a long time the teaching that life kept showing me over and over did not register. The so fully human practice of doing the same thing repeatedly with the same unwanted result was long mine.

Ever so slowly the ups and downs carved a new faith within me.  “What does not kill you makes you better”. I began to love the person I had become in spite of whatever I had done in the past (or not done). Not every moment of each day am I content and loving to myself, but the majority of the time I am. That feels like a ‘miracle’ compared to where I once was. Once my heart became open to loving “me”, it began to find room to better house and protect love of all kinds.

In thinking I was less than I became less than. With thoughts that I couldn’t, came impossibility. Believing a small amount opened the way for me to believe a lot. Allowing a little self-love over time opened space for more self-respect, self-care and plenty of room to love others.

Like turning a speeding train, it took a long wide span of time and space to turn into a different direction. Through the example and love of a few others, I learned to begin caring for myself. I found hope. My future is now gratefully filled with possibilities far beyond the grasp of what I once believed.

If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too.
It believes exactly what you tell it
through the words you use to describe yourself,
the actions you take to care for yourself,
and the choices you make to express yourself.
Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation
who came here to experience wonder and spread joy.
Expect to be accommodated.
From “Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty”
by Victoria Moran,

Two Poems and a Saying

This morning finds me a bit groggy after a good night’s rest even after a half hour awake and my first cup of coffee of the day. Extra measures of the activities of a good life squeezed out some usual sleep hours over the last ten days and I’m now in catch-up mode. I’m dragging!

Reading is frequently the best medicine for brightening my mood and I reached on top of the two stacks of books on the side of my desk. The first one I picked up for inspiration this morning was “Moments of Awareness” by Helen Lowrie Marshall published in 1968. There I found the little pick-me-ups I needed.

“Good Morning”
“Good Morning!” What a lovely way
To open up a brand new day!
Not knowing what that day may hold-
A sun of tinsel or of gold-
The phrase embraces in its scope
His faith-of every soul a part;
The love that lives in every heart.
“Good Morning-and a Good Today!
May all things happy come your way;
And may the light of this new dawn
Find all your cares and worries gone.”
So much the simple words convey-
“Good Morning-It’s a lovely day!”

“A Shaft of Sunlight”
A shaft of sunlight breaking through
Can make the whole world shining new;
Can shape tomorrow, change a life;
Can banish doubt and fear and strife.

One shaft of sunlight through the grey,
One word of cheer that we may say,
Could carry far-flung consequence,
And might make all the difference.

The words of sages, philosophers and poets have frequently been the sign posts of my life that pointed me in the direction I needed to go or else reminded me of what I already knew. Silently each writer is my companion on this adventure called life and gives me insight, strength and encouragement. I am grateful for my ability to read and all those who inspire me by their words put down for me to discover.

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.
Richard Wright

Your’s Is the Earth and Everything In It

John Keats wrote, Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.  So it is for me with the poem below.  Many years have passed since encountering the Kipling poem below.  Last time reading it I was still a young man. The meaning falls upon me with greater weight and deeper meaning now being near the end of my 5th decade and have a son dear to me. For my boy, who is now a man near thirty, I hope all of Kipling’s thoughts will ring true.  This entry is dedicated to my son.  

“If” by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

One of the most difficult yet wonderful gifts of my growth in recent years is the ability to feel deeply and openly. It seems every ounce of emotion and sentiment lies just a millimeter below my skin waiting to be brushed up against and set free. While weighty to bear sometimes, I am so very grateful for this heightened ability to feel that makes me more alive than ever before.

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
Robert Frost

 At the link below you can hear Kipling’s poem above read in a distinctive “British accent” as is appropriate since the poet was English.


Rain Upon the Blinding Dust

Human beings are the only animals that cry ’emotional tears’. Other animals have their own distress-signals, but crying from stress, pain, sorrow or joy is unique to man. Why we cry and even the actual function of it is not clearly understood even today. The general belief is that adult human crying does two things: relieves tension or stress and is a social signal that communicates distress to others indicating the need for comfort and emotional support.

Western society expects women to cry and in some circles one who does not do so openly with some regularity is often thought of as being hard, jaded and to even have reduced femininity. Only today is it becoming OK for men to cry.

In a national survey done in Great Britain by The Social Issues Research Center it was found that 90% of women and 77% of men think it has become socially acceptable, over the past 20 years, for men to be seen crying. In one-on-one interviews with respondents the message was the same: the majority of both men and women felt that attitudes have changed – that the taboo on male tears is now generally regarded as outdated and ‘unhealthy’ and that men are allowed to be more emotionally open.

They survey found the majority of men (74%) were touched emotionally to cry most often by the death of someone close to them. However when questioned about this in detail it was found men most often shed those tears of grief in private, rather than at funerals. The other primary tear-triggers for men are sad moments in films or on TV (44%) and the breakup of a romance or relationship (39%). Music to a lesser degree was also found to be capable of moving a man to tears.

There is no evidence to suggest that men are somehow created to be “less emotional” than women and are more cold and unfeeling. Research indicates men experience just as much emotional feeling as women. Experiments measuring physical responses to emotion have shown men respond at least as much as women in most cases. Men are simply less emotionally expressive than women.

I am here to tell you as a man:  crying can be cleansing and renewing. Having held back such intense feeling for much of my life, it was a surprise to learn in the last ten years the therapeutic value of tears. There has not been some emotional basket case syndrome come over me, nor is crying something I do every day or even every week. However, when I feel tears coming I don’t hold them back as I once did. Although I will admit sometimes where I am or who I am with still causes me to stifle them. The old conditioning of “big boys don’t cry” kicks in then knowing there are still many people who attach a stigma to a man who cries.

As silly as it may sound to some, I am very grateful to finally be able to let tears vent what I am feeling on the inside. This ‘big boy does cry’ and it has proven to be a healthful thing for me.

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears,
for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth,
overlying our hard hearts.
Charles Dickens