July 7, 2017

Peace Beyond Thought


We tend to follow our thoughts. We believe everything we think and act accordingly. And the body follows the thought, no matter if it's true or not.

Our bodies believe what we believe.

If we believe we are ill, we will feel ill. If we believe we are in danger, our bodies will tense up, ready to fight or flee. The body reacts to what we believe.

Often, we live among thoughts rather than in the real world. Our thoughts become our reality. We avoid what we fear. We crave control. So we stay in the space our thoughts deem safe.

Overthinking is a need for control.

We think because we want to have control. So we can avoid what we don't want. So we can seem how we want to seem. We want to manipulate our experience and control ourselves--every feeling we feel.

But this endless thirst for control only pulls us away from our lives. From what is real. From the present moment.

Thoughts are not reality.

Reality is beyond thought. You don't have to think about breathing, yet you breathe. When you touch a surface, you don't think about the sensation, you feel it against your skin. You can't think the joy you feel from a loved one's embrace. You can't think love.

Thinking complicates most things. Once you step into these situations with thought, they slip through your fingers like sand, and the meaning is lost.

Thoughts lie to us a lot of the time. They tell us we're not good enough, that we are in danger, that everything is horrible. But beyond thought, there's reality.

A mindfulness exercise:

Try it. What's reality like right now? What's this present moment like, not distorted by thoughts? Don't judge, just allow yourself to be.

It is always possible to practice mindfulness and let thoughts go. It's not easy, because we are wired to think all the time. But it is important to recognize where thinking and overthinking harms us.

During my experience with anxiety, this was very important. Even when I was afraid to do something, I had to go against that thought and do it anyway. I didn't want to stay locked inside my anxious mind, so I had to step out into life and live instead of think.

It feels like throwing away a security blanket or unfastening a seat belt, but this step that is so hard to take, the step that feels the most uncomfortable, is the step toward peace.

A guided meditation on the topic can be listened to here.

“Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everyone is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.” - Eckhart Tolle

3 comments:

  1. I really needed to hear this today. I am over thinking everything and it is dragging my under. Thank you for sharing your wise words!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really needed to hear this today. I am over thinking everything and it is dragging my under. Thank you for sharing your wise words!

    ReplyDelete