We live in this world that connects us to ideas and thoughts and feelings, which carry a sense of energy and directs us through our day. How we think or how we feel becomes the source of energy that gets us through the day. And here I am, with you, and off we go on this journey we call life. In a short while, both of us will be on our way. Each of us will experience life on an individual and unique platform.
In the simplest form, I introduce that today is another day on Project Earth. Once more, we are swarmed by people, places and things. We are surrounded by various ideas and different opinions. We are influenced and inspired by our social and professional circles. We have friends and loved ones, each with their own levels of importance and degrees of intimacy. Both you and I have our own intentions. We have our own intuition, suspicions, influence and agendas. You and I are part of a huge machine, which is nothing more than the system of living.
This is life and in this life, we will engage with all types of encounters. We will meet new people and compare them to old perceptions. We will undergo changes. We will grow. We will learn. We will come back to old ideas and say, “Ah, I had it right the first time.”
We will adapt and create a working narrative in our mind, which has been formed by us through a series of experiences, opinions and assumptions as well as subconscious programs that exist beneath the surface level of our thinking.
I promise that our mind is capable of incredible things. We can support incredible truths and then again, we can lose ourselves to the most incredible lies. We can be our own hero and our own best friend or we can be the opposite and fill the shoes of our own worst enemy. However, the way we adapt to our thinking and the bias of our thoughts has a direct result on whether we are happy or simply existing in a life that we hoped would be better.
There is more to life than meets the eye. (Or, so they say.)
There is more to us than the basic surface-level thinking. For example, beneath the rolling waves of our conscious mind is the energy of our thinking which can be navigated by the chemistry of our emotions and our pre-wired thoughts. We make assumptions and form ideas that are based on our perceptions. However, like opinions, perception is not truth. No, our perception is only true to us. So therefore, our thoughts can become our truth (even if our thoughts are not true). Furthermore, our energy can direct us in either one of two ways. We can either find ourselves in a desirable mindset or not. We can be happy or miserable. Or, we can give into our fixations and allow them to mutate and multiply like a mental virus or we can alter our system to encourage a new level of thinking to keep us moving forward.
For the record, I have been working on this system of living for a very long time. I am like you. I need to say this again and I need to say this clearly. I am like anyone else in this world. I am a person with thoughts and ideas, hopes and dreams. I have all of this and more.
But even more than any of this, I have the need to understand, to compute and to properly calculate my way through life. I want to be comfortable. I want to be able to make decisions and not regret or waste time overthinking them. I say this because like anyone else in the world, I have to make adjustments.
I have the right to improve (just like you do). I want to be the best person I can be and rid myself from the wrongs of my past; but more, I want to absolve myself from the biases which have held me back and kept me from reaching my best potential.
I had asked a friend about an argument that went on in his household. He was discussing the simple frustrations that went on, such as people leaving the lights on or leaving things in the sink or in the bathroom. Now, none of these things are life threatening. In all fairness, we all have our things that drive us crazy. And by the way, these are reasonable requests. However, my question about this was, “If someone just handed you one million dollars in cash, would you still be upset about any of this?”
Keep in mind, I am someone who did not know there is a right and wrong way to put toilet paper on the toilet paper handle. This is a thing, which I never knew about. In fact, there is an argument that splits down the middle as if to ask; is the tab from the toilet paper supposed to roll from the top down or from underneath up?
I once saw a picture of this on social media and beneath were the words, “The struggle is real!”
But is it?
I never thought much about this. To me, I was always happy to know there was toilet paper in the bathroom because the other options would be messy. However, there are people in this world who notice the direction of toilet paper. Maybe this comes from their background or the conditioning of their upbringing. Maybe this connects to a cognitive thread and an inventory from their youth or feelings about the judgments from their upbringings.
Maybe the toilet paper is funny and simple and no, there is no reason to have an argument about something like this. But, arguments about toilet paper or the way people leave their towels in the bathroom (and the list could go on) go back to a series of conditioning and habitual patterns.
What happens when something goes against our habitual patterns?
What happens when something does not coincide with our usual standards? Or better yet, let’s say we were having a bad day. Let’s say there was an altercation at work or a confrontation in our personal life. Let’s say that we encountered something that triggered a memory that led us through a synapse which triggered a series of ideas and memories that we connected to feelings and deep rooted emotions. Although not all of this is surface-level thinking, deep beneath the surface are connections to ideas, thoughts, and memories, which lead us to the chemistry of our emotions.
Let’s say that we encountered an experience that brought about vulnerable or uncomfortable ideas. Then one thought led to another (and another) and after this, we found ourselves stuck in the emotional quicksand of our thinking. And quicksand sucks. We can’t get out of this. We can’t get away from ourselves and next, we come into the bathroom and find that our usual patterns have altered.
Understand that our mind is always looking for comfort; and thus, when we feel uncomfortable and we see something out of place, we notice the loss of connection. So, is it the toilet paper? Is it the dishes? Or, is it the fact that we have emotions tied to a string of thoughts that cause us to be uncomfortable?
By the way, this can be anything. This can be someone leaving dishes in the sink. This can be someone placing the toilet paper on the handle in the opposite way. This can be holding a door for someone and they forget to say “Thank you” and then what?
IT’S FREAK-OUT TIME!
Keep in mind, you are already pre-wired for an argument. You’re uncomfortable. Your catabolic energy is at an all-time high. The chemistry in your body is responding to the direction of your thinking and next, you find yourself screaming the way our parents screamed at us and you shout something like, “How many times do I have to tell you to shut the goddamn lights off?”
And for the record, this does not mean the lights are not important. However, this only means the lights are less important than what’s really going on.
Now, we can go back to the idea of someone giving us a cool, one million dollars. If any of these triggers were pulled or noticed and someone just handed you a case of one million dollars, would you care about the lights or the toilet paper? Would you lose your mind if there was a towel on the bathroom counter instead of hanging where it should be?
The answer is 9 out of 10 times, this would not be so tragic.
But, trigger our discomforts or experience a vulnerable feeling of loss or shake the buckets in our mind, which carry old symptoms and pains or recollections of discomforts – or even easier, rather than gain one million dollars, lose only a portion of this and then what would happen? Lose even more and what would happen when someone didn’t put the cap back on the tube of toothpaste?
This is when we raise hell.
This would suggest that the instances we face are not as important to us as our emotional chemistry and the direction of our thinking.
What I am trying to suggest is that most arguments are projections of something else which comes from our personal inventory.
My suggestion here is that there are different associations that occur beneath our surface-level thinking. These could be connections to old discomforts or fears or memories that we associate with rejection or a lack of pleasing others.
So no, the toilet paper is not enough to cause World War III in the household nor are the lights being on a huge tragedy. However, this is our associations with facts, emotions, thoughts, feelings and ideas.
If I am at my best, I am not going to argue about something that is left in the sink. At my best, I am not going to wage war because I notice something is out of sync with my personal habits or standards. However, at my worst or if I find myself caught in the sludge of emotional quicksand, I am now prone to an argument that has nothing to do with my personal inventory.
The key word here is comfort. This is all the mind wants. We want ease of math. We want peace. We do not want anything different from our trained levels and associations.
Before I began this morning, I started with my basic routine, which I use to start my day and direct my thinking. I came across a quote that said “If only we fought so hard to understand as we do to disagree.”
I thought this was brilliant. There was no author named for me to credit this quote; however, there is something about this that triggered my thoughts, which I have left with you in my journal today.
Why do we fight?
What are we really arguing about?
Is it the dishes left in the sink?
Is it the fact that I forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste? Did I leave the lights on again?
Or, is there something below the surface level of our thinking that has either triggered you or myself and thus consistently, we argue about meaningless things because deep beneath are the truths about our discomforts.
It is fair to say that I am often triggered by ideas of rejection. Should I feed into these ideas, I am no longer my loving, caring self and in fact – I could be quite the opposite of the real me.
So, what do I do?
I have to be mindful of my personal inventory. I have to replace thoughts with actions when I find myself in the “stinkin thinkin” category and rather than sink into the abyss of emotional quicksand, I have to change my steps (and my behavior) to change my thinking and essentially change my emotional chemistry.
Rather than create the trauma-bonds or link with ideas that promote discomfort, I have to find a sense of internal awareness to improve my personal consciousness. This is what pushes us to be our best, rather than exist at our worst.
Now, breathe . . .
There’s a new day out there just waiting for us.
And me, well, I don’t know about you but the last thing I want to do is waste another day fighting or being miserable.
Therefore, today’s goal:
Adjust your sights
and make it so!