We do not choose our thoughts, they choose us. Let me say that again to allow the statement to marinade in your consciousness.
We do not choose our thoughts, they choose us.
Does that mean we should just give up and go live in the wilderness care free and not take any responsibility for anything because really what control do we have over anything so why bother? Is that where your mind went? Oh Ok, it was just mine then ;-)
In seriousness of course we must realise that we do not have control over what pops up in our mind so why then do we react so personally to the things that do?
For instance the ideas for this article came to me when bathing in my bubble bath last night :-) I watched as the shower head above me dripped water on occasions into the bath that I was in. I noticed the effect that the drop of water made on the contents of the bath, the bubbles, the water, me. My Son had a shower before me and had he not the shower head would not have been dripping and I would not have had the thoughts that lead me to write this article.
I thought about the concept of not being able to control the thoughts that arose. I noticed how I could allow the thoughts to come and go and do nothing or I could take action from the thoughts. For instance I could write the words that came to me or I could do nothing. Was I the only one to receive the thoughts that I did at that point in time? No, I do not think that I was but did all the people who received the thoughts take the same action? No, I do not think that they did. Was there a right response to the thoughts and a wrong way? No, I do not think there is.
My thoughts focussed around the idea that the drop of water affected the bath at a very specific point in time and yes things were affected but after the event, that drop of water could be considered insignificant to the feelings experienced in the bath at the present moment. Let me try and elaborate.
The water in the bath is calm. A drop of water falls into the bath and things are disrupted but after everything settles again. There are choices of course. One can start to tunnel and start to look at the drop of water and ask why did it happen. One can then tunnel even further and say why did my Son have to have a shower before me. One can then tunnel even further. It is my fault that I did not think things through better and plan better and do better to try and prevent things happening in a way that I did not want them to happen.
I may have lost you and if I have I apologise but the above is deeper than just looking at a single drop of water falling into a bath tub. It's about what we notice and what we do with the things that we notice. It's about the tunnelling we do in our minds and how we respond to the thoughts.
If we compare it to a life changing event for instance like a car accident in which people die and there was a drunk driver who caused a crash by running a red light. After the event things are re-set and there is a new reality of life. A life in which a loved one is no longer here. Yet we resist the re-set. We resist the new way of being. We tunnel into our minds and end up in a place that we create which cannot or will not change the fact that a loved one no longer exists.
We know that life is not forever. We know that we cannot control when we go or when others go yet when the time comes we find it hard to re-set to a new reality.
The thoughts will come up of injustice, of revenge, of sadness, of loss, of hatred. Some thoughts will make us feel like we are constricting and pulling away from life itself.
I say what can you do to expand into the new reality of what is here in this moment?