Struggles with life really begin in our own minds.
The mind is an incredibly creative gift, but if we do not stay centered and mindful of our thoughts, it can also create a lot of despair. The great author, John Milton, said, “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of heal and a hell of heaven.” Most of us experience non-stop mental dialogue that critically observes and judges not only the world around us, but also ourselves. That mental chatter builds a philosophy about exactly how life is supposed to be, how people are supposed to behave, and how everything is supposed to happen. When life doesn’t always exactly align with that philosophy, we become disappointed and angry. We complain about the way things “ought to be,” and fight against anything that unfolds differently than we had planned.
In order to live a peaceful, joyful life, it’s important to free ourselves from this incessant mind chatter. Singer reminds us that most of life unfolds in accordance with forces far outside our control, regardless of what our minds have to say about it. It’s important to come to the realization that the real cause of problems is not life itself but, rather, the commotion our minds make about life.
So what is the source of all that commotion? Michael Singer says that life can be like an “inner thorn” … like a thorn in our arm that is connected to a nerve. Whenever anyone brushes against that thorn, it triggers deep pain. The triggers that agitate that inner thorn vary: abandonment, unworthiness, deep-seated resentment, guilt, shame or a variety of other issues.
Every single one of us has an inner thorn; the happiness we are able to experience in life depends on how we deal with the pain that thorn provides. We can try to create a life that completely avoids the people and situations that trigger pain, or we can pull out the thorn. The process of getting that thorn out of ourselves will be a bit painful, but it will eventually liberate us to live any kind of life we desire.
Nobody truly wants to trigger their own pain … but, at some point our souls must realize that, if we don’t get rid of the thorn, we will never be free or happy. The painful situations and people that life presents are designed to push us to the edge, and to call forth the removal of the painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving peace and happiness. Life is not against us; just the opposite is true! Life presents us with challenges that stimulate those energies that are holding us back from living more freely and joyously. It doesn’t matter what triggers your pain, or whether it’s fair or unfair … the only thing that matters is that it gives you an opportunity to heal. The triggers that cause disturbance or pain in our lives actually open a path for transformation, healing and growth.
Since writing this post babacup may have helped people, but has not within the last 4 days. babacup is a verified member, has been around for 5 years, 10 months and has 118 posts and 6,931 replies to their name.
Invite Others to Help
A logged in and verified Help.com member has the ability to setup a Friends List and invite others to help with posts.