Sunday, May 26, 2013

Waking up to a horrific state of mind - What to do with Thoughts?

Did you hear what happened to Shoshie Stern? I woke up to this horrific reality. What? are you sure? She is never coming home? She is not just away for Shabbos? Something tells me that a horrible accident happened and Shoshie was in it, hurt, very badly. How badly? I don't know.... but it's bad. This is how I woke up this morning. I am sure it's not helpful to be surrounded by Shoshie's shrines of pictures in her vibrancy, infancy, innocence, beauty, - her loving and joyous, infectious smile. Someone said "hey you got 5 other kids"....... I want this one to! %17 of my being isn't here. I am not totally here. I don't how you should act around me, speak to me, look at me ........ I realize that Shoshie was a horrible, just horrible news story for you.... yes it has effected you.... I know .... you haven't slept the same since... I know.... but thank God you have your normal life with your normal responsibilities, routines .... There is a normative seam of life to move back into, join along and move at a steady pace. Did you hear? a family has lost their daughter, 12 1/2 years old, an integral part of the family, someone very present in their lives - How do you move on so well where everywhere you look you see Shoshie. She is in the kitchen preparing lunch, she is walking out of her room with some cockamamie thing in her hair that seems to work for her but would not for anyone else. There she is perfecting her new found cooking talents of baking Pesach delicacies, (parve I might add) and making Chinese noodles. There she is, she just came back on her long board, hair streaked, great Shabbos at the Goldwassers .... just going out for a little while...... she didn't come home! How is your morning?

Catching my mind at what it does best. Taking an introspective read of my inner world and finding that my mind's attention is dwelling in the past at what has happened; dwelling in the future that she is not going to be here. It's like your state of mind/thoughts being represented as white water rapids that has whisked you far down the river, before you even knew it and you didn't even know it until ..... you wake up to that reality. Your consciousness, your "I" , your "free will" , your essence - wakes up! ...... to yourself. Your ability to be aware of yourself and where you are at are two different matters, things, entities. The same as the statement " I've got to find myself" the same as "I am looking/searching for myself".

So I am awake to myself and see that I am downstream, still in the whirlwind of white waters, moving fast....I don't find my surroundings recognizable, not sure where you exactly where I am and not even sure how to navigate from here. I am lost, very lost. How do i stop this train? How do I find my way home again? Do I necessarily have to be a victim of my state of mind/thoughts?

Just realizing that I am not one and the same with my state of mind/thoughts is simply an amazing realization in it of itself. I have a separate identity. Although my thoughts appear to be one and the same as me, mostly all the time - because Gd willing I am operating in the moment - but I see now, so often it might be a moment, but it is a moment in time that is in my head... the moment transports me to something that has to happen right around the corner, something that "I need to do" , "some where I have got to be" -with urgency, impetuosity - I am at one with that thought..... in the moment and things just happen, not necessarily all the right results I would have wanted after the fact. Sometimes being real with a thought in the moment transports me to something that has happened in the past and boy is it comfortable to dwell there. Yes I have what to focus my attention to .... did you hear .... Shoshie's gone from this world? But for others one has an entire roller deck to search for something in their past, some slight they felt, some insult, some injustice - they pry on your insecurity, your lack of wholeness and causes your state of mind to give you a picture of someone, something that is the cause of your pain. A snap of the fingers and just like that the white water rapids that represent your state of mind has usurped you, victimized you, taken you, owns you and you find yourself way down to stream, - uneasy, queasy, difficult feelings and you always have someone to blame.

Some people don;t have the luxury of introspection to wake up and discover that their "free will-I -ness" can recognize this bad state of mind for what it truly is. Did I wake up this morning and decide that I was going to be morose? that I would wallow in my loss? cry a bucket of tears? no! it just happened. No-one decides initially decides as to what the screen will be as it shows up in minds eye. Most of the time our "I-ness", consciousness,awareness, free will isn't so extent, standing, engaged to realize that in truth there is a gate that this poor state of mind has to pass though before it gets very comfortable dwelling inside of you and makes itself at home. Most of the time this is where your negative, bad, ill-feeling state of mind ends up -dwelling inside of you, down the fast-moving white water until .... you wake up and realize ... I didn't even make a morning order of coffee and bad state of mind. Mr. bad state of mind; where did you come from? how did you get here, who let you in? and just how long do yo think you are entitled to dwell here? I mean really you are a most unwanted guest. I will take a quick scan if there is some useful information that you have for me to live joyously and securely and I will just let you go out the door on the other side of my head. Or I might just let you dwell a little bit, the tears are sometimes cathartic, the tears are sometime very appropriate and meaningful sometimes, for a certain length of time. But you want to stay and ruin my day? stay and have me be incapacitated? paralyzed? I don't think so can go now.

Just realizing that you are down the stream and you realize that you have the ability to wake up to your thoughts/state of mind can be the beginning of snapping you out of the far flung place you are on the river and bring you back to the relaxed lazy water of being present in your life. Someone wise once said to be you are either in your mind or your life. How did we get so far afield so quickly? how did we lose our way? The answer is simple, our I-ness, free-will awareness isn't so developed as it could be, it's stature and strength isn't as it should be, it gets usurped rather easily (normal) , it becomes a victim to a bad state of mind. We don't even realize. However not only can we wake up to ourselves and find out where we have been taken but we can develop ourselves to the point that we are the ones who unwittingly gave life to the thoughts, and we opened up the guard house and gave life to the intruder that is wreaking havoc in your own mind. You didn't author the thoughts or bad state of mind but we are the publishers and the marketing distributors. We, allow ourselves to grab a hold of these negative thoughts, we allow them to carry us down the fast-paced white water. We don't have to allow that to happen all the time.

One can grow the stature and strength of I-ness to the point that you can see that bad state of mind as something separate than yourself and while maybe it has taken up residency inside your head, but you were/have been the publisher and distributor of you will - one has to just have the humility to laugh whole-heartedly simply because that is just the way we work. (Another time I would to discuss that in many ways we are the actual co-creators of these thoughts).

One has to know that if your thoughts/state of mind appear really bad to you and you are feeling bad and yo do wake up to your own state of being - have full confidence, that these thoughts are going to pass. Just like they came...... they are going to go (as long as you decide not to hold on tight to them) indulge yourself a little, okay maybe a lot but know that is what you are doing and they can't dwell all day. You have things to do and people to see. The nature of thoughts (if you don't grab too tight) come and go all day. It's mostly the bad ones that seem quite compelling that we allow ourselves to choose to open the door for them. But the bad ones if we train ourselves can eventually some times appear like the weather channel, as a show that is running in the back-ground but not something you are emotionally involved with.

This is all important for a number of reasons but one of them is our capacity for spiritual growth and the lack there of. We are too often distracted by the thoughts in our mind; worries, stress, anxieties, challenges and problems. We are carrying around a lot of luggage leaving no room for ourselves the passenger. Our ability to tap into our endless and infinite wisdom is to step outside of our busy mind and dwell in our own presence. It is there we will meet our true selves, where our deepest understanding and insight lies. Our mind is good for intellectual capacity to figure things out, analyze, compare, contrast, organize etc -too often it is usurped by our insecurities, deeply felt emotions and a subconscious that allows our negative character traits to influence the picture of truth in our minds......Our true wisdom dwells beyond the intellect into the very essence of who we are....... a soul with a touch of the creator inside of us.

If you find yourself down the river, just know that we have the capacity for finding our way back home again and that we will feel complete and whole as soon as you allow yourself.


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