We are trapped inside the personal mind.
The meaning maker.
And the glue that frantically keeps our ideas and memories together to create the made-up ‘me’.
It pretends to be who we are and know what we need, what the future will hold and how we should anticipate and work towards those predictions.
It tells us what we’re doing wrong -which is always a result from listening to the same voice that punishes us afterwards.
It shows us what we’re lacking and missing, and what would have to change in order to feel safe and loved and cool and at peace (a place we’ll never truly arrive at, because the personal mind simply won’t let us: it just can’t).
It brings back crippling memories when we don’t need them, and points out all the stuff we failed at, over and over and over again.
It is critical and discerning and polarizing and judgmental and keeps us on our toes and anxious all the time, because that’s what the personal mind is for.
It doesn’t know any better.
It exists to keep the idea alive that we’re nothing more than a vulnerable body with a vulnerable story.
And it works.
It works SO well that this was my direct experience for a very long time.
Because it felt so real and restricted and hopeless, I did many stupid and dangerous and undermining things to feel slightly better or at least less attached to the story for just a little while.
It was exhausting and didn’t get me anywhere, which is a really common thing.
I see this play out all the time in the lives of people I meet.
But here’s what I can share with them with 100% confidence: we are trapped inside the personal mind… until we’re not.
Until, by grace or pain or both, we suddenly realize that we are aware of our minds instead of being its prisoner.
Until we clearly see the constant shifts and changes in moods and ideas and situations around and within us, which means that all this mesmerizing stuff is not who we are.
We simply can’t be what was true yesterday and not today.
We can’t be our pain, our sorrow, our pleasure, our fear or addictions, because they come and go, and we don’t.
We are always watching life from a place of complete reliability, neutrality, and solidity.
Who we are in our core is what never changes, and the only thing that never changes is consciousness, or awareness.
We are always aware of being alive, because without that awareness there would be no experience to begin with.
We are always aware, and the stuff we suffer from or run away from or indulge in or hope for, is only temporary.
What changes is the human stuff.
What remains is the space that we are.
We are the space.
It’s both our way out, and our way in.
(Photo by @korpa, for Unsplash)