“Breaking up, is hard to do”
The buddhist have some of the greatest expressions. One of my favorites is “the longest journey man will ever take is from our head to our heart.” You could say that this speaks to our desire to stay in our minds, to think too much, to allow the habitual nature of the mind to use the reasoning of the past to make present decisions. The human mind searches past circumstances and past results to find the most expedient response for the moment.
Although these “automatics” get the job done there is an underlying drawback to this process. The “automatics” become so habitual that over time, we find it quite challenging to change the pattern and when we try we come up against a great deal of resistance, doubt and a sense of insecurity. Unfortunately, without the help of knowing this, we inevitably stop trying because it becomes too uncomfortable. When someone calls us on it, we simple say “that’s who I am.”
There is an additional quality that accompanies the “automatics” of our actions and reactions. This quality is the interpretation of what that action or reaction means to us. It is our unique interpretation from past experiences and doesn’t follow any logic but our own. Then objects, events, and memories carry with them not only what they obviously represent but also an intrinsic interpretation that we have place on them. This interpretation is like a belief that attaches a quality of good, bad, fearful, joyous, hatred or love to the story of that event. We can’t have one without the other.
So, for example, if the love of our life leaves us for another and we feel the pain and betrayal so deeply we decide to protect ourself and “interpret” love as dangerous. We have created an “automatic” about love and with an interpretation or belief that not only will we be left in the end, but that we can not relax. The stress that mounts as one keeps vigil over the inevitable ends up being more destructive, in the long run.
Our ultimate peace can’t come from changing or controlling the world around us, as we really have no control over what other people do. However that doesn’t stop us from trying to control others, because as long as we try to control others we will not see that the correction is in our mind by changing our interpretations of the stressors in our life.
Changing these interpretations is like leaving a bad relationship, very tricky. As the old R&B 50′s song proclaims, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Why? because it means we have to break up with our old interpretations, like an old friend who has our ear but not our best interests at heart. Most humans are not comfortable with the unknown. The journey from the mind to the heart asks us to trust our heart as much, if not more, than our mind. This seems difficult as it asks us to trust something unknown and unfamiliar. It feels as if we are choosing between the best of two evils. ”Better the devil that I know, than the devil that I don’t.”
We can change the interpretations of our stressor, but not overnight, as our mind would like to think. It is a process that starts with first recognizing that we are listening to an inner voice, that old friend/enemy who is telling us a story that is possibly not true. Recognizing this is the first step. Observing the automatics “in action” reveals to us the insanity of our “old friend’s” reasoning.
Once we have realized this, the mind is now open to a different interpretation that comes naturally to the mind that has begun it’s journey back home to the heart.