The Mind Plays Tricks
“The mind plays tricks on you” roughly translated from my mother tongue, dad used to always say this to me. He learned this from my grandma (may she rest in peace) his mother-in-law who always taught them this important lesson. I never understood it until a few years ago.
My father likes to throw a lot of Igbo proverbs at me to which I would nod and log in my memory bank to decipher later. I finally understood when over and over my reality did not match up to what my mind would be saying.
The lies it will have you believe.
Lie 1 big booty and big thighs are not desirable. Petite and dainty are more feminine.
My mind would constantly try to have me believe this. Yet reality said otherwise. I would often be complimented that my best assets were my legs and my behind!
Lie 2: You are not smart enough. Nothing you do will make you smart enough. More deception!
However, I would get caught up in these lies and tricks. Discovering myself spiraling down with these thoughts and finding reasons to believe it. Then I would start plotting how to fix this lie. Because that was always what comforted my mind, a sense of control, the ultimate fixer. When in fact the mind often created these problems and solved very few. You see its hard to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. But I persisted at first I put up no resistance to taking whatever it told me to be the truth. Until a voice within started to ask questions. The voice started to challenge some very ingrained beliefs my mind had.
Lie 3: To pursue your dreams at the age of 31 is irresponsible!
The voice challenged this. I even found myself looking up examples of people who had pursued their dreams against all odds. So my risk was minimal in comparison. My mind fought back. And then the light bulb went off. There were two voices here. The one I always saw as me (“the I”) and then this other voice, which felt familiar but often only came about when I had those intuitive moments. I realized that the voice I thought was the “I” was my ego but the real me was the other which observed.
I am not my thoughts
I felt relief when I recognized what these thoughts were. My ego and it’s never-ending needs.
My neurotic thoughts did not have to consume me. But how would I quieten my mind to hear my true “self”?
I knew I needed to dive deeper. So I looked back at moments when I felt most connected to my “true self”. Times when I knew this was not the right decision or right path deep within but could not explain how I knew. When my writing poured out from me but yet it seemed separate to me. I thought back to those moments and saw they often came from stillness. My connection to my higher self often came without force. When I lacked resistance to what the answer was as suppose to what I wanted the answer to be. When I was most at peace and open to sitting with the possibility that my mind had not conjured up.
So how could I be still in a chaotic world? How could I harness this newfound power within me?