What’s You and Not You

Woman in elevator looking at her reflection with words: emotions and thoughts, are they even yours?

One of the foundations of mental and emotional mastery is being able to tell if the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing belong to you.

Are these yours?

Today let’s investigate what’s you, and what’s not you. What’s yours and what’s not yours. These are topics we work on at length in the Peerless series. If you have any impulse toward being the author of your own life, these are areas of daily inquiry and awareness.

Would it surprise you to discover that most of the thoughts you think in the course of a day are not even yours? 

The emotions and moods you experience are equally not authentic, self-generated.

Investigate this: do you assume the thoughts you experience are yours? If so, why? This simple misconception is at the root of a great deal of confusion about the mind. The mind is not your enemy, it is a powerful tool that you don’t know how to use. It’s like someone having a very powerful computer that they only use to send email, because they haven’t a clue what else the computer does, how it works and what it can do for them.

But in this case, you don’t even know you are the master of this tool. You believe the error messages, the malware and the random spam is somehow yourself. The voice that is constantly talking to you is…yourself.

What if it’s not? What if it’s more like streaming radio with infinite channels? You happen to have certain channels programmed in, so they play on a regular rotation. The Parental Channel, The Survival Channel, The Fear Channel, The Unworthiness Channel, The Outcast Channel. The Romance Channel. The Enlightenment Channel. And so on.

Just because you are experiencing a thought doesn’t mean you generated that thought. It doesn’t mean it’s “you talking to yourself.” 

The tricky thing is, if you assume without question that the thought is yours, then if that thought isn’t wanted, isn’t beneficial, then you have to generate more thoughts to counteract it. You’re then engaged in talking yourself out of this thought pattern.

It’s a terrible waste of energy, and it also presents you with a highly corrosive belief that you are in inner conflict (with yourself!). You are some kind of split personality, one side that wants to sabotage the best intentions of the other. Holding this fractured image of yourself is very damaging.

What if you approached it differently?

If the radio was spewing out unhelpful, discouraging or negative messages, would you waste any energy battling with it?

You’d most likely try to turn it off, but if you couldn’t figure out how to do that, you’d spend your energy investigating how it works so you could learn to turn it down, turn it off, etc.

This represents Mastery. But if you really think about it, that’s a very lofty concept, isn’t it? Especially for something as basic as learning to turn sound down or off on your equipment. Does that make you a master, or just…you know, competent on a very basic level?

So don’t think of this as being some big esoteric, spiritual endeavor. It’s just Being Human 101, only somehow that introductory course is either rarely offered, or if it is, it’s couched in all kinds of hyper-woo, religious dogma, new age psycho-bats.

Mastering our thoughts and emotions

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