Posted by: sistermom1 | August 21, 2012

Going Out of my Head…..

I am getting out of the ongoing conversation in my head.  That voice in my head that narrates/comments on every single thing that happens in my life.  You may have one too.  The voice that never stops talking.  The voice that tends  to lead me  down the path of my ego — often not the most helpful  pathway for me.  This detour of MS has presented me with many opportunities to learn about myself.  My latest learning has come courtesy of a wonderful book – The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael Singer.

Through reading it I have realized that I do have a voice that  speaks in my head all of the time, providing a running narrative of whatever I happen to be going through.

“If you watch it objectively, you will come to see that much of what the voice says is meaningless.  Most of the talking is just a waste of time and energy.  The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.” 

This sentence was like a huge splash of cold water in my face.  After the initial shock, I chuckled with friendly recognition.  My internal voice is very active, and I do pay it a lot of attention.  I have definitely been a  “if I think it, it must be right” type of person, and frankly, that has served me pretty well in the past.  Success in my profession is often linked to depending on my instincts and my ability to accurately read other people.  Before MS hampered my ability to move quickly and travel widely on short notice, I was very successul at my work.

“…your thoughts have far less impact on this world than you would like to think.  If you are willing to be objective and watch all your thoughts, you will see that the vast majority of them have no relevance.  They have no effect on anything or anybody, except you.  They are simply making you feel better or worse about what is going on now, what has gone on in the past, or what might go on in the future…You will someday come to see that there is no reason for that incessant internal chatter, and there is no reason to constantly attempt to figure everything out.  Eventually you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself.  It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems”

Reading this book has made me thoughtful about my life and exactly what this detour is showing me about myself and about life in general.  It has truly helped me begin to get a new level of appreciation of this journey.   Singer goes on to say:

“If you decide not to narrate, and instead, just consciously observe the world, you will feel more open and exposed.  This is because you really don’t know what will happen next, and your mind is accustomed to helping you.  It does this by processing your current experiences in a way that makes them fit with your views of the past and visions of the future.  All of this helps to create a semblance of control.  If your mind doesn’t do this, you simply become too uncomfortable.  Reality is just too real for most of us, so we temper it with the mind….Ultimately, it makes you feel more secure.”

This book challenges me to pay more attention to the way I live my life, and the role I have allowed my mind to play in my daily activities.  This is a book that I would not have paid much attention to in the past — encountering it at this point of my journey has been a true game-changer for me.  Thank you Michael Singer, for sharing this in such an accessible way.  As my journey continues, my mind will play a much different role than it has in the past.  I will rely on that internal voice less, and make an effort to experience my life rather than manage it.  After all,

“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”

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