Our perceptions aren’t necessarily the truth. They’re just perceptions. Understanding this is an important key to inner peace.
I don’t know why I take my mind so seriously. It seems to think it’s own perception of things is absolute reality.
Ha. Good one.
There’s a saying for that: Don’t believe everything you think.
The thing is, my thoughts are based on my one narrow, slim view of the world – just one speck of sand on the proverbial vast beach of life. I see life through the filters of my past, my upbringing, my experiences in life. I view it through my own set of wishes, ideals and beliefs.
In the big scheme of life, such a necessarily narrow view. After all, our nervous systems are only wired to have so much information running through at any given time.
So, then, how could I possibly think that my tiny, limited view of the world is the absolute truth?
I once read if you set up five artists in front of a sunset and ask them to paint it, you will end up with five completely different works of art. All of them are creations from the artists’ views of the same sunset, but none of those paintings are the sunset.
So when my mind maintains the delusion that I’m right, that my version of reality is the only correct one, I laugh. It’s silly.
But we have intellect for a reason!
When you hear “don’t believe everything you think,” the message can be confusing.
To get through life, we need to make decisions, assessments, calculations. We’re intelligent human beings. Some of us are highly educated, both in institutions and through life experiences. Why should we ignore or distrust our intellect?
The answer is simple. We shouldn’t.
The saying, “Don’t believe everything you think” is not the same as “Don’t think.”
Of course it’s important to utilize our minds, intellect and ability to reason in their highest forms possible to each individual. Thinking for yourself, questioning everything, learning more all the time. That’s the beauty of intellect.
Don’t believe everything you think simply reminds us that, when we think we’re absolutely right, we become closed to being teachable and learning more. It shuts us down and keeps up confined to a small, not-necessarily-correct view of the world.
It doesn’t say we’re wrong. It just says we may not necessarily be right all the time.
Being right at what cost?
It’s a private hell being so sure that we’re right all the time. Sanctimony takes over and we’re blinded by fierce desire. We build a solid wall of protection from behind which we will argue others to the ground, cramming our viewpoint down their throats, letting up only when they show any sign of giving in. So completely callous. And ridiculously destructive.
As I’ve said before, the thing about building walls is that they don’t really protect us in life’s battles. They just cut us off from human, natural emotion, and hold in all the poisonous beliefs that eat away at us from the inside out. Like believing we’re right all the time.
Those walls isolate us from any kind of intimate connection with other human beings. Thing is, it’s all just illusion anyway, based on a version of reality that is… well, not real. Because human beings are not independent, we are interdependent.
Mindfulness and open mind
As I’m taught, living mindfully, simply and harmoniously with the world around me means understanding that my perception isn’t necessarily the truth. It’s just perception.
So I sit with my thoughts, watching them, observing their passage.
I put down my intellectual and emotional weapons and relax into a softer, wiser way of being in the world. Vulnerable enough to know how little I know. Vulnerable enough to understand that I alone cannot possibly have answers to everything at all times. Vulnerable enough to admit that my judgement of others isn’t always correct or true. Vulnerable enough to allow another human being to see who I truly am, without reservation. Vulnerable enough to respectfully embrace others’ viewpoints with kindness and compassion.
Vulnerable enough to be open and real.