I was always a relatively bright kid. And growing up, I had a rich and creative imagination and a constantly hungry curiosity for how things worked. I was artistic, articulate and intelligent (what happened, right?? 😛 ). My natural attitude was positive, and I remember beautiful periods of absolute joy, play, and bliss.
It could be that the mind conveniently mis-remembers things that happened long ago, relegating negativity and trauma to the shadows, so they are not the first things recalled. But like all things repressed, they will rise up and seek expression sooner or later. And deep within the human psychology, the expression of repressed pain is always unconscious.
By the time I grew into my 20s, things started taking an ugly turn. The inner landscape of my mind was becoming over-crowded, faster-paced, ugly. It was becoming a city that could no longer cope with its inhabitants ~ the thoughts were getting restless.
A childhood pain had been percolating and it was about to boil over…
By now I was 25 years old. I had my film school bachelors degree under my arm and was working in the industry, though not in any meaningful role. I was broke, depressed, frustrated, unhealthy, and my relationships were sour. I was “broken.” And that was just the backdrop for what was about to happen next.
Now, before you start saying, “boo-hoo Jim, buck the hell up and stop whining!” You have to know that hidden in the very the crisis of the story was the revelation of truth and the very solution itself. And it all comes down to feeling.
I have yet to tell you about how this all felt. You see, we human beings are, after all, an aesthetic bunch. I mean, how can we not be? The only way we can interact with the world is aesthetically. We have our five senses (some say more), and those electro-chemical sensations are interpreted by the brain. So, on to the feeling!
Depression has a physiology. To put it bluntly, I was feeling like garbage! Every damn minute, of every awful day. This was a far cry from the happy little boy.
Don’t worry, this is not a sob-story about those events, but you can read about how I saved my life, if you’d like an uplifting account.
The point here is that somewhere along the line, early on, I’d made a fundamental error about life. An error, it seems, that so many others make. Even smart people. Especially smart people.
I think, therefore I am.
~ Descartes (poor old Descartes)
You know what it is: I believed I was my mind.
“I am my thoughts.” Do you believe this? Is this your experience?
That such a simple assumption can have such major repercussions in a human life is remarkable. But such is the nature of the mind. That which is repressed, will eventually express itself.
You Are Not Your Thoughts
The illusion that I was my thoughts came crashing down around me sometime after I began meditating. During a time of extreme catharsis, emotional release, and <ahem> tears, I experienced reality. For what might have been just a quarter of a second, my compulsive, monkey-mind, million-miles-a-second thoughts ceased.
And that reality was blissful. Absolute bliss. My body flooded with long-since-felt endorphins. For that eternal moment, I reconnected with my Self again, that same infinitely creative, compassionate, intelligent little boy that I AM.
I was still alive. No thought. No judgement or criticism. Just bliss.
Until I began thinking again! And it was gone. But not forever. No, I had once again experienced reality, just as I had as a child, and I knew I was on the right path. So I continued meditating. Little by little, the crack in the door of darkness widened. The thoughts were getting out of the way by themselves. And the repression was coming to an end.
I quickly found that the more I meditated, the more of bliss (reality) I could bring with me back into my daily life. Until your daily life becomes a waking meditation, and you are able to experience the bliss of reality directly. And express Self.
Here’s how to reconnect with Self.
- Feel & experience every sensation fully. Let those experiences fill you.
If reading this has struck a chord in you, please share it. Let others know that they aren’t alone.